Tag Archives: Mark Chay

Five golds, two SEA Games records and two national marks for Singapore swimmers

Singapore won five gold medals and set two new SEA Games records on the opening day of the swimming competition this evening. The Republic also set two new national records.

Quah Ting Wen took the first gold when she fended off the challenges of compatriot Amanda Lim and Thai J. Natthanan in the women’s 100m freestyle.

She eventually touched home in 56.03sec, saving 0.02sec off the SEA Games mark of 56.05sec, which was set by Joscelin Yeo in 1999. Natthanan was second while Amanda took the bronze.

But the time that Ting Wen clocked was slower than her national record of 55.57sec which she set at the Asian Youth Games in July.

Zach Ong then won Singapore’s second swimming gold in the 200m backstroke, the second event of the night. A silver medalist at the 2007 Korat Games in Thailand, Ong  turned the tables on Ryan Arabejo of the Philippines, who was his conqueror then.

After trailing in second spot at the 150m, Ong surged forward and powered his way to victory, leaving Arabejo to settle for silver this time.

The national serviceman finished in a time of 2 min 03.27sec, shaving almost two seconds off the eight-year national record of 2:05.07 set by Gary Tan in 2001.

Tao Li then captured Singapore’s third gold of the night in the 200m backstroke.

The Singapore Sports School student clocked 2min 17.12 sec to finish  more than 20m ahead of Thailand’s T. Chavisa who took silver in 2:19.87. Singapore’s Shana Lim was third in 2:20.98.

The relays proved to be a rich hunting ground for Singapore too.

In the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay, Singapore, made up of Joshua Lim, Clement Lim, Zach Ong and Marcus Cheah, withstood a late charge from the Philippines to clock a new national record of 7min 30.73sec.

The time was five seconds faster than the previous mark of 7:35.85 set by the quartet of Mark Chay, Bryan Tay, Gary Tan and Cheah.

The Philippines took silver in 7:31.10 and Malaysia was third in 7:36.89.

Not to be outdone, the team of Ting Wen, Lynette Lim, Amanda and Mylene Ong wrapped up Singapore’s gold rush in the pool in style by clocking a new SEA Games record of 8:11.75. The time was nine seconds faster than the previous Games mark of 8:20.77.

Nearest rivals Thailand finished over six seconds behind.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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Singapore sets a whopping nine new national records at World Swimming C’ships

It’s been a fantastic week for Singapore swimming, and one that will rate as one of my sportng highights for 2009.

Our swimmers set a highly impressive nine national records and equalled one at the World Swimming Championships in Rome. This means that the records fell at a rate of one per day, with two falling on the final day of competition.

Head coach Ang Peng Siong had predicted in The Straits Times before the Championships that most of the records would come in the relays. As such, he must have been pleasantly surprised by the slew of individual marks that fell as well. 

Funnily, Ang had predicted that the women’s 4x100m freestyle mark would fall. It didn’t. But the women did break the 4x100m medley and 4x200m freestyle relay marks.

Alas, none of our swimmers managed to enter the semi-finals. And there was a notable absence among the lot: Tao Li. I guess the teenager is still  trying to regain her form after an extended break preparing for her entrance exams to the Auckland University of Technology sports science diploma programme at the Sports School.

Still, the times are a good sign that we can expect good things from both our male and female teams at this December’s SEA Games in Laos.

Here’s a quick recap of the marks that fell in Rome:

New records:

Women’s 400m freestyle:

Quah Ting Wen (who else?) got the ball rolling by breaking the 40om freestyle record during the heats. She clocked 4min 13.70sec to break Lynette Lim’s mark of 4:14.25 which was set at the Asian Youth Games in July.

Women’s 1,500m freestyle:

Lynette Lim sliced more than 20 seconds off her national 1,500m freestyle record during the heats. Her time of 16min 41.49sec shattered her own two-year national mark of 17:02.07. She finished 25th out of 32 swimmers.

Men’s 50m breaststroke:

Parker Lam broke his two-month-old national mark of 29.31sec with his 28.66sec effort.

Women’s 800m freestyle:

Lynette set her second individual national record when she clocked 8:42.16 in the 800m freestyle heats. It bettered the 8:45.56 national mark which she had set at the Beijing Olympics. She finsihed 24th out of  47 swimmers.

Men’s 50m backstroke:

Rainer Ng broke his own national 50m backstroke mark of 26.96sec with his 26.70sec effort in the heats.  He finished 54th out of 130 swimmers.

Women’s 4x200m freestyle relay:

This was an amazing feat simply because both records involved the same set of swimmers. The quartet of Quah Ting Wen, Amanda Lim, Mylene Ong and Lynette Lim touched home in 8:09.91, a whopping 15 seconds faster than the national record of 8:26.23 that the same four swimmers set at the 2007 SEA Games in Korat, Thailand.  Fantastic stuff!  

Women’s 4x100m medley relay:

Shana Lim, Lynette Lim, Roanne Ho and Quah Ting Wen set a new 4x100m medley relay mark. They clocked 4:12.35 to eclipsed the 4:13.18 mark which was set in 2007.  They finished 23rd out of 35 countries.

Men’s 4x100m medley relay:

The quartet of Rainer Ng, Marc Tan, Nicholas Tan and Clement Lim broke the eight-year-old national mark of 3:51.16  (set by Mark Chay, Benjamin Gan, Gary Tan and Daniel Liew at the 2001 SEA Games in Brunei) when they clocked  3:48.74 in their heat.

Men’s 100m backstroke:

Rainer also broke the esecond oldest men’s national record during the medley relay. His time of 57.33sec broke David Lim’s record of 57.34sec by a whisker. Lim set the record in 1988 at the Seoul Olympics. (The oldest surviving national men’s record is Ang Peng Siong’s 50m freestyle mark of 22.69sec which was set at the 1982 Olympics). By the way, Lim is also Rainer’s coach at Swimfast.

The one that got equalled:

Women’s 50m backstroke:

Hwa Chong International student Shana Lim must be wondering what it must take to break Tao Li’s three-year-old 50m backstroke record. For the third time this year, she clocked 29.20sec to equal the mark. She had clocked the same time at the 40th National Age-Group Championships and the 5th National Championships.

The Singapore Sports Fan would like to extend his heartiest congratulations to Peng Siong, all our swimmers and their coaches for a great job at the Worlds. Keep them records falling!

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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