Swimming: Quah sets national record, pulls out of final

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

Quah Zheng Wen preparing himself for the men's 50m backstroke final on the second day of the 13th Singapore National Swimming Championship. (Photo © Stefanus Ian/Red Sports)
Quah Zheng Wen preparing himself for the men’s 50m backstroke final on the second day of the 13th Singapore National Swimming Championships. (Photo 1 © Stefanus Ian/Red Sports)

OCBC Aquatic Centre, Saturday, June 17, 2017 — After settling for two silvers the previous night, Quah Zheng Wen made a statement in the morning heats of the 13th Singapore National Swimming Championships by re-writing the Men’s 200-metre Backstroke national record. He broke his own mark by 0.1 seconds with his 2:00.45 effort.

Following his excellent performance in the heats, he pulled out of the final, citing the need to rest up for the 50m Freestyle and 200m Butterfly events.

The Year 1 student at the University of California, Berkeley took a very processed-oriented approach to his swim this morning, focusing on his strokes rather than the outcome which he credited as something he learnt while training and competing in the United States.

“I felt very in control this morning. I was concentrating more about my catch and engaging the lats when I was pulling. Just thinking about that helped me focus up during the race and forget about how much I was hurting,” said the 21-year old.

When asked if a sub-two-minute swim was in store for the SEA Games, Quah replied: “I was expecting a 1:59 this morning actually, I felt good in the warm-up and I was kind of disappointed that I didn’t do it but it’s definitely doable at SEA Games.”

With Quah’s absence in the final, the gold medal went to Indonesia’s Ricky Anggawijaya who clocked a time of 2:03.73. Second place went to Malcolm Low who came in at 2:08.99, while Thanakorn Udomthanagulchai took the bronze with a time of 2:09.37.

Fourth-placed Zachary Tan smashed his personal best clocked in the morning heats by over two seconds with his time of 2:09.47, but was ineligible to break his own national under-14 record of 2:12.14 because he turned 14 just three days before the race.

In the Men’s 400m Freestyle, Singapore’s Pang Sheng Jun and Indonesia’s Fadlan Perwira renewed their rivalry again as they went head-to-head. The two were inseperable but at the 300m mark, it seemed like Perwira would exact his revenge on Pang after his defeat in the 400 IM the night before. However, Pang had just enough left in the tank to close in on Perwira and get his hand on the wall first.

Pang touched in at 3:56.41, just 0.01 seconds ahead of Perwira who had to settle for silver behind Pang yet again, with a time of 3:56.42. Glen Lim took the bronze with a time of 3.58.11.

Pang already knew this was going to be a tough race against the Indonesian but he cited his team as a great source of support for him.

“Yesterday, Fadlan ran me down on the last 50m so I knew the same thing was going to happen today and I just had to hold on. Honestly speaking, it was nice knowing that my team was behind me and that really fired me up and gave me the extra energy I needed,” said the 25-year-old.

In the men’s 100m Butterfly, Triady Fauzy of Indonesia was the fastest by nearly a second, taking gold in a time of 53.30 with Singapore’s Dylan Koo and Ong Jung Yi taking silver and bronze with respective times of 54.24 and 54.33.

Lionel Khoo had to settle for his third silver medal this meet when he finished just 0.25 seconds behind Indonesia’s Indra Gunawan in the Men’s 50m Breaststroke. Gunawan claimed the gold in a 28.21, Khoo was second with a time of 28.46s and Nathaniel Yus Gagarin was third with a time of 28.51s.

Men’s Results

Men 400m Freestyle
1st Pang Sheng Jun — 3:56.41
2nd Fadlan Perwira — 3:56.42
3rd Glen Lim — 3.58.11

Men 100m Butterfly
1st Triady Fauzy — 53.30
2nd Dylan Koo — 54.24
3rd Ong Jung Yi — 54.33

Men 200m Backstroke
1st Ricky Anggawijaya — 2.03.73
2nd Malcolm Low — 2.08.99
3rd Thanakorn Udomthanagulchai — 2.09.37

Men 50m Breastroke
1st Indra Gunawan — 28.21
2nd Lionel Khoo — 28.46
3rd Nathaniel Yus Gagarin — 28.51

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