Story by Koh Yizhe/Red Sports. Photos by Marvin Lowe/Red Sports
Amanda waves to the crowd as the emcee introduces her before the race. (Photo 1 © Marvin Lowe/Red Sports)
Singapore Sports School, Monday, August 16, 2010 — After two days of competition, Singapore’s swimmers have yet to make an impact at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) after failing to qualify for the final of any event. The host’s latest disappointment from the pool comes as Asian Youth Games (AYG) and South-East Asian (SEA) Games gold-medallist Amanda Lim finished sixth in her 100 metres Freestyle semi-final.
Her time of 57.99 seconds placed her 11th in a field of 16 swimmers.
Swimming in her first individual event of the Games, Amanda was the only Singaporean to progress to the evening session of semi-finals and finals after her compatriots were unable to do so on this second day of swimming competition. She was, however, unable to go one step further into the final, and did not manage to better her personal best time of 56.16 seconds.
“YOG is a new event altogether so we don’t know what to expect,” said Amanda after her race. “All we can do and aim for is to do our best in our races. Everyone will try their best and our target is to do our best.”
Amanda came into the event with the 12th fastest qualification time of 58.03 and being a 50m Freestyle specialist, she was the first off the blocks in her semi-final. However, she quickly fell behind and disaster struck at the 50 metre turn when she turned too early. She had a one-lap time of 27.74, and placed second last at this point.
She made up ground in the last 50 metres and finished sixth, but her efforts were not good enough to qualify herself for the final.
“It was not the best race for me,” mused Amanda. “I missed the turn at the first 50 metres and totally turned too early. I guess if I had turned better, I could have gotten a better time. I was hoping to secure a spot in the final so I am quite disappointed with this event.”
“But what has happened is already over. I’ve another event tomorrow, so I’ll just look forward to the next day. I’ve another five events to go and my 50 metres Freestyle will be the one I’ll be looking forward to,” continued the 17 year-old.
“It is a big advantage to have a home crowd behind a swimmer,” said Amanda, when asked what she thought of the support for her. “It means a lot to me and I get my energy from the crowd. I like the crowd, but I don’t really feel the pressure.”
Amanda, the defending champion for the 50m Freestyle at last year’s SEA Games, and is also the national record holder in this event, said, “Although everyone in the Singapore team is looking to do their best at this Games, personally, I hope I can qualify for the 50 metres Freestyle final.”
Amanda’s next race is the 50m Butterfly event tomorrow.
One final contemplative moment before taking the plunge into the pool. (Photo 2 © Marvin Lowe/Red Sports)
Amanda executes her jump cleanly to dive into the pool. (Photo 3 © Marvin Lowe/Red Sports)
Despite her efforts, Amanda failed to qualify for the finals, finishing in a distant 11th place overall. (Photo 4 © Marvin Lowe/Red Sports)
Nicolas Schafer from Australia pumps his fist in celebration after emerging victorious in the 100m Breaststroke. (Photo 5 © Marvin Lowe/Red Sports)
A German swimmer hugs her Australian competitor in elation after the women’s 4x100m Medley relay. China came in first during this race but was disqualified due to an illegal changeover. This meant that Australia took the gold while the Germans picked up the bronze medal. (Photo 6 © Marvin Lowe/Red Sports)