Swimming: Quah Zheng Wen breaks national 100m back record, makes Olympic 'A' mark

MOSCOW - Singapore swimmer Quah Zheng Wen clinched a bronze medal in the 100m backstroke in the Moscow leg of the Fina World Cup on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old clocked 54.03sec in the final, behind France's Camille Lacourt (53.44) and Russia's Grigory Tarasevich (54.01). In doing so, he lowered his previous national record and Olympic "A" time of 54.13, which he clocked in the morning's heats.

The Fina World Cup is typically a short course (25m pool) meet, but adopted a long course (50m pool) format this year to increase participation levels and, more importantly, act as a qualifying event for the Olympics.

This is the second Olympic "A" time Quah has clocked. At the Singapore SEA Games in June, he clocked 1min 56.79sec in the 200m butterfly, under the "A" qualifying time of 1:56.97.

It is also the third time in nine days that Quah has lowered the national 100m back mark. Last Monday, he had timed 54.40 at the Fina World Championships in Kazan to lower his previous mark of 54.51sec, set the Singapore SEA Games in June.

siangyee@sph.com.sg