Swimming: Quah Zheng Wen retains 200-yard butterfly title for second individual gold at Pac-12 Championships

This is Quah Zheng Wen's second individual gold of the Pac-12 Swimming and Diving Championships, after he won the 100-yard butterfly event on Friday.
This is Quah Zheng Wen's second individual gold of the Pac-12 Swimming and Diving Championships, after he won the 100-yard butterfly event on Friday.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Quah Zheng Wen retained his 200-yard butterfly title in 1min 39.86sec at the Pac-12 Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday (March 9).

The 22-year-old Singaporean, a third-year student at the University of California, Berkeley, lowered his own championship record of 1:40.24, which he set last year. He was the top finisher in the heats with his time of 1:42.28. 

Quah's teammates Trenton Julian (1:41.74) and Mike Thomas (1:42.17) were second and third, ensuring that UC Berkeley dominated the podium.

It is his second individual gold of the March 6-9 meet after he won the 100-yard butterfly event in 45.13sec at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Centre in Washington on Friday.

The Cal Bears, who also won the 200-yard and 400-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays, clinched their second consecutive Pac-12 championship title with 948 points.

They swept all five relay events, and Cal Bears head coach David Durden told the Pac-12 Networks: "It was just good for us to come in and just move at some high rates of speeds, have our guys work through some exchanges, play around with some different orders and I think that's always really good at about this time of the year."

The Pac-12 championships is one of the Cal Bears’ meets in the lead-up to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Swimming and Diving Championships, which take place from March 27-30 in Austin, Texas.

For the last four years, they have finished second in the NCAA championships to the University of Texas, Austin, from which Singaporean Olympic champion Joseph Schooling recently graduated.

Durden, who will be the head coach for the US men's swimming team at next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo, added: "It will be fun to go and compete (at the NCAA championships), and that's what we are looking forward to doing. I think we've been consistent over these last 18 months.

"For me as a coach, that's what I look for – consistency over 18 months, and that draws out the best performances."

At his NCAA debut in 2017, Quah was second in the 200-yard butterfly and fifth in the 100-yard fly. He finished sixth in the 200-yard fly last year.