By Erwin Wong/Red Sports

Team Singapore’s squad of seven swimmers returned home from the 19th Commonwealth Games with six personal bests, three alone coming from 16-year-old Dzulhaili Mohd Kamal.

The team, consisting of Richard Chng, Jeremy Kevin Matthews, Mattias Ng, Arren Quek, Teo Zhen Ren, Aaron Yeo and Dzulhaili, were not considered to be Singapore’s best possible representatives. The main squad are preparing for next month’s Asian Games which have been identified as their target meet for the year.

Nevertheless, the swimmers gave a good account of themselves at the Delhi Games.

Dzulhaili set three personal bests in the 50 metres Backstroke, 100m Freestyle and 100m Butterfly, going below 53 and 57 seconds in the latter two events respectively for the first time. He qualified for the semi-finals of the 50m Backstroke, one of only two semi-final appearances from Team Singapore.

The Singapore Sports School student also clocked his second-fastest time of the year in the 50m Butterfly, of which he is the national under-17 record holder.

The other three PBs were set by middle and long distance swimmers. Zhen Ren broke his personal best in the 200m Freestyle, while also producing his second and third best time of the year in the 400m and 1500m Freestyle.

Like Zhen Ren, Jeremy also did a personal best in the 200m Freestyle and clocked his second fastest time of the year in the 400m Freestyle. A versatile swimmer, Jeremy also took part in the 100 and 200m Backstroke, as well as the 200m Individual Medley.

17-year-old Mattias went under 17 minutes for the first time in the 1500m Freestyle, becoming the seventh Singaporean to do so this year. He also swam his second fastest 400m Freestyle of the year, and had a 1:56 split in the 4x200m Freestyle relay, about a minute quicker than his best in the individual event.

Richard reinforced his standing as Singapore’s fastest swimmer of the year when he produced another sub-24 seconds showing in the 50m Freestyle. He now has seven such performances this year alone, and holds the top four times.

The 20-year-old also swam in the 100m Freestyle and the 50m Breaststroke, where he qualified for the semi-finals.

Arren swam the most races in the team when he took to the pool eight times, but fell short in probably his final crack at two national under-17 records. He clocked 24.23 seconds in the 50m Freestyle, short of his own U-17 mark of 23.97.

Arren’s best 100m Freestyle time came in the 4x100m Freestyle relay heats, where he led off with a 52.59. That was off the U-17 record of 52.11 held by Clement Lim. Arren turns 17 in November and will be ineligible for any U-17 records thereafter.

Like Mattias, Arren also had a 1:56 split in the 4x200m Freestyle relay, and that was more than a minute quicker than his best in the individual 200m.

Aaron swam the 50m Freestyle and Butterfly, and was a tenth of a second from a sub-53s split in the 4x100m Freestyle relay.

The swimmers also combined well to qualify for the finals in both relay events which they competed in, the 4x100m and 4x200m Freestyle.

Team Singapore results (all heats unless specified)

Richard Chng:
50m Freestyle: 23.99 seconds (20th)
100m Freestyle: 53.24 (29th)
50m Breaststroke: 31.33 (15th)
50m Breaststroke semi-finals: 31.03 (16th)

Dzulhaili Mohd Kamal:
100m Freestyle: 52.97 (27th, PB)
50m Backstroke: 27.60 (16th, PB)
50m Backstroke semi-finals: 27.74 (15th)
50m Butterfly: 25.82 (18th)
100m Butterfly: 56.82 (19th, PB)

Jeremy Kevin Matthews:
200m Freestyle: 1 minute 56.24 seconds (21st, PB)
400m Freestyle: 4:07.07 (19th)
100m Backstroke: 1:02.03 (20th)
200m Backstroke: 2:10.94 (16th)
200m IM: 2:12.48 (20th)

Mattias Ng:
400m Freestyle: 4:13.03 (21st)
1500m Freestyle: 16:58.80 (13th, PB)

Arren Quek:
50m Freestyle: 24.23 (24th)
100m Freestyle: 52.70 (25th)
200m Freestyle: 1:57.90 (25th)
50m Butterfly: 26.73 (24th)
100m Butterfly: 58.50 (22nd)

Teo Zhen Ren:
200m Freestyle: 1:56.23 (20th, PB)
400m Freestyle: 4:07.25 (20th)
1500m Freestyle: 16:23.42 (12th)

Aaron Yeo:
50m Freestyle: 24.92 (32nd)
50m Butterfly: 27.22 (29th)

4x100m Freestyle Relay: 3:31.02 (8th) [Arren Quek 52.59, Richard Chng 52.52, Aaron Yeo 53.31, Dzulhaili Mohd Kamal 52.60]

4x100m Freestyle Relay final: 3:30.71 (8th) [Arren Quek 52.88, Richard Chng 52.37, Aaron Yeo 53.10, Dzulhaili Mohd Kamal 52.36]

4x200m Freestyle Relay: 7:47.19 (7th) [Teo Zhen Ren 1:57.10, Jeremy Kevin Matthews 1:57.35, Arren Quek 1:56.18, Mattias Ng 1:56.56]