SINGAPORE - Teong Tzen Wei came up just short of the men's 50m butterfly Asian Games 'A' qualifying mark on the second day of the Liberty Insurance 49th Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships (Snag) on Thursday (March 15).
Needing to beat 24.03 seconds, the sixth-placed time at the last Asiad in 2014, Teong swam a personal best 24.05sec in the morning's heats and was unable to improve on that time in the evening's final, which he won in 24.11sec.
"Going in I thought I would be faster than in the heats but I had a bad start and paid the price for that," said Teong, the 50m freestyle champion at the 2017 SEA Games.
"Still, I beat my previous personal best by more than half a second, which is quite a bit, so I'm quite happy with that. I don't really train much for the butterfly so it just goes to show what the work I've put in over the last five to six months has done for my general strength."
The 21-year-old has one more event to go - his pet 50m free on Sunday, the last day of the Snag.
His 50m fly effort was the closest Singapore's national swimmers came to meeting an Asiad 'A' mark on the day.
Christie Chue (2min 2.44sec) and Donovan Lee (2:05.55) met the 'B' marks for the women's 200m freestyle and men's 200m backstroke respectively.
Lee's time was good enough to win the race as well, with favourite Francis Fong absent due to illness.
And while no senior national records fell, Zachary Ian Tan continued to showcase his potential by breaking the Under-17 record in the men's 200m breaststroke twice.
The 15-year-old swam 2:17.43 in the heats before bettering that mark in 2:17.22 during the final, where he finished second to Japanese swimmer Sato Shouma (2:14.73).
Said the Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) Secondary Three student: "The record was really unexpected because I was just hoping to beat my personal best today, which I haven't hit since last April. So I'm very happy to get both the PB and record."