Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Friday, December 13, 2013 – Team Singapore added a solitary gold medal to the three they won on the opening night of swimming at the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, but it was Thailand who emerged the strongest on the second day of competition at the pool by winning four of the seven finals.
Joseph Schooling led from start to finish in the men’s 200 metres individual medley and clocked a time of 2 minutes 0.82 seconds to improve on his silver-medal showing at the last Games, as well as the Games record of 2:02.90 set in 2011 by Thai Ketin Nuttapong, who finished third here.
Joseph’s time also met the ‘A’ qualifying mark for next year’s Commonwealth Games.
The last local swimmer to win the gold in this event at the SEA Games was David Lim in 1985. Joseph’s national open record stands at 1:59.99, set at the World Championships in July 2013.
The women’s 100m freestyle final, which was raced again after the starting device malfunctioned on Thursday, saw Quah Ting Wen finish second again, but this time to Thai veteran Nathanan Junkrajang. Ting Wen clocked 56.54 seconds to Junkrajang’s 56.23s, while Amanda Lim was fourth in 56.85s.
Ting Wen and Amanda had clocked 56.74s and 57.21s respectively in the original race on Thursday.
Ting Wen and Amanda later led off the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay with splits of 56.91 and 57.40 which gave Singapore a 1.19-second lead at the halfway stage. Thailand’s Benjaporn Sriphanomthorn brought the gap down to 0.42 after her split of 56.36s, while Mylene Ong managed a 57.13s.
Anchor leg swimmer Lynette Lim had to hold off Junkrajang to enable Singapore’s third straight victory in this event, but the Thai closed the race in 55.80 seconds to consign Singapore to a surprising defeat.
Singapore clocked 3:49.00, 1.34 seconds behind Thailand, with the national open record of 3:45.73 and textile-best time of 3:48.38 intact.
Lynette won a bronze in the women’s 400m freestyle in a time of 4:21.24, while Rachel Tseng was fourth in a new personal best of 4:22.17.
Danny Yeo added another bronze medal in the men’s 100m freestyle. A silver medallist at the last Games in this event, his time of 50.83s was his second fastest of the year, behind his 50.51 national open record in June. Darren Lim was seventh in 51.65s.
2011 winner Hoang Quy Phuoc of Vietnam had to settle for second place behind Indonesia’s Fauzi Triady, who became the first Southeast Asian swimmer to eclipse the 50-second barrier at the Games. He clocked 49.99s to break Daniel Bego’s 2009 record of 50.16s.
Samantha Yeo, who is recovering from a knee injury, was fourth in the women’s 100m breaststroke, 0.11 seconds off the bronze medal in 1:12.79. Malaysia’s Christina Loh won the gold in 1:10.55.
Cheryl Lim was seventh, as was Christopher Cheong in the men’s 100m breaststroke.
Results (Finals only)
Women’s 100m freestyle: Quah Ting Wen 56.54s (Silver); Amanda Lim 56.85s (4th)
Women’s 100m breaststroke: Samantha Yeo 1:12.79 (4th); Cheryl Lim 1:15.98 (7th)
Women’s 400m freestyle: Lynette Lim 4:21.24 (Bronze); Rachel Tseng 4:22.17 (4th, PB)
Women’s 4x100m freestyle relay: 3:49.00 (Silver) [Quah Ting Wen 56.91, Amanda Lim 57.40, Mylene Ong 57.13, Lynette Lim 57.56]
Men’s 100m freestyle: Danny Yeo 50.83s (Bronze); Darren Lim 51.65s (7th)
Men’s 100m breaststroke: Christopher Cheong 1:05.46 (7th)
Men’s 200m individual medley: Joseph Schooling 2:00.82 (Gold, Games record)