Swimmer Quah Ting Wen has became the first Singaporean female swimmer to go under 55 seconds not once but twice, in the 100m Freestyle.
She achieved this on the second day of the Liberty Insurance 50th Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships (SNAG) at the OCBC Aquatic Centre on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old from Swimfast Aquatic Club (SAC), rewrote her own National Record when she topped her morning heats with a time of 54.89s, bettering the previous time that she set in February of this year, at the Singapore Swim Series when she clocked 55.41s.
She then impressively lowered that time in the evening finals, clocking 58.42s as she touched the wall first in the Super Final. Coming in second was Aquatech Swimming’s (ATS) Cherlyn Yeoh, who set a new personal best of 55.45s and Filipino Jasmine Alkhadi was third with a time of 56.45s.
“The morning swim was special just because it was the first time that I have gone under 55. The first race usually sets the tone for the rest of the meet, so I was pretty nervous this morning.
“We have been working hard on trying to swim fast in the morning, the coaches have been pushing us to swim faster in the morning because that’s how you make semis and finals in the bigger meets like Worlds and the Olympics, where you have to swim fast to make it back at night.
“I have had my eye on going under 55, I think after the February Swim Series it became a possibility when I went 55:41s without being tapered so it was a confidence boost and I told my coach that I want to go 54. It feels good because I made it my desire to become the first Singaporean woman to go under 55”, said Ting Wen.
Speaking after the race, Ting Wen’s coach, Leonard Tan, National Youth Head Coach, added, “She is definitely hitting the times we have been working towards. There is definitely room for improvement in terms of certain parts of her swim, just a little bit of fine tuning at the moment, but she is at her fittest at the moment.”
Also entering the record books was 14-year-old Ashley Lim of Singapore Swimming Club (SSC), when she rewrote her own U-14 National Record of 2:21.19s set at the Kuala Lumpur ASEAN School Games in July 2018 with a new time of 2:19.36s in this evening’s finals.
She finished second in the Super Final, behind Japan’s Hinata Yamashita (2:17.80s) and ahead of another Japanese swimmer, Riko Oka (2:22.23s).
Earlier in the evening, 100m Butterfly Olympic Champion, Joseph Schooling of Chinese Swimming Club (CSC), won the Men’s 100m Freestyle Super Final with a time of 49.35s. Jonathan Tan and Darren Chua, both of ATS, clocked new personal best times of 49.73s and 49.80s to finish in second and third place respectively.
When asked if he would start swimming the 100m Freestyle more, the 24-year-old nodded in agreement.
“I like racing in the 100 free so that is definitely something that I am looking at”, said Joseph.
Darren would go home with a smile on his face as he took the gold in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley, with a time of 2:04.01s. Fellow club mate Pang Sheng Jun (2:04.23s) won the silver and Japanese Kohei Honda (2:05.12s) claimed the bronze.
Other national swimmers in action were Malcolm Low of SSC, who clocked a time of 2:08.01s to finish second in the Men’s 200m Backstroke Super Final, while Gan Ching Hwee (SAC) and Chantal Liew (SSC) finished 4th and 5th respectively in the Women’s 200m Backstroke Super Final.
The Liberty Insurance 50th Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships for Seniors continues on Thursday with the Men’s and Women’s 100m Breaststroke, 400m Freestyle, and the 100m Backstroke.
For full list of results and event information, please refer to the following link: http://swimming.org.sg/SNAG-2019.aspx
Photo: Singapore Swimming Association