arena Swim of the Week: Singaporean Men Rocket To Massive National Record In 4×100 Free

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Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

Singapore had a very strong performance at the Asian Games, it might just not show on the medal table due to the dominance of China, Japan and South Korea.

One of the standout swims on the Singaporean side that didn’t result in a medal came in the men’s 400 freestyle relay, where the team knocked nearly two seconds off the four-year-old National Record in a time of 3:14.77, just half a second back of Japan for the bronze medal.

Jonathan Tan led the team off in 49.13, not too far off his lifetime best of 48.90 set earlier this year, and then Zheng Wen QuahArdi Azman and Mikkel Lee all split under their flat start bests, with Quah doing so by nearly a second and Lee by nearly two.

Relay Splits vs Personal Best Times

Flat Start Best Time Relay Split
Jonathan Tan 48.90 49.13 (lead-off)
Zheng Wen Quah 49.25 48.31
Ardi Azman 50.34 50.08
Mikkel Lee 49.10 47.25

With Lee’s blistering 47.25 leg in particular standing out, the quartet obliterated the previous National Record of 3:16.66, set by the team at the 2019 World Championships. That squad notably featured both Tan and Quah, along with 2016 Olympic champion Joseph Schooling.

Split Comparison

2019 World Championships 2023 Asian Games
Joseph Schooling – 49.32 Jonathan Tan – 49.13
Zheng Wen Quah – 48.76 Zheng Wen Quah – 48.31
Jonathan Tan – 49.63 Ardi Azman – 50.08
Darren Chua – 48.95 Mikkel Lee – 47.25
3:16.66 3:14.77

Singapore also saw new a National Record set in the mixed 400 medley relay (3:49.73), which featured both Quah and Tan, and Letitia Sim set two individually in the women’s 100 breast (1:07.13) and 200 breast (2:26.43).

The lone Singaporean medalist was Teong Tzen Wei, who was the runner-up in the men’s 50 fly.

The nation had numerous 4th-place finishes, and after appearing to win just their second medal in the women’s 400 medley relay, they were disqualified for an early takeoff after initially touching 3rd.

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2 months ago

Zheng Wen’s flat best is 48.99 clocked at 2023 Southeast Asian Games, and Mikkel’s is 49.14 clocked at 2023 Singapore Nationals.

Reply to  ice
2 months ago

And Jonathan’s flat start PB is 48.80 at 2023 SEA Games.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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