LATEST: KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 18, 2004 (Bernama) -- The government has approved a RM35,000 incentive for medical undergraduate Lennard Lee who became the second Malaysian to swim across the English Channel.
Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat said the government gave its approval last week.
"We will reward Malaysians who are successful in accomplishing international-class feats," he told reporters after launching the ministry's Fly The National Flag programme here Wednesday.
20 July 2004
Solo swimmer battles through stormy waters
A MEDICAL student has become the first solo swimmer to cross the Channel this year.
In the drink: Lee swims for charity
St John's College student Lennard Lee raised £3,000 for charity after completing the swim in nine hours 45 minutes - smashing his personal target of under 12 hours.
Swimming the English Channel is not an easy feat and has a 70 per cent failure rate - but the hours of training Malaysian-born St John's College swimming captain Lee undertook at Parkside pool and the Jesus Green lido, as well as in the sea, paid off.
Followed by his parents Dr Lee Siow Ming and Monica Liew in a boat and covered in Vaseline, the 20-year-old said the swim started clear and bright.
However, five hours into the swim, the winds started to pick up and the waves rose to about a metre high.
Lennard said: "It was the worst time for the wind to get up as I was really tired by then.
"I couldn't see the boat for the waves, so I just had to try to stay as near to it as I could."
He said although he was overwhelmed by pain, he never thought of giving up.
Dr Lee, his father, said: "My heart went out to him. I didn't know he was so determined."
A team of five had originally set off from the Kent coast. Mr Lee was the first to finish, while two of the team failed to complete it.
Fireworks greeted his arrival, but being anxious to get onto dry land, he ended up swimming over some rocks badly scratching himself.
At the end of the race, through his exhaustion, Lennard said: "If I stopped swimming, it would have to be because someone pulled me out of the sea."
From the money raised, £1,000 will be split between the Christie Hospital in Manchester and the provision of a new sports complex at Cambridge University. A further £2,000 has been donated towards a Malaysian chemotherapy charity.
Sunday July 18, 2004
Student swims across channel in less than 10 hours
BY LEE YUK PENG
MALACCA: Lennard Lee, a medical student at Cambridge University, successfully swam non-stop across the 33.6km-wide English Channel in nine hours and 45 minutes on Tuesday.
Lennard, 20, has become the second Malaysian to achieve the feat after Datuk Abdul Malik Mydin, 29, from Penang, who made it in 17 hours and 35 minutes on Aug 3 last year.
Lennard inspired by Abdul Malik
His father Dr Lee Siow Ming, who tailed his son in a boat with his wife Monica Liew, said Lennard started at 8.34am (London time) from Dover and completed the swim at 6.19pm in Calais, France, on Tuesday.
The weather was good when Lennard started but the sea was rough during the second half of the swim, said Dr Lee in a telephone interview from London.
My heart went out to him. I didn't know he was so determined.
Lennard receiving the congratulations of Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.
I saw him undergo a lot of pain as he pushed on, said Dr Lee, adding that the temperature was about 16°C.
Lennard said by telephone that reading about Abdul Malik's feat inspired him to take up the challenge.
Lennard said he was confident that he could do it.
I trained for four months and it never occurred to me that it was difficult.
I was cold, tired and my arms were aching."
He said although he was overwhelmed by the pain, he never thought of giving up.
If I stopped swimming, it would have to be because someone pulled me out of the sea, he said.
Lennard, who sustained cuts and bruises all over his body, said he was happy to see the French shore but never thought it would take him so long to reach it.
Lennard swimming across the English Channel in nine hours and 45 minutes.
It hurts to even just walk now, he said, adding that he was grateful to his two coaches Freda and Alison Streeter (a mother-and-daughter team) for training him and to his parents for their support.
Lennard said his attempt was also meant to help raise funds for Christie Hospital, a cancer hospital in Manchester and to build a new swimming pool for his university.
He raised £1,000 (RM7,000) and would split the money between the hospital and the university.
It is not about me, I want to help Christie because one in every three persons contract cancer, he said.
Lennard also said he was happy his channel swim has also helped to raise funds
for the Seck Kia Eenh Cancer Fund in Malacca.
He was surprised to be told that the donations had reached RM11,000.
The fund's committee chairman Chan Swee Huat said RM11,716.50 had been received from donors as at yesterday.
The above article appeared in Star Online of Friday July 16, 2004Parent site: "The World At Your Fingertips"