Records continue to tumble at short course championships
A host of long-standing records were toppled on Friday, the second day of competition of the 9th Singapore National Swimming Championships (Short Course Meters) at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
Teong Tzen Wei, who had set two national short course records on Thursday, carried on from where he left off in the morning heats when he smashed the time of 50.84s set in 2015 by Quah Zheng Wen in the Men’s 100m Butterfly, with a blistering swim and a new record time of 50.35s.
The 24-year-old then created a slice of history in the evening finals when he became the first Singaporean to go under 50s when he bettered his morning record time, with an unbelievable swim as he touched home first in 49.88s and qualifying for December’s FINA World Championships (25m) in Abu Dhabi.
“I’m quite tired but it has been a very fun two days. I am happy with my performance, just looking forward to reviewing the race with my coaches and to see how I can go even faster next time. On whether I was expecting to go under 50s, that was the goal going into the finals and me and my coaches reviewed the tapes from the heats and identified what I could have done better to go faster and I just trusted my coaches advice and follow what they said and I guessed it all worked out”, said the full-time swimmer.
He added, “We are defined by our past experiences, I probably have learnt a lot from my failures, such as not qualifying for Olympics, but everyone has their day and this meet has been a good stepping stone for me. It’s the first meet of our season heading towards 2024 with the new coaching team on deck, so yes, it is a good step and I hope we can keep the momentum going.”
Up and coming breaststroke specialist, Maximillian Ang, added the 100m Breaststroke record to the 200m one he set yesterday when he he took down Lionel Khoo's 2017 record of 59.65s with a superb swim in the final of the Men's 100m Breaststroke. Ang touched the wall first in a new record time of 58.72s, earning his ticket to Abu Dhabi courtesy of his FINA 'B' Cut.
“I felt pretty good because it is always a very satisfying feeling to break a record and I had my eyes set on this for quite some time. Ever since I went 1 minute two years ago, I already set my mind on breaking the national record, and I finally got the chance to do it because Singapore does not have many short course races, and I am glad and proud of myself that all the hard work in training has paid off”, said the 20-year-old.
“I am really excited for the World Champs because I really want to race against the best in the world and see where I stand, and this will give me the motivation to do better”, he added.
Quah Jing Wen continued her record-breaking streak with a fourth national short course record in two days, this time in the Women's 200m Freestyle. She clocked a time of 1:58.52s in the heats to erase elder sister Ting Wen's longstanding 8-year-old record of 1:58.80 set at the 2013 FINA Swimming World Cup in Berlin. Her time saw her clinch a FINA 'B' Cut and a slot in the event at Abu Dhabi.
As on Thursday, it was rising distance star Glen Lim who had the final say, as he showed his mettle and determination in the Men’s 200m Freestyle. The 19-year-old gave it his all as he touched the wall first in a time of 1:45.69s, setting a new national short course record and obliterating the 8-year-old record time of 1:46.08s set by Quah Zheng Wen in 2013 at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Singapore. His time also saw him qualify for the FINA World Championships (25m) by virtue of his FINA 'B' Cut.
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.