The U.S., the U.K., and Hungary aren’t the only countries who had big National Championship meets this week. Also running on a concurrent schedule was Singapore, and there were many quality results out of that meet, but one really impressive one.
14-year old Darren Lim swam a 22.73 in the prelims of the men’s 50 free (and a 22.87 in finals) to earn his World Championship qualifying consideration time.
That’s just .04 seconds off of a 31-year old National Record (for any age) set by Ang Peng Siong in 1982. Peng is the Singapore Swimming National Head Coach who swam at the University of Houston in the 80’s, and a winner at the 1982 US National Championships (open to international swimmers).
That record is Singapore’s oldest.
Lim’s sister Shana Lim swims at Arkansas. The biggest factor working against the younger Lim is the lack of a family reputation for great height that usually accompanies great sprinters: Shana is listed at only 5’3, though she’s had a great start to her collegiate career anyway.
Lim also placed 3rd in the 50 fly with a 25.41, 2nd in the 100 free in 51.25 (behind a new National Record from Kai Quan Yeo in 50.51), and was 6th in prelims of the 100 fly in 58.35. All of those swims were in long course meters.
USC swimmer Lynette Lim (no relation) won the 800 free in 8:53.74. That’s far off of her own National Record, but did break the Meet Record in the race.
Other big records that went down included Zheng Wen Quah who was a 56.60 in the final of the men’s 100 backstroke. He placed 2nd in that race behind Yan Jin of China (56.33).
And finally, perhaps Singapore’s most globally-famous swimmer, 2008 Olympic finalist Tao Li won the women’s 100 fly, her best event, in 59.07, just ahead of Ting Quah in 59.92. Li has bounced around to several different coaches since her impressive run in Beijing, but has been unable to recapture her success.