9th SINGAPORE NATIONAL SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- November 25th – November 28th
- OCBC Aquatic Centre
- SCM (25m)
Singaporean short course meters national records tried to run and hide but swimmers were on the rampage at the 2021 National Short Course Championships. Taking place at the cutting edge OCBC Aquatic Centre, several longstanding national records bit the dust en route to athletes qualifying for this year’s FINA Short Course World Championships.
For example, Teong Tzen Wei hit a huge 100m fly personal best on day 2, producing a time of 49.88 to take the gold. That not only overtook the national record of 50.84 set by Quah Zheng Wen but his result also easily dipped under the FINA ‘A’ cut of 51.35 needed to outright qualify for next month’s Short Course World Championships.
24-year-old Wei split 22.70/27.18 to become the first-ever Singaporean to dip under the 50-second mark in the event. For perspective, his time here would have rendered Wei as the 6th place finisher at the 2018 edition of the FINA Short Course World Championships.
On his history-making performance, Wei said, “I’m quite tired but it has been a very fun two days. I am happy with my performance, just looking forward to reviewing the race with my coaches and to see how I can go even faster next time.
“On whether I was expecting to go under 50s, that was the goal going into the finals and me and my coaches reviewed the tapes from the heats and identified what I could have done better to go faster and I just trusted my coaches advice and follow what they said and I guessed it all worked out”, said the full-time swimmer.
He added, “We are defined by our past experiences, I probably have learnt a lot from my failures, such as not qualifying for Olympics, but everyone has their day and this meet has been a good stepping stone for me. It’s the first meet of our season heading towards 2024 with the new coaching team on deck, so yes, it is a good step and I hope we can keep the momentum going.
Another gamechanger came in the form of breaststroker Maximillian Ang. The 24-year-old fired off a time of 58.72 to obliterate the previous Singaporean national record in the event, a mark which stood at the 59.65 Lionel Khoo put on the books in 2017.
“I felt pretty good because it is always a very satisfying feeling to break a record and I had my eyes set on this for quite some time. Ever since I went 1 minute two years ago, I already set my mind on breaking the national record, and I finally got the chance to do it because Singapore does not have many short course races, and I am glad and proud of myself that all the hard work in training has paid off.
Ang elaborated, “I am really excited for the World Champs because I really want to race against the best in the world and see where I stand, and this will give me the motivation to do better.”
Quah Jing Wen proved unstoppable, capturing a 4th national short course record in just the first 2 days. She notched a winning time of 1:58.52 in the 200 free to overtake elder sister Ting Wen’s longstanding record of 1:58.89 that’s been on the books since 2013.
Quah also claimed the 100m IM victory in a time of 1:00.57, dipping under the FINA ‘A’ cut of 1:01.21 needed for this month’s Short Course World Championships.
Also claiming an A cut was Carmen Weiler Sastre of Nexus Swim Team. Just 17 years of age, Sastre of Spain did damage across the 200m back and 100m free, notching qualifying cuts in both.
First, in the 200m back, the teen beat the field by nearly 10 seconds en route to clocking a time of 2:06.49. Splitting 1:00.90/1:05.59, Sastre cleared the FINA A cut of 2:07.19.
Then in the 100m free, she crushed a mark of 53.63 (25.78/27.85) to also get under the FINA qualifying mark of 53.78. This time represents a new Spanish age group record.
Glen Lim got it done for gold in the men’s 200m free, getting to the wall first in a time of 1;45.69. That result comfortably blasted the 1:46.08 national record held by Quah Zheng Wen since 2013.
- 16-year-old Ashley Lim produced a time of 4:45.86 in the women’s 400m IM to not only book her ticket to the FINA Short Course World Championships but also overtake the national record. The previous Singaporean standard stood at the 4:47.13 Lim thew down at this same competition.
- In men’s 400m IM, Jack Cassin posted a time of 4:19.58 to top the podium. His time checks in as a new Irish national standard in the process.