Siew Siew (right) together with (from left) Esther Yii, Grace Yii, Erika Kong with their bronze medals after the women’s 4×100m freestyle relay.

Name: Hii Siew Siew
Date of Birth: August 18 1994
Place of Birth: Sibu

KUCHING: Coached by her father Hii Heng Cheong, Hii Siew Siew went on to become a swimming star, who competed in two Commonwealth Youth Games.

The senior Hii also helped made stars out of other Sarawak and national swimmers such as Hii Ding Lie, Hii Ding Kiong and Olympian Dieung Manggang.

Besides the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2008 and 2010, Siew Siew also made a name for herself at the Southeast Asian Games.

She won a bronze in Korat, Thailand in 2007 and collected a silver in Singapore in 2012.

Siew Siew represented Sarawak in two Malaysia Games (Sukma) — Terengganu 2008 and Melaka 2010.

Hii Siew Siew

She powered her way to gold in the 100m butterfly and two years later in Melaka, she helped Sarawak win two gold medals in the 100m and 200m butterfly, and a silver in the 100m free relay.

Tracing her journey in swimming, she was in fact forced by her father to take up the sport and in her first competition, she finished last.

The bad experience stopped her from competing as she stayed away — until Primary Three or Four.

That was when friends invited her to join a relay team.

Fired up by the thrill of tasting her first victory, she turned to her father to hone her technique.

When she began training, her father asked permission from her school SMK Chung Hua to allow her to start her class a bit late as she had to train from 6am to 8am, and then she would take the bus to school, with classes starting at 8am.

‘In fact it was my friends who got me back into competing seriously as the taste of victory was too sweet.”

The Sarawak State Sports Council (MSNS) took interest in her and put her into their training programme by transferring her to Kuala Lumpur to study and train at the Bukit Jalil Sports School in 2009 when she was in Form 2.

“When I was in Kuala Lumpur, I was quite homesick and had no Sarawakian friends in swimming except for Daniel Bego but he was very senior.

“Later I found a companion in fellow Sarawakian, diver Traisy Vivien Tukiet, who became my close friend.”

During her national stint, she was happy to be given the opportunity to go overseas for training and she travelled a lot to places for competitions and

After the Commonwealth Youth Games, she found competition a bit tough and decided to call it quits.

Before this, she took part in her last competition, the University Games in 2012 where she won a gold.

She later made the switch to coaching, wanting to give something back to the sport she loved.