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Friday, September 28, 2001

Swimming - Elvin Chia asked "What apology?"

By Fred Leong

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia’s swimmer and gold medallist, Elvin Chia has again blasted a local daily for not correctly publishing his clarification over their front page report on him last Sept 21.

Clearly infuriated, Elvin said although his press statement was published on the front page of the Daily Express the following day, it was made out as an apology with the headline ‘Elvin apologises for any misunderstanding over statement’.

"I never apologised or even hinted at an apology in my press statement. In fact I wanted them to apologise for their false report on me.

"I am truly disappointed not only with their earlier report but also the way they manipulated my clarification to make it seem as though it was my fault. My family including my parents are also angry and dejected," he said.

Elvin added that such an irresponsible act could also unnecessarily strain his relationship with the National Sports Council, Association Swimming Union of Malaysia, Olympic Council of Malaysia and the Government that had sponsored his training and studies in the United States for five years.

In the Sept 21 report, Daily Express had portrayed Elvin as not only being unpatriotic but motivated by money and insinuated that he had threatened the Government by saying he would swim for Singapore.

However, Elvin explained that although it was true that he received an offer by the island republic to swim for them, he would swim for Malaysia for as long as the country paid for his training.

"As long as Malaysia pays for my training I will swim for the country no matter how much Singapore or any other country will pay me," he said in his earlier statement.

The 24-year-old former US-based Asian swimming ace spoke exclusively to New Sabah Times Sport from his home in Sandakan yesterday. He is at present taking a break after his three-gold medal feat (100m and 200m breaststroke and medley relay) together with fellow Sabahan Alex Lim Keng Liat in the recent SEA Games.

"I never apologised to the newspaper and in fact wanted them to apologise for their inaccurate report on me, and for them to publish that I apologised over a mistake they made was totally uncalled for," the furious Elvin said.

"I am very disappointed by the way the earlier report and my clarification statement were published, not as I had anticipated and even my family including my father and mother too were angry and dejected," he added.

The four-time SEA Games gold medallist had in fact spoken to New Sabah Times Sport on the eve of his second golden splash (200m breaststroke) in the SEA Games. He said he planned to open up a swimming school in Kuala Lumpur if his services were not needed or if NSC decided not to sponsor his training expenses for the 2002 Asian Games in Pusan, South Korea.

The Sandakan-born swimmer, who was grateful for all parties concerned for their assistance and support all this while also confirmed that he might call it quits as age is catching up. He, however, said he loves to give a final try in the 2002 Asian Games not for Singapore, but for Malaysia.

In his clarification statement, Elvin said that as long as Malaysia sponsors his training, he will surely swim for the country no matter how much Singapore or any other country pays him.

He was and always is proud to swim for Malaysia and is always ever ready to repay the country for the opportunity and care they have given him while in the United States.

If his services are no longer needed after the Asian Games, he believes that it is normal for him to search for opportunities elsewhere to continue with his training and swimming.

Referring to his plan to set up a swimming school in Kuala Lumpur, he added, if things turn out well, he will have the company of former national swimmer Mark Wah, and national swimming aces Jeffrey Ong and Wan Azlan of Selangor to run the academy.

He also said that within these few days, he and his partners-to-be will be going to Singapore to meet another former kingpin Ong Peng Siong, an established coach who runs a swimming school there.

They expect to meet and talk about the set up of their proposal and try to learn all the valuable tips from the expert in an effort to make their aspiration materialise.

It is hoped that his visit to Singapore this time around will not be misinterpreted by unfair and incorrect reporting.

Source: New Sabah Times

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Sunday, September 30, 2001

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    Friday, September 28, 2001

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    Friday, September 28, 2001

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