I’m only getting started, says Malaysian swimmer Arvin Shaun


Arvin Shaun Singh Chahal wins silver for men’s 4×200 metre freestyle at SEA Games 2022 in Hanoi.

By Asia Samachar | Malaysia |

Tuesday was a big day for Malaysian swimmer Arvin Shaun Singh Chahal and his teammates as they prepared for the battle of their lives in the men’s 4×200 metre freestyle at SEA Games 2022 in Hanoi. They have been preparing for the race, and they were eyeing for gold.

But it was not to be. The Malaysian quartet overcame the expected stiff challenge from Singapore, but Vietnam surprised them all.

In the end, swimmers Welson Sim, Lim Yin Chuen, Arvin and Khiew Hoe Yean won the silver medal on that fateful May 17 with a time of seven minutes and 19.75 seconds. The gold may have slipped them, but they broke the national record of 7: 26.74s set at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

“The race was a good old fashion dog fight and the boys and I dig deep and fought the whole race. Overall getting a silver medal was a very good result from the last SEA Games and we top it off with a national record,” Arvin told Asia Samachar.

“We have been eyeing this race as one of our best shots of getting a gold but hats off to Vietnam for swimming an incredible race. But, overall, we are happy with how we race tonight as we put all of our hearts in it.”

The gold medal in the record time of 7: 16.31s was won by the host Vietnam quartet.

At Hanoi, the 21-year-old Arvin had also taken part in 100 free, 50 free, 200 IM, 50 back and 4×100 free.

In 2019, Arvin became the first swimmer of Sikh-descent to compete in the Southeast Asia games.

Asked if there were any surprises, Arvin said: “There wasn’t any surprises. I knew how tough the competition was and I came to test myself against the best in South East Asia. I know I can hang with the best in South East Asia but I’m only getting started and I’ll be working very hard to be a world class swimmer.”

Singapore’s swimmers once again impressed their opponents when they won a total haul of 21 gold medals at Hanoi, two short of the all-time best gold medal showing of 23 at the 2019 and 2015 Games. Malaysia swimmers, on the other hand, could only bag one gold, four silver and two bronze, finishing fifth among 10 nations.

“Singapore has always been strong competitors every year. They have a very good system going on down there and have some world class coaches and has many resources to help improve their swimmers,” said Arvin.


Arvin first Malaysian Sikh swimmer to bag medal at Sea Games (Asia Samachar, 5 Dec 2019)

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