By Erwin Wong
Rome, Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - Team Singapore rewrote their third national record in as many days at the 13th FINA World Swimming Championships when Parker Lam smashed his own 50m Breaststroke record with a time of 28.66s.
Parker, who broke Kenneth Goh's 2003 record 3 times this year en route to a 29.31s performance at the national championships in June, made it a fourth in 4 months with a strong display. Swimming in heat 10, he was third off the blocks and managed to keep it together to finish 4th in a fast race. Parker reaped the benefits of swimming in a higher echelon meet like the Worlds, as he bettered - and battered – his own personal best by more than 0.6s in a race where 8 of the 9 swimmers went below his previous national mark.
Ng Jia Hao, the national record holder for the 100m Breaststroke, also went below his personal best in the shorter, non-Olympic distance. The 18 year old Raffles Institution student clocked 29.44s and 29.53s at the June Nationals, and 29.41s in Rome.
6 other Team Singapore swimmers featured in the morning heats of the third day of swimming action. Amanda Lim and Quah Ting Wen have been pushing each other to national freestyle records this year, but neither failed to beat the latter's 200m Freestyle record here. Ting Wen set the national standard of 1:59.21s at the Asian Youth Games earlier this month, but did not manage another sub 2 minute outing as she finished in 2:00.21s. Amanda clocked a 2:03.89s, a second slower than her PB of 2:02.86s.
In the men's 200m Butterfly, Rainer Ng displayed his versatility when he swam a fast 2:03.83s which was just outside RI school mate Ng Tze Kang's national mark of 2:03.61s. Rainer is already in the record books as the holder of the national and Under-17 50m Backstroke, Under-17 800m Freestyle, and 100 and 200m Backstroke marks, and was within 0.2s of another one in a different discipline. Nicholas Sim, another Rafflesian, finished in 2:09.54s, off his 2:06.53s performance at April's ASEAN Cup.
Lionel Lee's national record of 8:22.93s in the men's 800m Freestyle remained untouched as Pang Sheng Jun and Clement Lim finished in 8:39.69s and 8:44.09s. 15 year old Clement will get to experience both ends of the speed and stamina spectrum as after this 16 lap race, he swims in the 100 and 50m Freestyle tomorrow and Friday respectively.
Nicholas Tan will join Clement in the 100m Freestyle heats tomorrow, and will be accompanied in the pool by Sheng Jun (men’s 200m Individual Medley), co-National and Under-17 record holders Tao Li and Shana Lim (women's 50m Backstroke), and Lynette Lim and Koh Ting Ting (women's 200m Butterfly).