Ho's U-31sec goal in Gold Coast

Roanne Ho is setting her sights on achieving her sub-31 second goal in her pet event at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast next April, as well as enter the final.
Roanne Ho is setting her sights on achieving her sub-31 second goal in her pet event at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast next April, as well as enter the final.PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

Coach Tan says Roanne can surprise people at the C'wealth Games

Singapore swimmer Roanne Ho had hoped to break the 31-second barrier in the women's 50m breaststroke at the SEA Games in August, but her poor finishing scuppered that dream.

The 25-year-old did set a national long-course record of 31.29 seconds en route to winning the gold back then.

She is setting her sights on achieving her sub-31 second goal in her pet event at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast next April, as well as enter the final.

In addition to the sprint event, which she has qualified for, she is also hoping to race in the 100m breast. And National Training Centre (NTC) coach Gary Tan believes that she has the potential to "surprise people with some of the things she has been working on".

The former national swimmer, 35, made the assessment at the end of the two-day Singapore National (Short Course) Swimming Championships at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, where Ho rewrote two national records.

She erased her women's 50m breast mark (30.49sec at last month's Singapore leg of the Fina World Cup) with a 30.38sec effort last night.

And she twice rewrote her 100m breast record (1min 8.29sec at last month's Japan leg of the Fina World Cup) on Friday, clocking 1:07.80 in the heats, and 1:07.39 in the final.

Reflecting on her meet, she said, laughing: "I am not very good in short-course meets...

"For a long time, my short-course times were slower than my long-course ones.

"(During training) I have been focusing a lot on starts, turns and underwater kicks, and the coaches seem confident that I am on the right path, and I am trying to trust the process."

Tan said the NTC coaches and national trainer Stephan Widmer have been getting the breaststroke specialist to "push her boundaries" in every training.

He said: "We tried to figure out her deficits, like her shoulder mobility and the way she approaches races mentally, in the early part of the season.

"(We) also worked on other technical and physical aspects of her training.

"It's good to see her progress - she has dropped times in every meet since the Fina World Cup in Beijing (last month).

"When she rests and tapers for the Commonwealth Games, we will see whether she can really surprise people with some of the things she has been working on."

Another NTC swimmer and breaststroke specialist Lionel Khoo yesterday rewrote his men's 100m breast national mark (1:00.22 at last year's World Championships) twice, in the heats (59.88sec) and in the final (59.65sec).

"I am pretty happy... my short-course swims have always been quite consistent, but this is the first time I have gone under one minute in this event twice in a day," said the 22-year-old, who also set a national record of 27.31sec in the men's 50m breast on Friday.

The meet marked the end of the Singapore swimmers' short-course season, with 23 athletes headed to Brisbane and Perth today for a three-week training stint.

The swimmers will compete in a long-course state meet in either Australian city to prepare for the long-course season ahead.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 03, 2017, with the headline 'Ho's U-31sec goal in Gold Coast'. Print Edition | Subscribe