49th SINGAPORE NATIONAL AGE GROUP SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS (SNAGs)
The 49th Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships (SNAGs) are set to conclude on March 18th, but not before several national age group records have already fallen amidst swimmers qualifying for the Asian Games in August. Among the 1800 participants from the host country, as well as Japan, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam were Singaporean favorites Darren Lim, Jonathan Tan and Roanne Ho. The youngest members of the field were also vying for spots on national rosters for the South East Asian Age Group Championships set for July.
17-year-old Ong Jung Yi kicked things off swimmingly for Singapore, winning the men’s 15-17 200m butterfly by almost 5 seconds ahead of the field. The Swimfast Aquatic Club athlete was the only competitor to notch a time beneath the 2-minute barrier, touching in 1:59.90. That cleared the Asian Games ‘A’ cut for the young swimmer.
A pair of ‘A’ cuts was also achieved in the men’s 100m freestyle, where Lim and Danny Yeo tied in the final, both taking gold in 50.10 to slide .05 under the 50.15 QT. Lim, who will be representing Singapore at this year’s Commonwealth Games, had earlier scored a sub-50 mark in the prelims, touching in 49.74 to collect an ‘A’ time from his morning outing.
In terms of national records, several fell in the ‘under 17’ age bracket, led by Elite Swim Club’s Jonathan Tan. In that same 100m freestyle event, Tan notched a time of 50.36 to secure an Asian Games ‘B’ standard, but also snag a personal best. Additionally, his mark overtook the previous age group record of 50.62 held by Lim since 2014.
15-year-old Gan Ching Hwee was another barrier breaker, collecting a big personal best in the 1500m freestyle. The previous under 17 Singaporean record stood at 17:02.17 from just last year, but Gan knocked almost 8 solid seconds off that mark with her time of 16:54.34 to come out victorious in the women’s 15-17 category.
Another 15-year-old in Zachary Tan wowed with an impressive 200m breaststroke outing, slamming the wall in 2:17.22. That dropped over half a second from now-senior national record holder Lionel Khoo’s old under 17 age group record of 2:17.69 set back in 2012. The winner of the men’s 15-17 200m breaststroke event, however, was 17-year-old Shouma Sato of Japan, who notched a quick 2:14.73 to top the podium.
Carmen Weiler put up some notable performances at just 14 years of age, first winning the women’s 13-14 100m freestyle in a swift 57.11. Just for a point of reference, that would check Weiler in as 37th-fastest American 13-14 swimmer ever.
The teen followed that up with a gold in the 50m backstroke, taking the victory in a time of 30.23. Her time of 1:05.71 in the 100m backstroke was also fast enough to hold off the competition to give Wieler her 3rd gold.
Breaststroker Ho wreaked havoc in the women’s 50m breaststroke, earning a winning time of 31.32, the 2nd fastest time of her career. The Commonwealth Games-bound athlete comfortably dipped under the 32.35 Asian Games ‘A’ cut and raced to within .03 of her own national record.
She followed that performance up with a solid time of 1:12.17 in the 100m breaststroke after clocking a mark of 1:10.83 in the morning heats.
In the men’s 400m freestyle, Glen Lim lowered his own 17&U national age record, breaking new ground with a time of 3:55.67. That laid waste to the 3:57.39 Lim notched at the Western Australia State Age Championships in Perth last December. His new personal best tonight, however, fell painstakingly shy of the 3:55.39 ‘A’ cut for the Asian Games.