Ashley Lim Rewrites Own National Record, Books Ticket to Abu Dhabi
16-year-old Ashley Lim booked her ticket to her first ever FINA World Championships (25m) in Abu Dhabi this December, as she rewrote her own national short course record in the Women’s 400m Individual Medley on the penultimate day of competition at the 9th Singapore National Swimming Championships (Short Course Meters) on Saturday.
The rising star clocked a time of 4:45.86s to better her own record time of 4:47.13s that she set two years ago at the same competition, as well as meet the FINA ‘B’ Cut timing of 4:47.25s.
“I am feeling very happy definitely, as it has been a while since I swam such a great race, and I am thankful to my parents and coaches and everyone who has supported me. Going into the race, I was a little nervous, but when it started raining, I felt a sense of peace and to me it was a very good swim. There are definitely areas to improve on, and going into the World Championships, I want to be quicker on my turns to take advantage of them as it is a short course meet”, said the swimmer, who recently graduated from Methodist Girls School.
She added, “Setting a new record was definitely a target, as I wanted to better and push myself harder, so it was not really a surprise but at the same time it was, and I am really grateful to all my coaches. I definitely could not have done it without them.”
Also looking forward to his first World Championships was Mikkel Lee, who qualified by winning the 100m Freestyle final. His time of 48.36s was good enough to meet the FINA ‘B’ cut time of 48.88s.
The 19-year-old, who is currently serving his national service, said, “I think today’s swim was quite decent, while the execution still needs refinement, the timing was decent, and I am glad that I made the ‘B’ cut and I got another chance to go again in December.”
“What I felt lacking in execution was trying to stay disciplined of my walls, and in short course that is something that is very important, so that is the one thing that I will be working on before we leave for the World Championships. For the World Championships, it will be great to see where we stand as a team against the rest of the world, and with next year being a busy year with the SEA Games, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, I feel that the World Championships is a good stepping stone as preparation for the upcoming major games.”
The final swimmer to qualify for Abu Dhabi on Saturday was Pang Sheng Jun in the 400m Individual Medley. The 29-year-old and national record holder clocked a time of 4:16.54s in the morning heats to go below the FINA “B’ Cut time of 4:17.91s.
Quah Jing Wen, who had already qualified earlier in the competition, added the 100m Freestyle to her list of events with a timing of 54.47s in the final, which was well under the “B’ cut time of 55.66s.
In addition to the four, Teong Tzen Wei, Glen Lim and Maximillian Ang have also qualified for Abu Dhabi with one more day of competition left.
For the FINA Swimming World Championships (25m) 2021, each country is allowed to send 2 ‘A’ Cuts per event. If there are no ‘A’ cuts for that event, then the fastest ‘B’ cut time will qualify.