Quahs to the fore with four golds on day one

Jing Wen coming into her own with two titles to outshine two older siblings

These SEA Games are still young and it was the youngest Quah who led the way as the famous Singapore swimming family bagged all four of the country's gold medals on the opening day of the competition yesterday.

Quah Jing Wen claimed the Republic's first gold at the My Dinh Water Sports Palace in the women's 200m butterfly in a meet and national record of 2min 9.52sec.

The 21-year-old, a two-time defending champion in the event, finished ahead of Vietnam's My Thao Le Thi (2:14.20) and Thailand's Kamonchanok Kwanmuang (2:14.35).

She then added her second gold of the night in the women's 200m individual medley in 2:15.98.

Older sister Ting Wen, 29, continued her domination of the women's 100m freestyle, claiming her fourth straight gold in 55.60sec.

Their brother Zheng Wen, 25, matched that feat by extending his monopoly of the men's 100m backstroke after touching the wall in 54.83sec for his fourth consecutive gold in the event.

The moment was not lost on Jing Wen, who said: "My family, my siblings are very special and not something that a lot of people can experience.

"I am just so appreciative of that because without them here, their support as I'm on the blocks, everyone's just going crazy. I can always hear my sister cheering for me, my dad as well. It's just nice to have that support when I'm on the blocks."

Her new national record in the women's 200m fly was the first time that she had gone under 2:10. Her previous record was 2:10.01, which she set at last year's Dolfin Fran Crippen Pro Swim Meet Of Champions in California.

On her current form, Jing Wen said: "I just wanted to go out there and show the world what I can do. My training has been racing as much until about now. I feel I can go faster and the world hasn't seen the best of me yet, but I do think I've hit that milestone - going under 2:10. I never know what to expect."

Ting Wen was glad that the team were able to race together again after the disruptions caused by the pandemic, which was something they had not been able to do since the 2019 SEA Games, where the swimmers matched their record haul of 23 golds from 2015.

She said: "During our team meeting last night, we were just talking about how we will take this whole experience and go along for the ride."

Meanwhile, Letitia Sim (2:16.61) and Maximillian Ang (1:01.58) clinched silvers in the women's 200m IM and men's 100m breaststroke respectively. Ardi Zulhimi Azman, who like Sim was making his Games bow, finished last of six in the 1,500m freestyle, clocking 16:12.46. Nguyen Huy Hoang won in a fast 15:00.75.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 15, 2022, with the headline Quahs to the fore with four golds on day one. Subscribe