Swimming: Roanne Ho bounces back after injury-hit year, meets Games qualifying mark

Swimmer Roanne Ho competing in the 50 Metre Breaststroke at the 48th Singapore National Age Group championships on March 18, 2017.
Swimmer Roanne Ho competing in the 50 Metre Breaststroke at the 48th Singapore National Age Group championships on March 18, 2017. PHOTO: SINGAPORE SWIMMING ASSOCIATION

SINGAPORE - After a year plagued with health and injury scares, Roanne Ho announced her comeback at the China Life 48th Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships, winning the women's 50m breaststroke event in 31.90sec on Saturday.

The 2015 SEA Games champion of the event had earlier met the SEA Games 'A' qualifying mark of 32.58 when she clocked 32.02 during the heats at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.

The 24-year-old suffered a life-threatening collapsed lung last January. Months later, she had to undergo surgery for a tear in her right shoulder.

While she is still feels the occasional tightness in the shoulder, her performance on Saturday has boosted her confidence ahead of the Aug 19-31 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

"This is my first serious meet that I've prepared and tapered for (since coming back from injury)," she told The Straits Times. "I'm satisfied with my performance as my timing was okay, but the race execution wasn't very good.

"I'm not super confident yet, because Malaysia's Phee Jing En (the 2015 SEA Games 50m breaststroke runner-up) has swum 31sec as well.

" I don't want to win by a small margin - I want to win as big as I can."

National Training Centre head coach Gary Tan said Ho, who holds the national women's 50m breaststroke record (31.45), is an "inspiration".

He said: "She has gone through a lot of trouble with injuries and emotional ups-and-downs. I'm very happy with the way she's handling it and the way she's kept herself in the game, and how she mentally put herself out there to try and reach as close to her personal best as possible to qualify (for the SEA Games) first.

"She's done a fantastic job and I couldn't ask for more."

The championships conclude on Sunday at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.