Asean Para Games: Gold for Wong Zhi Wei as Singapore's swimmers earn four medals

Wong Zhi Wei won gold in the men's freestyle S13 in 1min 0.07sec. PHOTO: SNPC

SINGAPORE - Slapping the water at the Jatidiri Sports Complex seconds after his men’s S13 100m freestyle race on Wednesday (Aug 3), Wong Zhi Wei could not contain his excitement at winning his first gold medal at the Asean Para Games (APG) in Indonesia.

But his focus soon turned to making yet another splash in his final event, the S13 50m free on Friday, when he hopes to add to his gold and an earlier silver in the men’s SB13 100m breaststroke.

Wong said: “I was excited then but I’m calm now. I’m more happy with the gold than my time because I think I could have gone faster.

“But I’m still happy that I could get my first gold medal at APG.

“It was really awesome (hearing Majulah Singapura during the medal ceremony), especially since this was my first gold medal. I felt great and proud that I was the one who raised the Singapore flag.”

Wong touched home in a Games record of 1min 0.07sec, ahead of Vietnam’s Tran Quoc Phi (1:02.41) and Thailand’s Noi Memetta (1:11.38). 

The 20-year-old, who is visually impaired, made his APG debut in 2017, where he clinched a silver and bronze. 

He added: “The nerves are always there but with more experience you learn to control it better. 

“With this result it gives me more confidence for my final event.”

His teammates had a fruitful morning in the pool as well, as the swimmers contributed a total of four medals on Wednesday. 

Four personal bests were also set, including three national records and one Games record.

APG debutant Colin Soon added a silver in the men’s S12 100m freestyle to his haul after clinching his first Games gold earlier in the SB12 100m breaststroke. 

He clocked 1:03.10 in the 100m free, sandwiched between Indonesia’s Rifky Yavianda Maulana (56.73sec) and Thailand’s Anan Withetsuksom (1:03.63).

Colin, 17, had hoped to go faster but felt he had a “reasonable swim”. He said: “My game plan was to focus on my own swim, on the technique and on what I need to do, not about what my competitor was going to do. 

“So, I think that went pretty well.”

Another Singaporean teen, Darren Chan, picked up his second bronze of the Solo APG when he finished third in the men’s S14 100m free in a national record of 1:00.27.

Malaysia’s Ethan Khoo won gold in 56.69sec while Thailand’s Wachirawit In-Choo won silver in 57.78sec.

Barely 90 minutes after that race, 19-year-old Chan set another national record, this time in the S14 100m butterfly, with a 1:05.66 effort which placed him fourth. 

He had also picked up a bronze in the S14 50m fly on Tuesday.

Singapore’s fourth medal came courtesy of Danielle Moi, who won bronze in the women’s S14 100m free in 1:07.49. Thailand’s Nattharinee Khajhonmatha won gold in 1:02.33 while Indonesia’s Syuci Indriani (1:04.17) took the silver.

In the same event, compatriot Nicole Fu finished sixth with a personal best of 1:15.93.

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