Records galore at Age Group Swimming C’ships
SINGAPORE – The records continued to fall at the OCBC Aquatic Centre on Thursday (March 16) at the China Life 48th Singapore National Age Group (SNAG) Swimming Championships, with four swimmers – Lionel Khoo, Zachary Ian Tan, Faith Khoo and Gan Ching Hwee – setting new national open and age group marks in the pool.
Swimfast Aquatic Club athlete Lionel claimed the first national open record of the championships after clocking 2min 15.27sec in the men’s 200m breaststroke to better his mark of 2:16.19 from last year’s ASEAN University Games.
The 21-year-old, who won a silver medal in the event at the 2015 SEA Games, also earned a spot in the 2017 SEA Games squad after meeting the ‘A’ qualifying mark.
“My success is attributed to my strong training squad and without them I don’t think this would have been possible,” said Lionel. “I think my chances for the SEA Games are pretty good considering my timing is pretty quick.”
Rising young star Zachary also marked a splendid comeback from a freak injury – he fractured his tailbone after slipping down a staircase in March last year – with a new national under-14 record of 2:21.75 in the men’s 200m breaststroke. The 13-year-old had spent a frustrating nine months trying to recapture his winning form after the injury, and only managed to better the Under-14 100m and 200m breaststroke marks in January.
Teenage sensation Ching Hwee was also in record-breaking form, claiming her second national Under-14 mark – and second SEA Games berth – after finishing the 400m individual medley in 4:54.54, while Singapore Swimming Club athlete Faith bettered the Under-14 record for the 50m backstroke in 30.19sec.
The fourth day of competition at the SNAG Championships proved a fruitful one for Team Singapore’s swimmers, with a total of seven athletes – Pang Sheng Jun, Darren Lim, Ching Hwee, Quah Ting Wen, Quah Jing Wen, Teong Tzen Wei, and Lionel – making the SEA Games ‘A’ qualifying marks for their respective events.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article reported Ching Hwee’s time in the 400m individual medley wrongly. It has been corrected. We are sorry for the error.