By Erwin Wong
Rome, Saturday, August 1, 2009 - Team Singapore had extra reason to rejoice as 2 national records were broken, instead of the daily average of 1, and a new Under-17 mark was set as well, in the penultimate day of the 13th FINA World Swimming Championships.
The women's 4x100m Medley relay team of Shana Lim, Roanne Ho, Lynette Lim and Quah Ting Wen swam a time of 4:12.35s to break the existing mark of 4:13.18s set at the 2007 South East Asian Games in Thailand. The Asian Youth Games team of Ting Wen, Roanne, Lynette and Amanda Lim had came within 0.16s of the old record last month, and it augured well for the team when backstroke specialist Shana was on hand to replace Ting Wen here, who in turn took Amanda's place in the anchor freestyle leg.
Shana went first and the Hwa Chong International School student returned a time of 1:03.25s, which bettered her own Under-17 mark of 1:03.42s. Roanne and Lynette were the next two on the Breaststroke and Butterfly leg respectively, and they split a 1:11.90s and 1:01.97s, setting the stage for anchor Ting Wen, who was swimming the last of her 7 races at the meet, tied with Lynette for most in the squad..
She needed at least a 56.05s split to re-write the record, but touched home with a sizzling time of 55.23s to put the icing on the record-breaking feat. The comparative splits by the 2007 SEA Games team were Shana (1:04.68s), Nicolette Teo (1:09.85s), Tao Li (1:00.71s), Ting Wen (57.94s).
The women's medley relay record was the second of the morning heats, and Rainer Ng claimed the first when he broke his own 50m Backstroke mark of 26.96, which he set twice in October 2008 at the Commonwealth Youth Games and then exactly 5 months later at the National Age-Group meet. The 17 year old Raffles Institution student's new record stands at 26.70s.
Roanne, Cheryl Lim, Ting Wen and Amanda also saw individual racing action on the 7th day of swimming action. In the women's 50m Breaststroke, Roanne clocked a time of 32.93s, which although failed to better her own National and Under-17 record of 32.44s set at last month's Asian Youth Games, was still faster than her previous record of 33.01s. Cheryl returned a time of 35.20s.
In the women's 50m Freestyle, both Ting Wen and Amanda had been pushing each other to national records all year long, and their last showdown was at the AYG when Ting Wen won the gold medal but the latter kept her National and Under-17 record of 25.38s. Drawn together in the same heat and being the first 2 off the blocks, Amanda out-swam her relay team mate once again, clocking 25.70s to Ting Wen's 26.05s.
The World Championships come to a close tomorrow, and the final Singaporeans in action will be 400m Individual Medley swimmers Marcus Cheah and Pang Sheng Jun (men's), as well as Koh Ting Ting and Koh Hui Yu (women's). The final event of the heats will be the men's 4x100m Medley relay, with Team Singapore's probable lineup being Rainer Ng, Mark Tan, Nicholas Tan and Clement Lim.