Swimming: Former national swimmer Marcus Cheah appointed as National Training Centre assistant coach

Former national swimmer Marcus Cheah has joined the National Training Centre (NTC) as its assistant coach.
Former national swimmer Marcus Cheah has joined the National Training Centre (NTC) as its assistant coach. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Swimming Association has announced on Monday (Sept 25) that Marcus Cheah has joined the National Training Centre (NTC) as its assistant coach.

The appointment comes after a strong showing at last month's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, where Singapore's swimming team achieved 19 golds.

Cheah will be working alongside NTC head coach Gary Tan and national head coach Stephan Widmer on matters pertaining to training at the NTC. The 29-year-old had already started his tenure on Sept 18.

He said: "I want to thank the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) for this opportunity to be part of the national set-up. Having represented the country with pride, I intend to fully use my experiences as a high-performance athlete to bring new energy to the team and to impart my knowledge on the swimmers.

"I hope to achieve great things under the mentorship of two great coaches, Stephan and Gary, and I look forward to working with them to grow the swimming eco-system here in Singapore. Results will take time, but I believe in the process that the coaching staff has for the team."

Cheah represented the Republic at numerous competitions, including three consecutive SEA Games (2005 to 2009) - he was the swimming team captain in 2007 and 2009 - and two World Championships (Montreal in 2005 and Rome in 2009), as well as the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in 2006.

At the 2007 Korat SEA Games, he became the first Singaporean to go under four minutes in the 400m freestyle (3min 59.61sec).

Tan, who had won a 4x200m free relay gold and set a national record (7:35.85) at the 2009 Vientiane SEA Games together with Cheah, Mark Chay and Bryan Tay, acknowledged that Cheah's appointment was the right move.

"It brings me great pride to have another local coach, coaching alongside me," said Tan. "Marcus is a great communicator and I believe he has what it takes to build NTC and its swimmers towards our ultimate goal of Tokyo 2020.

"With the team of Marcus, Leonard (Tan, head swimming coach of National Youth Sports Institute) and myself working with the NTC swimmers, I am confident that we are now well-equipped to bring our squad of swimmers to the next level."

Before joining the SSA, Cheah was the founder of The Swim Society, a local learn-to-swim outfit for kids and adults. He also coached at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre while completing his bachelor's at the University of Melbourne.