SFU swim meet features China's fastest female

Nov 14, 2002, vol. 25, no. 6

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Chinese national swim sensation Hui Qi, the gold medal favourite for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, will headline an international swim meet at SFU in December.

Qi and 10 Chinese national team members will compete against teams from SFU as well as others from across Canada and the U.S. in the Clan Cup Dec. 14 and 15. Qi is the world-record holder in the 200-metre breast stroke. “Qi is the fastest female swimmer in the world in that event and really an amazing swimmer to see,” says SFU swim coach Liam Donnelly.

The Chinese team, which will be representing the Chinese Navy, will spend a week visiting the city. They agreed to participate in this year's event after Donnelly proposed the idea to their former long-time coach, Xiaoping Lu, who now lives and coaches in Vancouver.

“Having the Chinese involved has made our competition of serious interest to some of the top national swim programs from across Canada and the U.S.,” says Donnelly.

The women's 200-metre breast stroke is shaping up to be the feature race, with SFU's Kathleen Stoody set to challenge Qi. Stoody, who won bronze at the Canadian champion-ship in August, spent an intensive summer training and is preparing for a personal best showing. “My teammates are always pointing out that there won't be any expectations on me because I'm not expected to compete with her,” says Stoody. “It will be an amazing experience just to share a pool with her.”

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