Singapore Swim Stars: Nathan Adrian and Melanie Schlanger the big stars

Singapore sync team, perform during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event on Sept 5, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Singapore sync team, perform during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event on Sept 5, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Emily Seebohn of Australia swims in the women's 100 LC metre backstroke during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars on Sept 5, 2014. The Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event saw the participation of 12 Olympic Champions and
Emily Seebohn of Australia swims in the women's 100 LC metre backstroke during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars on Sept 5, 2014. The Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event saw the participation of 12 Olympic Champions and 21 World Champions. -- PHOTO: AFP
Glen Snyders (left) of New Zealand holds up the hand of Fabio Scozzoli (right) of Italy after a reannouncement of the winner in the men's 100 LC metre Breaststroke during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars on Sept 5, 2014. The Prudential Singapore S
Glen Snyders (left) of New Zealand holds up the hand of Fabio Scozzoli (right) of Italy after a reannouncement of the winner in the men's 100 LC metre Breaststroke during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars on Sept 5, 2014. The Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event saw the participation of 12 Olympic Champions and 21 World Champions. -- PHOTO: AFP
Ruta Meilutyte (right) of Lithuania swims in the women's 100 LC metre Breaststroke during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars on Sept 5, 2014. The Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event saw the participation of 12 Olympic Ch
Ruta Meilutyte (right) of Lithuania swims in the women's 100 LC metre Breaststroke during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars on Sept 5, 2014. The Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event saw the participation of 12 Olympic Champions and 21 World Champions. -- PHOTO: AFP
Emily Seebohn (centre) of Australia dives in the women's 100 LC metre backstroke during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars on Sept 5, 2014. The Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event saw the participation of 12 Olympic Cham
Emily Seebohn (centre) of Australia dives in the women's 100 LC metre backstroke during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars on Sept 5, 2014. The Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event saw the participation of 12 Olympic Champions and 21 World Champions. -- PHOTO: AFP
David Plummer (centre) of the US and Liam Tancock of Britain dive in the men's 100 LC metre backstroke during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars on Sept 5, 2014. The Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event saw the participat
David Plummer (centre) of the US and Liam Tancock of Britain dive in the men's 100 LC metre backstroke during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars on Sept 5, 2014. The Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event saw the participation of 12 Olympic Champions and 21 World Champions. -- PHOTO: AFP
Melanie Schlanger (centre) of Australia takes a selfie with Katika Hosszu (right) of Hungary and Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark (left) on the podium for the women's 100 LC metre freestyle during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars on Sept 5, 2014. The P
Melanie Schlanger (centre) of Australia takes a selfie with Katika Hosszu (right) of Hungary and Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark (left) on the podium for the women's 100 LC metre freestyle during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars on Sept 5, 2014. The Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event involving 12 Olympic Champions and 21 World Champions. -- PHOTO: AFP
French sychronised swimmers, finalists in the 2013 World Championship, perform during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars on Sept 5, 2014. The Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event saw the participation of 12 Olympic Champi
French sychronised swimmers, finalists in the 2013 World Championship, perform during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars on Sept 5, 2014. The Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event saw the participation of 12 Olympic Champions and 21 World Champions. -- PHOTO: AFP
Nathan Adrian of the US reaches out to fans in the podium after winning the men's 100 LC meter freestyle during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars on Sept 5, 2014. The Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event saw the particip
Nathan Adrian of the US reaches out to fans in the podium after winning the men's 100 LC meter freestyle during the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars on Sept 5, 2014. The Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event saw the participation of 12 Olympic Champions and 21 World Champions. -- PHOTO: AFP
Nathan Adrian, Olympic 100m freestyle champion, at the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event on Sept 5, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Nathan Adrian, Olympic 100m freestyle champion, at the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event on Sept 5, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Nathan Adrian, Olympic 100m freestyle champion, at  the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event on Sept 5, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Nathan Adrian, Olympic 100m freestyle champion, at  the Prudential Singapore Swim Stars inaugural one-day swimming event on Sept 5, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Josh Schneider (left) and Nathan Adrian flying off the blocks in the 50m freestyle final showdown, which was won by Adrian with a time of 21.27sec.
Josh Schneider (left) and Nathan Adrian flying off the blocks in the 50m freestyle final showdown, which was won by Adrian with a time of 21.27sec.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Swimmers lap up rock-star treatment in fun-filled race

The world's best swimming sprinters gathered at the OCBC Aquatic Centre yesterday for the inaugural Prudential Singapore Swim Stars, and it was Nathan Adrian's star which shone the brightest.

The American, who is the reigning Olympic 100m freestyle champion, was simply irrepressible at the nine-event meet, and finished with two wins, in the 100m and 50m free.

Said Adrian, who won the blue-riband 50m race with a time of 21.72sec, 0.04 ahead of Australian Josh Schneider: "I was a little surprised. It's my fourth (race of the meet), and I was pretty tired.

"But it was an energising win, especially after a lacklustre performance (at the recent Pan-Pacific Championships). It gives me a bit of energy, and I think I can go faster next year."

Australian Melanie Schlanger was the night's other big winner, also bagging both the women's 100m and 50m free titles.

Said Schlanger: "I wasn't expecting this. I thought I'd be competitive, but I haven't swam in this format before. It's tough, interesting, but I like it. We should have more of these events in swimming."

While all eyes were trained on the action in the pool, audiences expecting a run-of-the-mill swim meet were pleasantly surprised.

Event organisers Sport Swim Organisation served up a dazzling show, as the 2,500-strong crowd at the 3,000-seat venue were kept buzzing throughout by light shows, a drum crew, synchronised swimming performances and pop music reverberating non-stop throughout the arena.

Fun was also the buzzword among the swimmers, with many agreeing such an event should happen on a more regular basis.

Said Adrian: "That was a blast, that had to be some of the most fun I had at a swim meet since I was a kid."

Lithuanian world record holder (50m and 100m breaststroke) Ruta Meilutyte, who won the women's 100m breaststroke last night, agreed and said: "Everyone's relaxed, we're all having a good time, and I'll definitely come back (next year)."

The 17-year-old added she might be racing here again in the Singapore leg of the Fina Swimming World Cup in November.

The Singapore Swim Stars, a three-day swimming festival, continues today with the swimmers conducting clinics at 10 different locations.

They will then team up with selected students for a relay swim-off at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.

It concludes with an open water challenge tomorrow at Changi Coast Walk.

siangyee@sph.com.sg