Swimming: Teong Tzen Wei misses Asiad qualifying mark by 0.02sec

Teong Tzen Wei said a bad start in yesterday's 50m butterfly final at the Singapore National Age Group Championships cost him the chance to beat the 24.03sec Asian Games 'A' qualifying mark. The Singaporean freestyle specialist swam 24.11, which was
Teong Tzen Wei said a bad start in yesterday's 50m butterfly final at the Singapore National Age Group Championships cost him the chance to beat the 24.03sec Asian Games 'A' qualifying mark. The Singaporean freestyle specialist swam 24.11, which was slower than his new personal best of 24.05 set in the heats.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

A slight shake of the head was all the disappointment Teong Tzen Wei allowed himself to show after coming up just short of the men's 50m butterfly Asian Games 'A' qualifying mark on day two of the Liberty Insurance 49th Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships (Snag).

Needing to beat 24.03sec, the sixth-placed time at the last Asiad in 2014, he swam a personal-best 24.05sec in the morning heats and 24.11sec in the final in the evening at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.

The 20-year-old SEA Games 50m freestyle champion remained upbeat, saying: "I thought I'd be faster than in the heats but I had a bad start and paid the price for that.

"Still, I beat my previous best (24.60sec) by more than half a second, which is quite a bit, so I'm happy. I don't really train much for the fly so it shows just what the work I've put in over the last five to six months has done for my general strength."

He will turn his attention to his pet 50m free on Sunday, when he will look to break Joseph Schooling's national record of 22.47sec.

Teong's 50m fly effort was the closest any Singaporean came to meeting an Asiad 'A' mark on the day. Christie Chue (2:02.64) and Donovan Lee (2:05.55) met the 'B' marks for the women's 200m free and men's 200m backstroke.

Lee's time was good enough to win the race, with favourite Francis Fong absent owing to illness.

While no senior records fell, Zachary Ian Tan broke the Under-17 mark, 2:17.69 set by Lionel Khoo in 2012, in the 200m breaststroke twice. The 15-year-old swam 2:17.43 in the heats before going faster in the final (2:17.22), where he finished second to Japan's Sato Shouma (2:14.73).

Zachary, an Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) Secondary 3 student, said: "The record was really unexpected. I was just hoping to beat my personal best today, which I haven't hit since last April."

Singapore swimmers have three more days at the Snag to make a bid for August's Indonesian Asiad.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2018, with the headline 'Teong misses Asiad qualifying mark by 0.02sec'. Print Edition | Subscribe