Room For Improvement For Swimmers After First Races In Eleven Months
SINGAPORE, 6 DECEMBER 2020– The Singapore National Olympic Qualifiers 2020 swimming competition concluded on Sunday, 6 December, at the OCBC Aquatic Centre and saw 4 swimmers - Jonathan Tan, Teong Tzen Wei, Quah Ting Wen and Pang Sheng Jun meet the Olympic Games “B” Qualifying marks in their respective events.
Jonathan and Teong both met the “B” qualifying mark of 22.67s in the Men’s 50m Freestyle. Jonathan, the current national record holder, clocked a time of 22.62s in the morning heats to go under the “B” qualifying mark of 22.67s.In the evening’s finals, he clocked a time of 22.42s to win the race, ahead of Teong, whose own time of 22.54s was also enough to meet the “B” qualifying mark. Teong improved on his heats timing of 22.76s.
Women’s National Record holder, Ting Wen, who became the first Singaporean woman to go under 25 seconds in the 50m Freestyle in August last year at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Japan, clocked a time of 25.28s in the morning heats, beating the “B” qualifying mark of 25.51s. She then clocked a time of 25.37s in the evening, as she touched home first in the final. Amanda Lim, 6-time South-east Asian champion, was third in a time of 25.59s, just narrowly missing out on the “B” qualifying mark by 0.08s.
In the Men’s 200m Individual Medley final, Pang Sheng Jun, 28, cleared the “B” qualifying mark of 2:03.26s when he touched the wall first in a time of 2:02.03s. In total, there were 6 “B” Cuts met- Jonathan Tan in the 50m and 100m Freestyles, Teong Tzen Wei in the 50m Freestyle and 100m Butterfly, Quah Ting Wen in the Women’s 50m Freestyle, and Pang.
Looking back at the meet, National Head Coach and Performance Director, Stephan Widmer, said, “As we all know during the circuit breaker, all the athletes were out of the water for a period of time, then they were slowly allowed back into training with a lot of restrictions and this was the first racing opportunity for them since January. We could see that for some they were quite rusty, plus this was not a normal competition, first time racing again but under totally different rules, but overall I think everyone did a great job at coming back.”
“I think we made the most out of it, both coaches and swimmers, these are good experiences and the opportunity to race is always a good one for anybody. With most of the coaches coming into this meet with a drop taper, looking at the results, I am relatively pleased with some, but we got a lot of work to do. The realism is that we got a lot of information out of this meet that we can use to further fine tune the swimmers for March”, added National Training Centre Head Coach, Gary Tan.
On the 6 “B” cuts met by the swimmers at this meet, Gary said, “We came into this meet with certain expectations, of course, the best scenario was to have 1 or 2 swimmers meet the “A” cut, but this is just the second meet in almost eleven months for us, and the results show that there are a some cobwebs that we need to dust off our backs, definitely a lot of room for improvement and where we are lacking in right now, this is an opportunity for us to make some changes. I would not say that we are satisfied but it makes us hungrier and wanting bigger and better things come March and hopefully we do not have to wait till July to have more swimmers qualifying for the Olympics.”