Swimming: Singapore artistic pair Soh and Yong set PB but miss out on Olympics ticket

Singapore's Debbie Soh (left) and Miya Yong in action during their performance in Piscina Sant Jordi, Barcelona, on June 12, 2021.
Singapore's Debbie Soh (left) and Miya Yong in action during their performance in Piscina Sant Jordi, Barcelona, on June 12, 2021.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Artistic swimmers Debbie Soh and Miya Yong missed out on qualification for the Tokyo Olympics after placing 14th in the women's duet event at the Games' qualification competition in Barcelona, Spain on Sunday (June 13).

This, despite meeting their target of setting a new personal best overall score of 158.7998. Soh, 23, and Yong, 20, had also scored a new personal best in their duet technical routine (79.3998).

Only eight spots were up grabs in the qualification competition, the last of which went to the ninth-placed pair from Colombia, who scored 166.0149 overall. The pair from Britain, who finished seventh in Spain, had already secured their place in Tokyo before the qualification event.

Soh and Yong also notched a personal best in the duet free routine at the Fina Artistic Swimming World Series Super Finals, which was held alongside the Olympics qualification competition. The Singaporean pair scored 79.6668 to place 12th.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong said he was “so proud” of the Singaporean pair and said they are “true champions in every sense”.

He also noted that Soh and Yong’s score ranked them fifth in Asia, which means they have met the Singapore National Olympic Council benchmark for qualification to the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.

In a Facebook post, he said: “I have seen both Debbie and Miya grow up over the years. My daughter was part of the team for a period of time, and I could see how tough their training was, and the tremendous sacrifices which they and their families made.

“But their dedication to the sport has never wavered. If anything, they were more determined, and worked even harder with each new challenge which came their way. Many see them only in the four minutes they spend competing, not appreciating fully just how much time has been spent in training, not only in the pool but also on land, in the gym, and sometimes the dance studio."