Swimming: National record but Quah Ting Wen is not thrilled

Quah Ting Wen was hailed as the "best swimmer that I've ever coached" by national coach Sergio Lopez last night, who praised her for being a good role model.
Quah Ting Wen was hailed as the "best swimmer that I've ever coached" by national coach Sergio Lopez last night, who praised her for being a good role model.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Ting Wen breaks 100m free mark set in 2009 but laments missing out on Olympic 'A' qualifying time

Quah Ting Wen set a new national record in the women's 100m freestyle last night but was still not satisfied as she failed to nail down an Olympic 'A' qualifying time.

Her 55.52 seconds in the 15 and over 'A' final on the closing day of the Singapura Finance 47th Singapore National Age Group (Snag) Swimming Championships bettered her own mark of 55.57 set at the 2009 Asian Youth Games.

"I think those are pretty good 'B' times but I'm still bummed that they're not 'A's," said the 23-year-old.

"Normally, I'd be jumping for joy - doing times I haven't done in a long time - but at this meet, there's another level and everyone is just so focused on trying to make certain cuts and times. The PBs (personal bests) are almost overshadowed."

However, she came in for high praise from national coach Sergio Lopez.

"Ting Wen is probably the best swimmer that I've ever coached - hands down," he said. "Her talent, her attitude, the way she trains, the way she respects people, the way she helps everybody - she's a great example.

"Hopefully, it (the national record) means a lot to her to be able to see that all her work is paying off."

Ting Wen was not the only Quah to shine at the OCBC Aquatic Centre yesterday. Sister Jing Wen, 16, attained a time of 4:59.59 in the women's 400m individual medley 15 and over 'A' final - beating her own meet record of 5:03.45.

"I was actually not really expecting it. I just wanted to go in and swim my best," the Swimfast Aquatic Club swimmer said. "Being sick a few days before, I just felt that I've trained hard for this meet and I was pretty happy because I was just one second off my PB."

Five national records were set at the Snag, which was the last local qualifier for August's Olympics. The total number of Singaporeans who have qualified automatically for Rio still stays at two - Joseph Schooling and Quah Zheng Wen.

There are 10 others on 'B' cuts, which means they are dependent on an invite from Fina to make the Olympics. They comprise Nur Marina Chan (women's 50m free), Darren Lim (men's 100m free), Lionel Khoo (men's 100m breaststroke), the Quah sisters, Amanda Lim, Danny Yeo, Pang Sheng Jun, Hoong En Qi and Samantha Yeo.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2016, with the headline 'Record but Quah's not thrilled'. Print Edition | Subscribe