Star Siblings Quah-lify For Asian Games on Day 1 of Liberty Insurance 52nd SNAG Major Games Qualifier
The first day of the Liberty Insurance 52nd SNAG Major Games Qualifier got under way on Tuesday at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, and saw the Men’s 100m Breaststroke, 100m Backstroke and 1500m Freestyle events, Women’s 100m Freestyle, and 200m Butterfly and Breaststroke events being contested.
With the Major Games Qualifier serving as the qualifying meet for the upcoming Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, Singapore’s star swimmers were all in action, including the Quah siblings, with Ting Wen and Jing Wen swimming the 100m Freestyle, and Jing Wen also swimming the 200m Butterfly and Zheng Wen in the 100m Backstroke. All three were in imperious form as they sealed their places in Hangzhou, China this September.
Eldest sibling Ting Wen got the ball rolling early in the day when she clocked a time of 55.72s in the morning heats of the 100m Freestyle, going under the Asian Games “A” qualifying mark of 56.07s. She then clocked a time of 55.88s in the final.
“I knew that these were the qualifiers for the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, so that was the goal, but me and my coaches were focusing more putting into the race what we had been practicing. For me, the focus was on the catch, because my shoulder has been giving me issues since the start of the year, so I have been trying to strengthen it and getting it better, so I was trying to see if I could hold the stroke for the whole race”, said the 30-year-old Swimfast Aquatic Club (SAC) star.
She added, “Coming into this meet, I was a bit nervous, but yes I am pleased that I hit the A cut, so that is something out of the way and the rest of the meet will just be trying to get as many cuts as possible and getting my timings lower than those at the January and February Swim Series.”
It was then followed by the youngest of the three, Jing Wen, who booked her ticket to the Asian Games when she won the Women’s 200m Butterfly final with a time of 2:12.23s, just narrowly bettering the “A” qualifying mark of 2:12.61s.
She said, “After the race, I was quite disappointed with how I went, but after hearing that I made the “A” cut, it was quite relieving. I was not really thinking about the cut at all, just more of my personal goals – which was trying to hit my best times.”
“There’s something to learn from every single race, usually after every meet I will reflect on it and talk to my coaches about it, but I don’t think about it during the meet because there are still many days of racing left, but definitely there are positives to take away from my races”, added the 22-year-old rising star.
Not to be outdone by his sisters, Zheng Wen then led from start to finish in the Men’s 100m Backstroke final, touching home first in a time of 55.64s, which was 0.08s under the Asian Games “A” qualifying mark of 55.72s.
Speaking after the race, Zheng Wen’s coach Alex Mordvincev said of his charge, “Overall, looking at the morning swim and the evening swim, we are pleased with his performance. The target for the morning swim was to test his front-end speed and take it easier on the way back. In the final, we wanted to put everything together, really work through the whole 100(meters), approaching the back end with more speed and he executed that well. We are pleased that he managed to get the “A” cut, and after pretty much not being in this kind of race environment for quite a while, it was a very good performance from him.”
There was also a national record set in the morning heats as Reagan Cheng of Chinese Swimming Club (CSC) snared a new National U-14 Record as he clocked a time of 59.91s in the morning heats in the Men’s 100m Backstroke. His time was good enough to better the time set by Gabriel Koo in 2019 of 1:00.83s.
Day 2 of the Liberty Insurance 52nd SNAG Major Games Qualifier will see the Men’s 50m Butterfly, 100m Freestyle and 400m Individual Medley, and the Women’s 50m Backstroke, 200m Individual Medley and 800m Freestyle.
Full results from Day 1 of the Liberty Insurance 52nd SNAG Major Games Qualifier can be found on www.libertyinsurance.com.sg/libertysnag52.
The Liberty Insurance 52nd SNAG Major Games Qualifier is open to up to 200 fully vaccinated spectators, and live streamed on www.libertyinsurance.com.sg/libertysnag52.