Quah bags 200m free 'B' race in Texas

Singapore's Quah Zheng Wen in action at the Fina Swimming World Cup at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, on Oct 4, 2015.
Singapore's Quah Zheng Wen in action at the Fina Swimming World Cup at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, on Oct 4, 2015. ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Singapore swimmer Quah Zheng Wen notched his first win - in a B final - at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Austin, Texas, on Saturday.

He clocked 1min 49.68sec in a 200m freestyle race featuring world junior champion Maxime Rooney and Tom Shields, who won a 4x100m medley gold at last year's World Championships.

Rooney was second in 1:50.07, ahead of Michael Klueh (1:50.10) and Shields (1:50.48).

Quah, 19, also finished seventh in the 200m backstroke B final with a time of 2:04.61.

Although both times were off his personal bests (1:49.17 for the 200m free and 2:00.55 for the 200m back), the experience of racing in an elite field was key for the swimmer, who had raced against the legendary Michael Phelps in the 100m butterfly A final on Friday.

On the eve of the three-day meet, he had told The Straits Times: "(Racing against the big names) prepares us not just physically but also mentally, like learning how to (come from) behind and recover.

"It also removes our awe of these swimmers... (and) it will really eventually help us race at a higher level against them."

Quah has already booked his spot in August's Olympics, having qualified for the 100m back and 100m and 200m fly.

He will line up on the blocks for the 100m back and 200m fly on the final day of the meet.

Quah is part of a group of 10 national swimmers who are in the United States for a training camp with national coach Sergio Lopez.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 18, 2016, with the headline 'Quah bags 200m free 'B' race in Texas'. Print Edition | Subscribe