Datuk Sieh Kok Chi stressed that the reason for the several aquatic disciplines to be placed under Fina at world level was to ensure their inclusion in the Olympics. (pix by OSMAN ADNAN)

FORMER Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) honorary secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi feels that it is not necessary for Malaysia to follow world body Fina’s combining of the various aquatic disciplines at national level.

Kok Chi stressed that the reason for the several aquatic disciplines to be placed under Fina at world level was to ensure their inclusion in the Olympics.

"I was informed that the main reason for aquatics sports to be considered as one single sport under Fina is that the four disciplines are guaranteed a place in the Olympic Games Programme, under the compulsory sport of swimming," said the former Olympic Council of Malaysia secretary general.

"In other words, if say water polo was to break free from Fina, the possibility of it being dropped from the Olympic Games Programme was very real.

"The solution to avoid being left out of the Olympic Games Programme, was for water polo (or other disciplines) to be autonomous at national level, but to remain under swimming or aquatics at international level.

"This compromise has worked well, without any issues, for those countries that have adapted this solution."

He added that many of the top countries in aquatic sports had independent bodies for the various disciplines at national level.

Kok Chi, a former water polo national player, has strongly supported the idea of separating the five aquatic disciplines: swimming, open water swimming, synchronised swimming, diving and water polo into their own national bodies. They are currently managed by Asum.

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