‘They can kiss my ass’: Chantal Liew shuts down critics after making history as Singapore’s first ever Olympic open water swimmer

With water still dripping from her hair, Chantal Liew did not shy away from the media when she was interviewed shortly after her gruelling 10km swim at the Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo on Wednesday morning (4 Aug).

Upon making history as Singapore’s first ever open water swimmer at the Olympics, Liew expressed how proud she is at her achievements, having defied critics back home to be competing at the highest level among the best swimmers around the world.

When asked if she had proven her doubters wrong, she firmly said, “100 per cent”.

“They can kiss my ass,” Liew then blurted out with a laugh.

“I hope it shuts them up and I hope it shuts up all the armchair critics in Singapore. It’s tough, what we do. Athletes don’t want to perform badly, we all want to come in here and perform our best. I’m happy that I did what I did today,” said the athlete who will be turning 23 next Monday (9 Aug).

“Sometimes your best is not good enough … but you live and you learn. At the end of the day, I love what I do, and I think all the athletes love what they do and nothing can take that away from us.”

Earlier this morning, Liew finished 23rd in a field of 25 athletes in the women’s 10km marathon swimming event.

She clocked a time of 2hrs 8min 17.9sec in her debut outing at the Olympic Games.

Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha took home the gold medal, crossing the finishing line in 1hr 59min 30.8sec. Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands came in second (1hr 59min 31.7sec) with just 0.9 seconds behind the Brazilian champion, followed by Australian Kareena Lee (1hr 59min 32.5sec) in third place.

Editor’s note: Liew’s responses to the media were cited from Channel NewsAsia (CNA) and The Straits Times (ST).

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