Story by REDintern Chantal Liew. Photos by Stefanus Ian/Red Sports.
OCBC Aquatic Centre, Thursday, June 15, 2017 — Out of the five men’s races held on the first day of the 13th Singapore National Swimming Championships, three of them had their records re-written.
The Men’s 50-metre Butterfly is one of the technically most difficult races to swim. Every little detail counts — from the reaction time off the blocks down to the finishing stroke. For 26-year-old Triady Fauzi of Indonesia, he took only three breaths in the whole race and it eventually paid off as he managed to get his hand on the wall first with a record-breaking time of 24.30 seconds. The second and third placed finishers, Glenn Victor Sutanto and Teong Tzen Wei, also finished under the meet record with respective timings of 24.59 and 24.60.
The most anticipated race of the night, however, was the Men’s 200m Freestyle with heavyweights Quah Zheng Wen, Danny Yeo and Pang Sheng Jun taking to the pool. Quah led from start to finish, the yards training at the University of California, Berkeley, clearly paying off as he created a lot of advantage for himself coming off the turns into the underwaters. Yeo managed to stick with Quah for most of the race and tried to make a move in the last 50m but the gap was too wide and Quah out-touched him by 0.07 of a second.
Quah claimed the top spot while simultaneously breaking his own meet record set four years ago with a time of 1.50.13. Yeo also managed to sneak under the meet record by 9-hundredths of a second to take the silver with a 1.50.20. Rounding off the podium was 15-year-old Jonathan Tan with a time of 1.52.24.
Though he might have taken the top spot, it was somewhat of an underwhelming race for Quah who felt that his swim could have been better executed.
“I definitely think I can focus more on my second 50. I was a bit conservative going out but it was a pretty solid race for me since I’ve only just gotten back into long course swimming,” said Quah.
He also touched on the importance of coming back to train alongside the national team and to race in this competition.
“The four by 200m freestyle relay is a very strong event for the men’s team and being back here to train with my teammates and to get used to racing long course swimming was a good move on my part so I’m excited to see what we can do in KL.”
There was another thrilling race in the Men’s 200m Breaststroke with strong competitors from Thailand challenging our local swimmers. Ketin Nuttapong, the gold medallist at the 2013 SEA Games in this event and national record-holder Lionel Khoo were amongst the mix.
Nuttapong who had just returned to racing after serving a two-year ban from testing positive for clenbuterol in 2015, led from start to finish. After the first 100m, he had almost a two-second lead over Khoo and he managed to maintain that to win the gold medal in a time of 2.14.09 while also breaking the meet record by nearly 4 seconds. Khoo was second in 2.17.89 while also dipping under his old meet record. Kaewrungueang Prasobchai from Thailand posted a strong 2.18.76 to take the bronze.
Khoo felt that this was a very important race leading up to the SEA Games in KL and he has found it enlightening.
“I was very tired coming into this meet because we just had a hard week of training. Racing and swimming hard when you’re tired really shows you where you need to work on and now I know what I have to do in training leading up to the games.”
The Singapore National Swimming Championships is the last competition before the KL SEA Games in August.
Men’s Results Day 1
Men 50m Butterfly
1st Triady Fauzi Sidiq — 24.30* (Meet Record)
2nd Glenn Victor Sutanto — 24.58*
3rd Teong Tzen Wei — 24.60*
Men 200m Freestyle
1st Quah Zheng Wen — 1.50.13* (Meet Record)
2nd Danny Yeo — 1.50.20*
3rd Jonathan Tan — 1.52.24
Men 200m Breaststroke
1st Ketin Nuttapong — 2.14.09* (meet Record)
2nd Lionel Khoo — 2.17.89*
3rd Kaewrungueang Prasobchai — 2.18.76
Men 100m Backstroke
1st Igede Siman Sudartawa — 55.07
2nd Francis Fong — 56.98
3rd Anggawijaya, Ricky — 57.47
Men 800m Freestyle
1st Perwira, Aflah Fadlan — 8.13.71
2nd Glen Lim — 8.26.44
3rd Tan Tsien Ee — 8.43.67
More photos on the next page