Swimming: Swimmers on track for KL SEA Games, world junior c’ships

From left: Swimmers Samuel Khoo, 18, Quah Jing Wen, 16, Natasha Ong, 16 and Francis Fong, 17, posing with their Commonwealth Youth Games mixed 4x100m medley golds.
From left: Swimmers Samuel Khoo, 18, Quah Jing Wen, 16, Natasha Ong, 16 and Francis Fong, 17, posing with their Commonwealth Youth Games mixed 4x100m medley golds.PHOTO COURTESY OF SINGAPORE SWIMMING ASSOCIATION

Training and competing under the sun at the open-air Betty Kelly-Kenning National Swim Complex for the past week, Singapore's swimmers in the Bahamas have earned themselves a light tan and several weighty medals.

But what the exposure at the Commonwealth Youth Games has offered that is far more priceless, however, is the assurance that they are on track to peak at the year's main meets in about a month's time.

The swimmers added two more medals to their haul on Saturday, including gold in the mixed 4x100m medley relay. Quah Jing Wen took silver in the girls' 200m butterfly.

It meant a final tally - both in swimming and at the CYG as the swimmers are Singapore's only athletes in the Bahamas - of seven golds, four silvers and six bronzes.

The Republic finished fourth in the swimming competition, behind England, South Africa and New Zealand.

Jing Wen, 16, was the squad's top performer, having won three individual golds and a relay gold before Saturday. She clocked 2min 13.29sec in the 200m fly to finish behind England's Ciara Schlosshan (2:10.95) and ahead of Australian Brittany Lee Castelluzzo (2:13.80).

She also teamed up with Samuel Khoo, Francis Fong and Natasha Ong to win gold in the mixed medley relay. Singapore touched home in 3:56.74 - ahead of New Zealand (3:57.21) and England (3:59.33).

Said national youth head coach Leonard Tan: "Medals were delivered, but our main focus is on consistency and preparing the swimmers for the SEA Games and the world junior championships."

Of the 13 at the CYG, 10 are competing in Kuala Lumpur next month while three are bound for the world junior meet in Indianapolis in the United States from Aug 23-28.

Added Tan: "We saw some good consistent performances from a lot of the swimmers.

"However, we are only halfway there because their target meets are a few weeks away.

"There were definitely some ups and downs over the course of the CYG.

"There were some races that we felt the swimmers could do better in, and the swimmers themselves are aware of that and they will need to be on their toes and to work harder over the next few weeks as KL approaches."

Said breaststroke specialist Samuel, 18, who also has a silver and a bronze from individual events: "Overall, it was great exposure for me racing against good and tough competition.

"I am happy with my times and the medals that I won. I am definitely looking forward to Kuala Lumpur."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2017, with the headline 'Swimmers on track for KL Games, world junior c'ships'. Print Edition | Subscribe