SINGAPORE - His race was at 9am, but Glen Lim was in the pool four hours early.
The national swimmer from Raffles Institution had training from 5am to 7am at the OCBC Aquatic Centre before the Schools National B Division boys' 1,500m freestyle final on Monday (April 16).
But the 16-year-old overcame his fatigue to touch home in 16min 18.28sec, smashing the meet record set by Wong Jun Bin in 2016 (16:23.69).
Glen, who trains nine times a week, said: "I was honestly exhausted, but I told myself I can do it and I must have the determination to do it."
With a personal best of 15:46.84, the Secondary 4 student had expected to set a new meet record but this goal was the last thing on his mind during the race.
"I had focused on the swim itself and tried not to get overstressed by trying to beat the time," said Glen, who is also the defending champion. "Because I know if I focus on my stroke, the time will come naturally."
The Singapore Sports School's (SSP) Luke Tan was second (16:32.23) while Mohd Azman Ardi Zulkilmi of Outram Secondary placed third (16:56.25).
Glen will next compete in the B boys' 400m free on Wednesday where he holds the meet record of 4:01.89 set last year.
He is also the national Under-17 record holder with a time of 3:55.67 clocked at the Liberty Insurance 49th Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships (Snag) last month.
In the B girls' 800m free, SEA Games bronze medallist Gan Ching Hwee was in a league of her own, clocking 8:59.26 to finish more than a minute ahead of SSP's Candice Ang (10:02.04). Singapore Chinese Girls' School's Renata Cheong took the bronze in 10:36.58.
"I am very happy because I exceeded my expectations, I was expecting to hit at least nine minutes because I wasn't exactly rested before this," said Ching Hwee, who trains 10 times a week.
The Secondary 3 student from Methodist Girls' School is also a stronger contender in the B girls' 400m free on Wednesday with a personal best of 4:18.63 set at Snag.
In the A Division category, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)'s Leo Lim won the boys' 1,500m free in 17:59.86.
Genevieve Lye from Anglo-Chinese Junior College struck gold in the A girls' 800m free with her time of 9:28.68.