Open water swimmer Chantal Liew qualifies for Olympics, first Singaporean to do so in the discipline

The 29-year-old was the best Asian finisher behind Japanese duo Yumi Kida and Miniami Niikura.

Xynthea Ong

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Published: 21 June 2021, 12:45 PM

Open water swimmer Chantal Liew will be the first Singaporean to represent the country at the Olympics in the discipline after securing a spot on Saturday (Jun 19). 

The 29-year-old finished 29th among 40 swimmers in the 10km race at FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier in Setubal, Portugal, clocking a time of 2:12:19.5. 

She qualified for the Games, which will be held from Jul 23 to Aug 8, by virtue of being the best Asian finisher behind Japanese swimmers Yumi Kida and Miniami Niikura. 

On Sunday, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong congratulated Liew in a Facebook post for her efforts. 

Describing Chantal as a “fun, bubbly personality” who is determined, focused and full of resolve, Mr Tong said: “Congrats Chantal!  Wishing you all the best in your last lap of training for the Games next month. Stay focused and stay strong.”

This is not the first time Liew has created history. At the 2017 SEA Games held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Chantal earned a silver medal and became the first Singaporean woman to win an open water swimming medal. 

Chantal joins a host of other Singapore athletes to have qualified for the Olympics, including fencers Amita Berthier and Kiria Tikanah, as well as badminton players Loh Kean Yew and Yeo Jia Min. 

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