Jinq En hoping for more international outings to gear up for Cambodia mission

By , in Nation Sports on .

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — National swimmer Phee Jinq En hopes that she will be allowed to take part in more international-level championships to gauge her real capability as she seeks to get on the podium in the Cambodia SEA Games from May 5-17.

Jinq En, who is the only national woman swimmer to qualify on merit for the biennial Games in the 50-metre (m) and 100m breaststroke events, is worried as she has only taken part in one competition this year, namely the 2023 Malaysia Open Swimming Championships.

The 25-year-old, who has won gold in three editions of the SEA Games, could not hide her disappointment at the lack of international outings due to financial constraints and said that every national athlete ought to be given a chance to do so.

“I think we need to be exposed to a higher level of competition around the world. I hope the National Sports Council (NSC) will provide us with the necessary support to compete overseas.

Jinq En

“For example, I underwent training in the United States from 2016 to 2021. So, I was always exposed to major championships and that’s why I was able to deliver the goods,” she told Bernama when contacted today.

Jinq En said that after completing her studies in the US and returning home, she needed almost one and a half years to get used to training in Malaysia.

Jinq En, who trained under Chris Martin in the US, said that the training programme there involved a group of competitive swimmers and that helped them to be mentally and physically strong, allowing them to learn to bounce back from a defeat.

In Malaysia, she added, it’s different as she trains alone in Bukit Jalil, although she did admit that it has not affected her performance judging by the way she qualified on merit for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, 2023 SEA Games and bagged gold in the 2023 Malaysia Open.

“I am confident I am on the right track although my time now does not meet the qualifying criteria for the 2024 Paris Olympics. I am not disappointed because I have made some progress. I’m doing much better than last year and all I need to do is train harder.

“My goal is to always achieve my personal best so that I can beat my national record. The same as in (the) Hanoi (SEA Games last year), I am definitely aiming for the medals (in Cambodia)… so, I will do the best I can,” she said.

Jinq En holds two national records, having clocked 31.40 seconds (s) in the women’s 50m breaststroke event in the 2019 Philippines SEA Games and 1 minute 08.40s in the 100m breaststroke at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

In the 2022 Hanoi SEA Games, Jinq En had to be contented with a silver medal in the women’s 100m breaststroke.

NMT as reported by Bernama

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