Swedish swimmer harassed after Malaysian swim meet

The Swedish swimmer Frederic Liljestroem received hateful messages on Facebook after winning the men’s masters 50-59 age group in the Langkawi Swimming Festival competition in Malaysia.

The Swedish swimmer was supposed to swim in the 8km category, but when he was about 1km into the swim, his suit started ripping down the middle. As he didn’t want to finish the race naked, he was helped back to shore by a jetski.

The man’s swimming coach, Cindy Ong, contacted the organizers and asked if Liljestroem could participate in the 4km race, as it was to start later in the day. According to the coach, there were no rules, which could deny him from competing and the organisers didn’t have any issue with the change either.

But a particular Malaysian coach took to Facebook after the Swede had won the race. He was angry, that Liljestroem had switched categories and he even continued scolding the swimmer in a phone call later on.

Cindy Ong defended her swimmer and said the scolding was bad sportsmanship and hindering the potential of open water swimming in Malaysia.

“But we can never progress in the sport if there is resistance from certain people who claim that another person is taking away their podium spot. If your swimmers, who are much younger, can’t beat a man in his 50s, that says a lot,” Ong said to the New Straits Times.

Liljestroem won the men’s masters 50-59 age group and was also the overall fastest swimmer in the 4km category. All eight swimmers under the Cindy Ong Swimming Academy finished on the podium.

Source: New Straits Times

About Charlotte Nike Albrechtsen

Charlotte Nike Albrechtsen is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

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