Story by REDintern Chantal Liew. Photos by Stefanus Ian/Red Sports.
OCBC Aquatic Centre, Saturday, June 17, 2017 — Roanne Ho left the competition in her wake the second she dove in for the Women’s 50-metre Breaststroke. It was a dominating swim by the athlete and she touched the wall first, just 0.2s off her personal best, in a time of 31.66s. She was the only swimmer to go under the 32-second mark as the second and third placed finishers, Vanessa Evato of Indonesia and Christie Chue, could only manage a 32.16s and a 32.89s respectively.
Since the last SEA Games in 2015, Ho has been plagued by health scares and injuries. At the end of 2015, a collapsed lung forced the 25-year-old to undergo a surgery that put her out of training for six months. Just when she thought she was on the road to recovery, she pulled her right shoulder in the gym which required another surgery.
“The past year has been physically and emotionally exhausting for me, but I really wanted to prove to myself that I could do it and I got the job done today,” said the 2015 SEA Games 50m Breaststroke gold medallist.
The national record holder was also optimistic about her preparations for the coming games in KL and is unfazed by the competition she will face there.
“I’ve spent hours working with former Olympic champion and world record holder Roland Schoeman on my starts and it’s really starting to pay off. I’m not too concerned about my rivals. At SEA Games it’s going to be me against the clock.”
Another swimmer seeking SEA Games glory was Olympian Quah Ting Wen. After her younger sister, Quah Jing Wen, crashed out of the finals following a disqualification, the gold was hers for the taking. The UCLA graduate faced very little resistance from the other competitors, leading from start to finish touching first in a 1:00.14. Second place went to Kenya’s Emily Muteti who clocked in at 1:01.06 and the bronze went to Nicholle Toh who finished in a time of 1:01.26.
The Women’s 200m Backstroke saw Indonesia take the top two spots on the podium with Yessy Yosaputera touching first in a 2:18.75 and Nurul Fajar Fitriyati second in a time of 2:19.33. However, the standout swim was from 13-year-old Elizabeth Faith Khoo who finished third and broke her own U-14 national record in a time of 2:20.83.
The Singaporean women were locked out of the gold and silver medals yet again in the Women’s 400m Freestyle with Ressa Kaniadewi of Indonesia claiming the top spot with a commanding swim. She touched in a 4:17.92, nearly two seconds ahead of Thailand’s Ammiga Himathongkom who took silver with a time of 4;19.54. Chantal Liew took the last spot on the podium with her time of 4:25.61, and as the first-placed Singaporean, she also took home the Kee Soon Bee Cup.
Women 400m Freestyle
1st Ressa Kaniadewi — 4:17.92
2nd Ammiga Himathongkom — 4:19.54
3rd Chantal Liew — 4:25.61
Women 100m Butterfly
1st Quah Ting Wen — 1:00.14
2nd Emily Muteti — 1:01.06
3rd Nicholle Toh — 1:01.26
Women 200m Backstroke
1st Yessy Yosaputera — 2:18.75
2nd Nurul Fajar Fitriyati — 2:19.33
3rd Faith Elizabeth Khoo — 2:20.83
Women 50m Breaststroke
1st Roanne Ho — 31.66
2nd Vanessa Evato — 32.13
3rd Christie Chue — 32.89
More photos on the next page