Day to forget for Ho and Quah

Singapore swim duo fail to clock best times; mixed fortunes for South African star le Clos

Chad le Clos winning the 50m fly on the Gold Coast yesterday.
Chad le Clos winning the 50m fly on the Gold Coast yesterday.ST PHOTOS: ONG WEE JIN
Roanne Ho finishing eighth in the 50m breaststroke final.
Roanne Ho finishing eighth in the 50m breaststroke final.ST PHOTOS: ONG WEE JIN

A panicky start, a sudden but brief downpour and the inability to sustain the swim - all these factors contributed to a forgettable day for Singapore swimmers at the Commonwealth Games.

Roanne Ho clocked 31.32 seconds to finish eighth in the 50m breaststroke final, while Quah Ting Wen was seventh in her 50m freestyle semi-final race in 26.25sec and missed out on the final tonight.

Both swimmers had clocked faster times in their respective races on the Gold Coast.

Ho, 25, was stony-faced after she saw her timing on the scoreboard at the Optus Aquatic Centre, and was more subdued than the previous day when she spoke to The Straits Times in the mixed zone after the race.

"Very frustrating, very disappointing. I did the same time last month at the Singapore National Age-Group Swimming Championships and was faster in the semi-finals," said the sprinter, who clocked 31.31sec and 31.61sec in the semi-finals and heats respectively on Thursday.

"I think I was a bit too nervous; I was okay during the warm-up but I started to overthink a bit, that's why I slipped up in the first few strokes and did not grab as much water as I should have.

"I managed to ease into it after that but, in a 50m race, you really cannot afford any mistakes, and it showed."

Unlike Ho, Quah had a good start but faded midway through her race.

The 25-year-old was 14th among 16 swimmers, with Northern Ireland's Danielle Hill (25.80sec) the last qualifier for the final tonight.

There was a brief shower as Quah and the rest of the swimmers entered the deck of the unsheltered pool for their race, even as some of the 10,000 spectators made a beeline for shelter in the bowels of the makeshift stands.

Asked if the rain had affected her race, Quah half-joked: "It just made everyone take off their clothes faster to get onto the blocks.

"Even the referees were laughing because we were very fast. I am not going to blame the rain; it just wasn't a good swim."

"The dive was good and the underwater was good - I love it when I have good underwaters and break-out because it sets up the race very nicely," added Quah, who holds the 50m free national record of 25.27sec and clocked 26.22sec in the heats yesterday.

Despite the good start, Quah faded after the 25m mark, with the rest of the swimmers pulling away for the finish, something that she couldn't explain.

However, she was quietly confident of doing well in her 50m butterfly heat this morning to qualify for tonight's semi-finals.

Both swimmers said they will learn from their experience on the Gold Coast, as they work towards the Aug 18-Sept 2 Asian Games in Indonesia.

"I just need to learn to trust my training, trust myself a bit more," said Ho, who will race in the 100m breast heats tomorrow.

"Most of it stems from not trusting that I have done enough (already) and I start to worry a bit.

"If you totally trust that you have done the training then you would just be comfortable, whatever state you are in."

Quah added: "This race has started me thinking on what I have to do in the next few months for the Asian Games. The results were tough love."

Meanwhile, South African Chad le Clos' dream of winning seven medals at this meet was shattered when he won the men's 50m fly, but finished seventh in the 200m free.

He said: "I don't make excuses. There's no 'but' for champions. I am only 25 years old. It's my third Games.

"There are guys here with six Games. I will get the record (of 18 Commonwealth Games medals), so there's no problem."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2018, with the headline 'Day to forget for Ho and Quah'. Print Edition | Subscribe