Olympics: S'pore swimmer Quah Zheng Wen disappointed at missing out on 200m fly semis

Quah Zheng Wen in action during the 200m Butterfly Heats at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo, on July 26, 2021.
Quah Zheng Wen in action during the 200m Butterfly Heats at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo, on July 26, 2021.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO - A straight-talking Quah Zheng Wen says he will not be making excuses for his performances at Tokyo 2020 so far.

The Singapore swimmer missed the cut for the semi-finals of the 200m butterfly at the Olympic Games after clocking 1min 56.42sec in the heats on Monday (July 26) night.

The effort was some way off the 24-year-old's personal best of 1:56.01 which he clocked at the heats at the Rio Olympics in 2016..

Quah said he was “very disappointed” with his time, even though he noted this was his fastest race in the event since Rio.

“It has been a little bit of a journey figuring out how to train and practice for this race,” he said.

“But I’m definitely in the right direction and I think I just got to keep moving forward. I just wish things could have gone better.”

The Singaporean started strongly in Heat 2 and led for more than three-quarters of the race before fading at the end, and eventually finished behind Tomoe Hvas of Norway (1:56.30) and ahead of Ireland's Brendan Hyland (1:57.09).

Quah's time meant he placed 22nd out of 38 swimmers overall and missed out on tomorrow's semi-finals with only the top 16 swimmers qualifying.

He had also placed 22nd in the heats for the 100m backstroke event on Sunday night.

Asked whether he could explain why he has struggled towards the end of his races, Quah said: “I don’t really know, I’ve been trying to figure that out for a while now.

“Maybe it’s something to do with my training, or something I could be doing better… I don’t know. If I could tell you, I would.”

He dismissed any suggestion that he was saving a little bit of himself for the 100m fly heats on Thursday, but said the lack of rest time between his two heats did not help.

“This was a better race for me just because I’m better at this event, but obviously with that comes more expectation and greater disappointment as well,” he said.

“I think I moved through these two days the best I could. I had a little less rest between the two races than I would have liked, but again, that’s something out of my control. I’m not going to make any excuses.”

Quah is pencilled for one other event in Tokyo, the 100m fly, and will race in the heats with teammate and defending champion Joseph Schooling on Thursday.

Schooling will begin his Olympic campaign in the 100m freestyle heats on Tuesday.

Quah's sister Ting Wen, who is the other Singaporean swimmer in Tokyo, will race in the 100m and 50m free heats on Wednesday and Friday respectively.