Swimming: S'pore 4x100m free women fourth, Gan Ching Hwee fifth in 1,500m free - both national records

(From left) Christie Chue, Cherlyn Yeoh, Quah Jing Wen and Quah Ting Wen after their record-breaking 4x100m freestyle relay final swim in Jakarta to take fourth place. ST PHOTO: NICOLE CHIA
Gan Ching Hwee on her way to fifth spot in a national record in the women’s 1,500m freestyle at the 18th Asian Games in Gelora Bung Karno Aquatic Centre, Jakarta, Indonesia, on Aug 19, 2018. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Quah Zheng Wen in the men's 200m butterfly heats at the GBK Aquatics Centre in Jakarta on Aug 19, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA - There were no medals for Team Singapore on Sunday (Aug 19) - the first finals night of the Asian Games swimming programme - but two national records in three finals at the Gelora Bung Karno Aquatic Centre showed continued improvement.

The women's 4x100m freestyle relay team of Quah Jing Wen, older sister Ting Wen, Christie Chue and Cherlyn Yeoh clocked 3min 44.21sec to better the mark of 3:44.38 set at last year's SEA Games by the quartet of the Quahs, Natasha Ong and Amanda Lim.

They ended behind Japan (Games record time of 3:36.52), China (3:36.78) and Hong Kong (3:41.88).

Said Ting Wen: "When I was younger... we'd say, 'Oh it's for experience, see what it's like, test ourselves'. But I'm tired of saying that constantly, I'm not young any more, I've had enough experience and I don't have a lot more time - I don't want to come for experience, I want to come and do something."

Earlier, the youngest female member in the Republic's swimming contingent - Gan Ching Hwee - made her Asian Games debut with a splash, clocking a national record in the women's 1,500m free.

The 15-year-old posted 16:39.70 to finish fifth of seven competitors. China's Wang Jianjiahe won in a Games mark of 15:53.68.

The previous Singapore record was 16:41.49, set by Lynette Lim in 2009.

She said: "I'm a bit surprised because the race definitely wasn't that easy - it was pretty challenging considering the swimmers that were in this heat so it came as a pleasant surprise. It's something I never really expected so I think I kind of boosted my confidence for this entire meet given that it's my first time racing.

"I just came in - I was focusing on my race trying not to think about what the other swimmers are doing and just swim my best - to try to focus on my own race plan and executing it as best as I can.

"I gave it all that I had - I gave my 101 per cent, I don't think I could have gone any faster."

The third Quah sibling Zheng Wen, meanwhile, timed 1:57.95 in the men's 200m butterfly to end sixth, more than three seconds behind winner Daiya Seto (1:54.53) of Japan.

"I definitely wanted a lot more out of that. It's pretty far off my best and I know I can be way faster than that," said the disappointed 21-year-old, whose personal best is 1:56.01.

"There's a lot I can take away from this race, but I'm not going to hide the fact that I'm definitely disappointed with how I've gone through and executed this race and not met my expectations.

"It's frustrating, but the best thing I can do right now is leave that behind me for the team, for myself, get on with the relays and feed on some positive energy for the team."

In the morning, he qualified for the final on his Games debut, clocking 1:59.17 to finish fourth in the heats and seventh overall.

Meanwhile, the women's freestyle relay team (Lim, Yeoh, Nur Marina Chan and Jing Wen) had clocked 3:45.99 to finish second in their heat and fourth overall.

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