Story and photos by Daniel Yeo/Red Sports.
OCBC Aquatic Centre, Thursday, April 19, 2018 — The penultimate session of the 59th National School Swimming Championships 2018 saw Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) [ACS(I)] dominate as they took a step towards their fifth straight grand slam of the A, B and C Division Boys’ titles.
One of the standout performances in the 50m Butterfly events saw Jamie Koo [ACS(I)] set her new personal best in the A Division Girls’ category despite being hampered by injury.
She touched home first with a time of 28.23s, while Raffles Institution’s (RI) Elizabeth Lee came in a close second with a time of 28.62s. Zoey Ho (RI) rounded up the top three with a time of 29.45s.
Since last December, Jamie had experienced issues with her shoulder, and by March, it had gotten to the point where she could not swim. For the three weeks leading up to the Nationals, she had not trained.
But, even with her injury, Jamie stayed confident in herself. She shared her thoughts leading up to her personal-best swim: “The mindset I had was to just give it my all, do my best for my school, and accept whatever result comes. I know that before this injury happened, I’d been putting in a lot of hard work, and I don’t think these three weeks would have taken away all that.”
Another exceptional swim in the same category saw ACS(I)’s Mikkel Lee blow past his competition and lower the meet record to a stunning 24.73s in the Boys’ B Division category.
Maris Stella High School’s (MSHS) Goh Jeng Yee and RI’s Lim Fang Yang closed out the top three, with timings of 27.20s and 27.47s respectively.
Mikkel had already broken the meet record with a time of 25.16s in the preliminary heats, but he one-upped himself to break it again and take home the gold.
Be that as it may, Mikkel had ideas of how he could get even faster: “Before the race, I tried to visualize myself – I expected to have four breaths, actually, but I ended up taking one more. I think that’s something I can improve on, which is exciting for me because I want to know how I can go faster.”
In the Boys’ A Division category, Ong Jung Yi [ACS(I)] took home his second gold of the day over RI’s Daryl Tan and ACS(I) teammate Joshua Ong.
With a timing of 24.88s, Jung Yi barely missed out on the meet record of 24.77s, set by senior Dylan Koo.
After the race, Jung Yi showed his hunger in breaking that meet record: “I was trying to hit the meet record, I missed it by a bit, but I’ll see if I can try again next year.”
Meanwhile, in the 200m Freestyle events, ACS(I)’s Natasha Ong led from wire to wire, grabbing the gold in a closely-contested Girls’ A Division with a time of 2:05.14s.
Anglo-Chinese Junior College’s (ACJC) Chan Zi Yi, the fastest swimmer in the preliminary heats, had to settle for silver with a time of 2:05.96s while Nanyang Junior College’s (NYJC) Wu Bing Xin brought home the bronze with 2:33.38s.
Although Natasha had come into the meet untapered, in her last inter-school meet, she would lower the meet record of 2:05.67s with some flawless execution.
“Honestly, I didn’t know what the meet record was – it wasn’t even on my mind because we weren’t even tapered. Since this is my last inter-school, I am quite ecstatic about it,” she panted.
The Boys’ A Division saw a change of fortunes, with ACJC’s Samuel Tang edging out RI’s Timothy Tan in the final lap after a neck-and-neck 150m. Julian Jeow did his part for ACS(I)’s grand slam bid with a third-place finish.
Samuel reflected on his race after: “I’m glad that I touched first, I had a good race with Timothy, but just a bit disappointed that I didn’t hit my PB.”
“Coming here, this is my last school Nationals, I just wanted to have fun, and just get gold for ACJC.”
A Division Girls’ 200m Freestyle
1. Natasha Ong Min Ern (ACSI) – 2:05.14 (MR)
2. Chan Zi Yi (ACJC) – 2:05.96
3. Wu Bing Xin (NYJC) – 2:33.38
4. Carolyn Rayna Buckle (ACJC) – 2:37.67
1. Samuel Tang Shaojun (ACJC) – 1:55.95
2. Timothy Tan (RI) – 1:59.00
3. Julian Dazzel Jeow (ACSI) – 2:10.30
4. Kervin Tsai (RI) – 2:17.47
1. Jamie Koo Yazhen (ACSI) – 28.23
2. Elizabeth Lee Rui Yan (RI) – 28.62
3. Zoey Ho Zu Er (RI) – 29.45
4. Zoe Kee Yi En (RI) – 34.35
1. Mikkel Lee Jun Jie (ACSI) – 24.73 (MR)
2. Goh Jeng Yee (MSHS) – 27.20
3. Lim Fang Yang (RI) – 27.47
4. Yeo Kai Kiat (ACSI) – 27.49
1. Ong Jung Yi (ACSI) – 24.88
2. Daryl Tan Weiheng (RI) – 25.83
3. Joshua Ong Sheng Hua (ACSI) – 26.46
4. Kai Olafson Yu-Jun (ACSI) – 26.80
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