The Star : Synchro swimmer makes two-medal splash at China Open

Simply stunning: Gan Hua Wei won a silver and bronze at the China Open in Beijing.

PETALING JAYA: Gan Hua Wei, Malaysia’s surprise gold medallist in artistic swimming (formerly synchro swimming) at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games last year, has struck again.

The 18-year-old made a splash for Malaysia with a silver and bronze in the China Open in Beijing.

Hua Wei claimed her silver medal in the solo technical event, scoring 73.5892 points for her energetic routine at the Yingdong Aquatic Centre yesterday.

Nada Daabousova earned Slovakia the gold medal with 78.1890 points.

On Saturday, Hua Wei earned 78.5000 points to clinch bronze in the solo free event behind Daabousova (80.8667).

Toshkhujaeva Khonzodakhon of Uzbekistan claimed the gold with 81.9333 points.

The China Open is the second leg of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series, which comprises 10 stops in Europe, Asia and North America.

Hua Wei beat favourite Debbie Soh of Singapore to win the solo technical event at the KL Games last year. She also took gold with Zylane Lee Yhing Huey in the duet free event and her latest performance shows she is deserving of a place in the Indonesia Asian Games in August.

“It’s a good boost to my hopes of making the Asian Games and to do well in it. Actually, my focus is on the duet as the solo event will not be contested at the Asian Games.

“I’m partnering Foong Yan Nie as my previous partner Zylane is recovering from injury.

“It’s not easy as FINA have introduced new routines and we’re still learning along the way,” said the Negri Sembilan-born teenager, who likes to listen to violin music when she is free.

Hosts China won four out of the six golds contested. After China, Hua Wei and Yan Nie will travel to Tokyo for the Japan Open this weekend.