Swimming: Quah siblings hit Asian Games 'A' times on first day of qualifier

Quah siblings (from left) Ting Wen, Zheng Wen and Jing Wen all hit the "A" times for this year's Asian Games in their respective events. ST PHOTOS: ARIFFIN JAMAR, KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - A. A. A. The Quah siblings - Ting Wen, Zheng Wen and Jing Wen - turned in a fine 'report card' on the first day of the SNAG Major Games Qualifier on Tuesday (March 15).

The trio all hit the 'A' times for this year's Asian Games in their respective events, the only swimmers to do so on the opening day. The March 15-20 event, which is backed by Liberty Insurance, is a qualifying event for September's Asian Games in Hangzhou and the July 28-Aug 8 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

While they had already earned direct qualification for Hangzhou - which is the sixth-best time at the last edition - through various meets last year, the siblings were pleased to hit those times again at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.

Ting Wen, 29, clocked 55.72 seconds in the women's 100m freestyle heats, going under the Asiad 'A' qualifying mark of 56.07sec, before touching home in 55.88sec in the final.

Jing Wen, 21, went below the women's 200m butterfly mark of 2min 12.61sec with her 2:12.23 effort, while Zheng Wen, 25, touched the wall in the men's 100m backstroke final in 55.64sec, 0.08sec under the Asiad 'A' qualifying mark.

Ting Wen said she had been nervous going into the meet after a slow start to the year owing to a strained bicep tendon.

At the February Swim Series, she had clocked 56.91sec in the 100m free, 0.84sec slower than the Asiad 'A' mark.

"I was having a bit of issues with my shoulder, doing rehab, prehab, strengthening it and get it better. Coming into this meet, I was a bit nervous," said Ting Wen, who is pencilled for five more events this week.

"I'm pleased with the 'A' cut, it's something out of the way. The rest of the meet I will try to get as many cuts as possible and to see if I can get my times lower than January and February swim series."

She noted how her race had been going smoothly until the last 25 to 30 metres and said that she will be working on her fitness to sustain her speed in the last stretch of her race before the May 12-23 SEA Games in Hanoi.

The multiple SEA Games medallist said: "I think I'm moving in the right direction - I'm feeling a lot stronger but right now it's just building on that and then trying to go out for the first 50 metres and hold that speed coming home."

Jing Wen, who holds the national record of 2:10.01 in the 200m fly, was initially displeased with how her race turned out as it was below her expectations, but was relieved to hear that she had met the Asian Games 'A' cut.

The 21-year-old said: "Coming into the race, I wasn't really thinking about the cuts for the meets, I just thinking about my times.

"But swimming is a sport that's quite taxing and you're not going to hit best times every time you swim your event. I was quite disappointed with how it went but hearing that I hit the 'A' cut was quite relieving."

She admitted that topping the 2018 Asian Games where she was part of the 4x100m medley relay team that won a bronze medal would be hard, but she is looking forward to competing in Hangzhou.

Jing Wen said: "If I train really well and race to my full potential, I'd be able to do some damage at the Asian Games and show where I am on that stage of swimming.

"But I want to go there and have fun, enjoy the process, I don't want to just spend the last few years of swimming worrying about going faster."

National Training Centre assistant coach Alex Mordvincev was satisfied with how Zheng Wen who is currently in national service, performed.

He said: "Overall, we are pleased that he managed to get the 'A' cut after pretty much not being in this kind of race environment for some time.

"The goal was just to do the best that he can, race and enjoy the process. Knowing his previous performances and his approach, he's showing real character and is working hard to get back to where he was before or during the Olympics."

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