Ho aims for elusive sub-31 at C'wealth Games

Roanne Ho on her way to clocking 31.32sec in the 50m breaststroke final at the OCBC Aquatic Centre yesterday, just 0.03 off her national mark set at last year's SEA Games.
Roanne Ho on her way to clocking 31.32sec in the 50m breaststroke final at the OCBC Aquatic Centre yesterday, just 0.03 off her national mark set at last year's SEA Games.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

The sub-31 second 50m breaststroke time she has targeted since last year's SEA Games continues to elude her, but no one can say it has been for a lack of trying on Roanne Ho's part.

The 25-year-old clocked 31.32 seconds to win the final at the Liberty Insurance 49th Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships (Snag) yesterday, just 0.03sec short of her national record set at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Ho had been aiming to go faster but, to her frustration, a toe cramp at the start of the race put paid to those hopes.

"I was hoping to go below 31 today or at least break the national record, so it's a bit disappointing," said the four-time SEA Games gold medallist. "I'm not in taper yet and will only do so after this meet so that's still the goal at the Commonwealth Games - to go below 31."

Ho is one of three swimmers who will represent the Republic at the April 4-15 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia. The other two are freestyle specialist Darren Lim and 14-time SEA Games gold medallist Quah Ting Wen.

Despite the disappointment, National Training Centre head coach Gary Tan said Ho has been performing well in training.

"The good thing is that she's actually been working hard in and out of the pool. She's continued her gym programme through the Snag and isn't tapered yet," said the former national swimmer.

"With Roanne, we have been focusing more on her processes, like her race execution and how she approaches races mentally.

"So it's good to see her drop 0.3sec from the morning (heats) in the final. Hopefully she will go on to a PB (personal best) at the Commonwealth Games."

The third day of the Snag at the OCBC Aquatic Centre saw no Singaporean swimmer other than Ho, who had already qualified for the 50m breast, meet 'A' qualifying marks for August's Asian Games in Indonesia.

The 'A' marks are the sixth-placed times across all events at the Incheon Games in 2014. The Republic's swimmers have two more days left at the Snag to make a bid for the Jakarta-Palembang Asiad.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 17, 2018, with the headline 'Ho aims for elusive sub-31 at C'wealth Games'. Print Edition | Subscribe