A top local swimmer is hoping to make waves in a different arena. Katie Lau King-ting, who gained a place in the University of Hong Kong under a sports scholarship scheme, aims to study medicine and eventually pass out as a doctor. 'I'm very excited and the feeling is the same as winning the silver medal at the Asian Games four years ago,' she said. 'Swimming brings pride and honour, but my childhood ambition was to become a doctor to serve the community,' the 19-year-old said. Katie said she would have to concentrate more on her studies now and take up swimming only as a pastime. This was a tough decision after firmly establishing herself in the sport over a period of 11 years. In 1994, her Long Course time of 1 minute 2.38 seconds in the 100-metre butterfly earned her a world ranking. The same year, she won a silver medal in the 4 x 100 m women's relay. Recalling her schooldays, the teenager said striking a balance between her studies and swimming was not easy. 'You can imagine how I felt . . . when my classmates were rushing home to do their revision before tests and examinations, I was training in the pool. I had to redouble my efforts to catch up with them,' she said. During her matriculation, Katie followed an intensive training regimen, practising two hours each day from Monday to Friday, while working out at a fitness centre during weekends to strengthen her physique. 'After sacrificing so much for swimming, my university place, especially in the Faculty of Medicine, is very precious, so I have promised myself to be an outstanding student,' she said. Katie said her coach would understand the situation. 'I've reached my peak in swimming. It will be hard for me to reach any more milestones. There are many up-and- coming stars who will take up my place.' The former Diocesan Girls' School student said swimming had brought her good health, strengthened her will-power and enhanced her communication skills - three characteristics essential for a doctor. Katie advised beginners to practise more and follow the instructions of their coaches. She said they should persevere until they achieved their goals. 'From now on, I'll have to consider swimming as my pastime and share my experiences with my batchmates. I'm very excited about my campus life and ready for the challenges that lie ahead,' she said.