At the age of 21, national swimmer Angela Chieng Chui Fei has competed in various events, making her one of the promising athletes that could one day make the country proud.
Despite her outstanding performance in the recent 2018 Institutions of Higher Learning Games (SUKIPT) held in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, the Sarawakian’s road to success was a rocky one.
In an interview with HE Today, Chieng said she almost gave up her love for swimming when she first took up the sport 10 years ago.
With no proper training and professional coach to guide her, she said she had to seek help from her mother who did not have any experience in coaching or even swimming.
“The past 10 years was really challenging, especially in 2013 due to some issues in the swimming industry back home.
“For two years I had no professional coach and I had to rent a pool to practise with my own money which was very costly.
“I had no choice but to train alone under my mother’s guidance. We worked really hard together and our efforts paid off,” she said.
Chieng, who has qualified for Youth Olympics Games 2014 in China, said the words of encouragements and motivations from her loved ones had kept her strong.
She said being able to overcome the hardships and getting qualified to enter the international competition was the proudest moment in her life so far.
“When I think back to those days, even I can’t imagine how I managed to pull through those difficult two years.
“Although it was unimaginably difficult, I’m glad that I got to experience it because it made me stronger than I was before,” she said.
The Universiti Putra Malaysia’s civil engineering student has competed in major events such as Sukan Malaysia (SUKMA), Asian Youth Games, Youth Olympic Games, World University Games and SEA Games.
She was crowned as SUKIPT Sportswoman after setting five new records and bagging six individual gold medal, three individual silver medal, and three bronze medals.