Swimming: Sibling Showdown in the Women’s 200m Freestyle

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Story by REDintern Chantal Liew. Photos by Stefanus Ian/Red Sports

Quah Ting Wen giving her younger sister a pat on the back after Quah Jing Wen clinched gold, coming in faster than her older sister by just 16-hundredths of a second. (Photo 1 © Stefanus Ian/Red Sports)
Quah Ting Wen giving her younger sister a pat on the back after Jing Wen clinched silver, coming in faster than her older sister by just 16-hundredths of a second. (Photo 1 © Stefanus Ian/Red Sports)

OCBC Aquatic Centre, Thursday, June 15, 2017 — Ressa Kaniadewi of Indonesia might have taken home the gold medal in the Women’s 200-metre Freestyle with a time of 2:02.74, but all eyes were on sisters Quah Ting Wen and Quah Jing Wen who battled it out and left it all in the pool.

Ting Wen had just won the Women’s 50m Butterfly, with a time of 27.04 seconds, but stepped up again less than 15 minutes later to race the 200m Freestyle. It was a gutsy swim from the veteran and she took it out fast, being the only swimmer to dip under the 1-minute mark after the first 100m of the race. However, the quick turn-around time between her events started to show on the third lap as her stroke rate slowed down and younger sister Jing Wen as well as Kaniadewi, started to close in on her.

It was an epic sprint finish to the wall with Kaniadewi eventually taking the top spot with a time of 2:02.74. 16-year-old Jing Wen had the fastest last lap in the whole field of swimmers with 30.93 seconds and it was enough for her to out-touch her older sister by just 16-hundredths of a second and also to break her personal best time by 1.70 seconds. She touched second with a time of 2:03.10 and older sister Ting Wen finished third with 2:03.26.

Despite missing out on gold, the Year 5 student at Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) was pleasantly surprised with her performance today.

“We all weren’t rested for this meet. I wasn’t really expecting much and I just wanted to go into this race to have fun and not feel stressed. So doing a PB was quite good so I was happy,” said Jing Wen.

Jing Wen and Ting Wen, who both swim similar events, will be racing against each other a few more times over the course of the meet. However, instead of viewing her older sibling as competition, Jing Wen finds the presence of her older sister reassuring.

“We don’t really compete against each other, we go to each other for support. Whenever I’m standing behind the blocks and I’m quite scared, I look at her and you know I have someone I can swim with,” she added.

In the Women’s 200m Breastroke, it was another win for Indonesia as Vanessa Evato finished strongly to pip Thailand’s Chayunnooch Salubluek on the touch. Evato took the gold in a speedy 2:33.62 and Salubluek was just a hair behind in 2:33.86. Rounding off the podium was Singaporean and SEA Games-bound swimmer, Christie Chue, who had a time of 2:36.95.

Sprint specialist Hoong Enqi got her hand to the wall first in a very tight Women’s 100m Backstroke. The first and third placings were only separated by 0.27 seconds. Hoong swam a 1:04.57, Sri Lanka’s Kimiko Raheem took 2nd in 1:04.66 and Indonesia’s Yessy Yosaputera claimed the bronze in a 1:04.84.

The final swim of the night was the Women’s 1500m Freestyle where open water swimmer, Chantal Liew, comfortably won and finished nearly 1-minute ahead of the 2nd placed swimmer, Grahana Raina Saumi. Their respective times were 17:18.81 and 18:13.49.

The 13th Singapore National Swimming Championships is the last competition before the SEA Games in KL this August.

Women’s Results Day 1

Women 50m Butterfly
1st Quah Ting Wen — 27.04
2nd Shinada, Konoha — 27.57
3rd Muteti, Emily — 27.72

Women 200m Freestyle
1st Ressa Kaniadewi — 2.02.74
2nd Quah Jing Wen — 2.03.10
3rd Quah Ting Wen — 2.03.26

Women 200m Breaststroke

1st Vanessa Evato — 2.33.62
2nd Salubluek, Chayunnooch — 2.33.86
3rd Christie Chue — 2.36.95

Women 100m Backstroke
1st Hoong En Qi — 1.04.57
2nd Kimi Raheem — 1.04.66
3rd Yessy Yosaputera — 1.04.84

Women 1500m Freestyle
1st Chantal Liew — 17.18.81
2nd Grahana, Raina Saumi — 18.13.49
3rd Celia Gaier — 18.40.53

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