Story by REDintern Chantal Liew. Photos by Stefanus Ian/Red Sports.
OCBC Aquatic Centre, Friday, June 16, 2017 — A star-studded line-up in the Men’s 100-metre Freestyle was the highlight of the second day of the 13th Singapore National Swimming Championships, with sprint specialist Darren Lim going up against the multi-talented Quah Zheng Wen as well as Indonesia’s fastest man, Triady Fauzy. Among the trio, Lim eventually took home the gold medal in a winning time of 49.93s.
The 19-year-old Lim started out very hard, turning first at the 50m mark. Quah had a stronger second 50-metres than the teen but Lim managed to hold off his pursuer and got his hand on the wall first, ending Quah’s hunt for another gold medal and claiming the Neo Chwee Kok trophy apart from his gold medal. Quah had to settle for second with a time of 50.07 and Fauzy third with a 50.65.
Up next was the men’s 100m Breaststroke with Nathaniel Yus Gagarin of Indonesia narrowly taking the gold in 1:02.42, just 0.35 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Lionel Khoo who touched home in 1:02.77. 18-year-old Samuel Khoo swam a personal best timing, going under the 1:03 mark to take the bronze with a 1:02.90.
The Men’s division had another thrilling race during the Men’s 400m Individual Medley which saw a terrific showdown between Singapore’s Pang Sheng Jun and Indonesia’s Fadlan Perwira Aflah. Perwira led the first two 100’s with Pang trailing behind before the Singaporean made his move on the breaststroke leg to pull ahead slightly at the 300m mark.
It was a mad dash to the finish in the last 100m but eventually, Pang managed to overcome Perwira to claim the top spot as well as earn himself a new personal best timing. He touched in at 4:23.94 with Perwira taking second place with 4:24.23. Breaststroke specialist Ketin Nuttapong took the last spot on the podium almost six seconds behind Pang with a time of 4:29.99.
With just slightly over two months to go before the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Pang is confident in his preparations for the big meet.
“I feel like I’m in the fittest shape of my career at the moment. I didn’t expect to do a personal best but it just shows that all my training and hard work is paying off,” said the 25-year-old.
Quah Zheng Wen took another blow in the final race of the night, the Men’s 50m Backstroke. As the gold medallist of the same event at the 2015 SEA Games, Quah was the favourite heading into this race. However, a sluggish start saw Indonesian sprinter Siman Sudartawa take an early lead. Despite Quah’s efforts to mow him down, Sudartawa had done enough early on in the race to snatch the gold from Quah with a time of 25.22. Quah had to settle for another second place finishing with a time of 25.38. Francis Fong of Singapore took the bronze in a time of 26.22.
The 13th Singapore National Swimming Championships will be the last preparatory meet before the SEA Games in KL this August.
Men 100m Freestyle
1st Darren Lim — 49.93
2nd Quah Zheng Wen — 50.07
3rd Triady Fauzy — 50.65
Men 100m Breaststroke
1st Nathaniel Yus Gagarin — 1:02.42
2nd Lionel Khoo — 1:02.77
3rd Samuel Khoo — 1:02.90
Men 400m Individual Medley
1st Pang Sheng Jun — 4:23.94
2nd Fadlan Perwira Aflah — 4:24.23
3rd Ketin Nuttapong — 4:29.99
Men 50m Backstroke
1st Siman Sudartawa — 25.22
2nd Quah Zheng Wen — 25.22
3rd Francis Fong — 26.22
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