Singapore’s top swimmers returned to competitive action on Day 1 of the closed-door Singapore National Olympic Qualifiers held on Thursday, 3 December at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
Competing for the first time in months were Southeast Asian Games medallists Jonathan Tan, Darren Chua, Amanda Lim and Christie May Chue.
While there were no ‘A’ cuts met or National Records broken on the first day of competition, the swimmers were more than relieved to have managed to get some racing under their belts.
Quah Ting Wen, who recently returned to Singapore from her stint in the International Swimming League (ISL) with DC Trident, was also back in the water after serving her 14-day quarantine after returning from Budapest.
“I’m quite pleased with how I did today, it’s all about getting the feel of the water again,” she said.
“Right now it is more about the fitness and the water feel because I have been out of the water, so hopefully by Sunday when the 50m Freestyle comes around I will be a bit more comfortable,” said the national record holder of the 50m, 100m and 200m Freestyle events.
Men’s 50m Freestyle National Record holder, Jonathan Tan, was also pleased with getting his first race since the January Time Trials, setting a new personal best in the Men’s 100m Freestyle with a time of 49.72s in the morning heats.
“I recently just got back to full training after my final year exams, and I think I am coming back quite well, and it gives me some confidence having set a new best time this morning, so having this meet is a good way of coming back where we get to race again, to go and revise our technique and our race plans.” said the 18 year-old.
On racing under restricted conditions due to COVID-19, rising long distance swimming star, Gan Ching Hwee, 17, said, “This new competition format really tests our adaptability skills because there are quite a lot of changes to how we prepare for the meet, like our warm up timing, and the time to sit around and rest before our race. Once we change up, we got to keep on moving to the next zone that we are allocated to, so there is a lot for us to adapt and learn.”
Photo: Singapore Swimming Association