Encouraging progress by local swimmers

(from left) Francis Fong, Samuel Khoo, Darren Lim, and Dylan Koo pose for a photo after competing in the men's 4x100m medley relay during the 5th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships at the OCBC Aquatic Centre on Aug 30, 2015.
(from left) Francis Fong, Samuel Khoo, Darren Lim, and Dylan Koo pose for a photo after competing in the men's 4x100m medley relay during the 5th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships at the OCBC Aquatic Centre on Aug 30, 2015.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

They did not win any medals on home ground but Singapore's 22-strong squad at the Fina World Junior Championships impressed nonetheless.

Four national Under-17 records were shot down. In addition, Hoong En Qi reached the women's 50m butterfly semi-finals, a first for Singapore in the world junior meet.

Quah Jing Wen, 14, also clocked an Olympic 'B' time in the women's 200m individual medley.

National assistant coach Gary Tan hailed his charges, all of whom he and national coach Sergio Lopez are grooming for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Said Tan: "We are satisfied with their performances. The four national records aside, there were also 19 personal bests set and that was something we were aiming for.

"There were also some events where we just failed to make the semi-final and final. All these show we have a good pipeline of talent coming through."

Two of the four new national U-17 records were set in yesterday's heats, in the men and women's 4x100m medley relay.

Francis Fong, Samuel Khoo, Dylan Koo and Darren Lim timed 3min 47.36sec to erase the previous men's mark of 3:50.12.

Hannah Quek, Kathlyn Laiu, Jing Wen and En Qi then timed 4:17.56 to shatter the previous women's mark of 4:20.25.

The men's team finished ninth in the heats but swam in the final after fourth-ranked Poland did not register for the final.

They finished last.

Singapore Swimming Association president Lee Kok Choy said he was encouraged by the team's good showing and is open to sending more to future editions.

He said: "If they have the potential to finish in the middle of the pack, or make the semi-finals or final, we will definitely consider it."

Chua Siang Yee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2015, with the headline 'Encouraging progress by local swimmers'. Print Edition | Subscribe