SINGAPORE – National swimmer Glen Lim revved up for May’s SEA Games in style on Saturday, when he rewrote his national 800m freestyle record at the 53rd Singapore National Age Group (SNAG) Swimming Championships.
At the OCBC Aquatic Centre, Lim who is from the AquaTech Swimming Club, shaved more than two seconds off his previous best when he clocked 8min 6.98sec to win the race. His previous record of 8:09.61 was set at the Singapore National Swimming Championships in 2019.
Japan’s Kei Yamasaki was second in 8:20.98 followed by Nicholas Karel Subagyo from Indonesia in 8:20.99.
Lim, who celebrates his 21st birthday on March 28, said: “I’m pretty happy about my swim, as it has been a long time since I’ve hit a national record.
“I did not expect to hit that time today, but it is surely a welcome sight. It’s also a nice advance birthday present.”
On his SEA Games preparation, he added: “After SNAG, we (the national team) are going to have a small training camp to help us get back into shape, so I think we are pretty prepared going into SEA Games. I hope to at least get a podium finish for all my events. I also hope to better my two bronzes.”
At the May 5-17 Games in Cambodia, he will swim in the 400m free, an event in which he holds the national record of 3:52.64 set in 2019. Lim is also the Republic’s fastest 1,500m free swimmer, having clocked 15:30.87 at the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines.
Vietnam’s Nguyen Huy Hoang had won the 400m gold at the Hanoi SEA Games in 3:48.06, which is also a Games record.
The men’s 800m free is not part of the Cambodia Games programme but is in the Sept 23-Oct 8 Hangzhou Asian Games and July 14-30 World Aquatics Championships. Lim is currently in Singapore National Olympic Council’s long list of athletes bound for China, where he has qualified for the 200m, 400m and 800m free.
Lim was Singapore’s youngest male swimmer when he made his Games debut in 2017.
He clinched two bronze medals at the last Games in Hanoi in 2022 – in the 400m free and as part of the 4x200m free team alongside Quah Zheng Wen, Jonathan Tan and Joseph Schooling.
Singapore finished top of the swimming competition in Hanoi, with 21 golds, 11 silvers and 12 bronzes, clear of Vietnam (11-11-3) and Thailand (4-9-9).