Story by Ng Enna/Red Sports. Photos by Vanessa Lim/Red Sports
The transition between Clement Lim, the lead-off swimmer of Singapore’s 4 x 100m mixed freestyle relay team, and second-leg swimmer Arren Quek. Clement clocked a personal best of 51.95 seconds while Arren put in a 52.52 second split. (Photo 1 © Vanessa Lim/Red Sports)
Singapore Sports School, Sunday, August 15, 2010 –- In the 4 x 100m freestyle mixed relay, Singapore came in fourth in the third heat of the day with a time of three minutes 42.88 seconds.
The team, represented by Clement Lim, Arren Quek, Amanda Lim and Adeline Winata, were placed 12th overall and did not qualify for tonight’s final. Russia, the United States, France, Australia, Canada, Germany, China and Hong Kong advanced to the final.
This is the first ever mixed-gender relay for Olympic-level swimming. Teams participating in the mixed relay consist of two male and female swimmers each. There is no fixed sequence of swimmers for the teams.
This was an engrossing event that kept the audience at the edge of their seats.
The Singapore team were in lane 2 for the final heat of the mixed relay, and the pressure was on first swimmer Clement to open up a lead. The National Under-17 record holder in the 100m freestyle maintained second position during his leg before the changeover to Arren. Clement’s time of 51.95s was a personal best.
It was a close fight between Arren and his Australian counterpart Emma McKeon. Arren, who broke the national Under-17 50m freestyle record twice this year, eventually managed to overtake Emma and gave his third swimmer, Amanda Lim, a one-second lead.
Amanda picked up speed during the first 50m but slowed down in the return lap. As a result, anchor swimmer Adeline Winata was third off the blocks, and she was also unable to hold third place and eventually finished fourth.
First place went to Australia with a time of 3:34.67 with Germany finishing second in 3:38.69.
Brazil were third and Singapore had to settle for fourth place with a time of 3:42.88.
In the first heat, Hong Kong held a comfortable lead for the first three legs before Spain managed to catch up in the final lap. Both countries were on par at the 350m mark and it seemed to be a race to the end.
But with the focus on these two nations, China’s He Jianbin shocked everyone by overtaking Yvette Kong from Hong Kong and Anna Marti from Spain in the final stages to finish first in the heat with a time of 3:39.39.
Hong Kong were second with a time of 3:41.15. Spain were eventually disqualified after Anna Marti was found to have jumped into the water before Eduardo Solaeche had finished his lap.
In the second heat, Medhy Metella from France giving the team a strong start and second swimmer Anna Santamans maintained the lead. In the third leg, Russia’s Alexey Atsapkin closed in on France’s Mathilde Cini, and was 0.02 seconds ahead at the split before pulling away.
During the final leg, French swimmer Jordan Coelho was fourth off the block but he soon caught up to second place. Lead swimmer Ekaterina Andreeva of Russia started slowing down in the last 50m and was overtaken by Jordan, with Jeremy Bagshaw from Canada following closely behind.
It was a close fight between Coelho and Bagshaw as they both stormed to the finish. The audience were kept in suspense and the winner of the heat was undetermined until the final moments of the race.
Canada took first spot with a time of 3:36.80 while France finished second in 3:37.03.
The final for the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay will take place tonight, and the mixed 4x100m medley relay will be on Friday, August 20th. The swimming competition is held at the Singapore Sports School.
For fixtures and results of Singapore athletes, go to our 2010 YOG fixtures page
Amanda Lim swimming in the third leg of the 4 x 100m mixed freestyle relay. She clocked a split of 58.07 seconds. (Photo 2 © Vanessa Lim/Red Sports)