Tag Archives: national record

Newsflash: Tao Li sets new 200m butterfly national record but does not qualify for semis

National swimmer Tao Li ended her maiden Olympics adventure on a high note this evening when she set a new national record during her 200m butterfly heat at the Water Cube.

The 18-year-old Singapore Sports School student clocked 2min 12.63sec as she finished fifth in her race to break her two-month-old national record of 2:13.20. However, the time was not good enough to advance the plucky swimmer into tomorrow’s semi-finals. She finished 26th out of the 34-strong field.

Still, the new 200m butterfly national record marked a fitting end for Tao Li’s Olympic debut, one which saw her capturing the nation’s imagination over the past three days when she became the first Singapore swimmer to ever qualify for an Olympic swimming final.

That was in the 100m butterfly. Tao Li’s bid to break Singapore’s 48-year Olympic medal drought in eventually did not come to fruition as she finished fifth in the final. Nevertheless, she did break the national and Asian records twice en route to the final.

She clocked 57.77sec in the heats, only to see China’s Zhou Yafei rewrite that minutes later with her 57.70sec. But Tao Li recaptured the Asian mark in the semi-finals with her stupendous 57.54sec effort.

Tao Li’s Olympic feats should make her a strong contender for the Singapore National Olympic Council’s Sportswoman of the Year Award next year. The teenager will now take a well-deserved break for two weeks before resuming training.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

Related links:

12 August: Epilogue – Interesting facts about Tao Li’s 100m butterfly times

11 August: Newsflash – Tao Li finishes fifth in Olympics final 

10 August: Newsflash – Tao Li qualifies for 100m butterfly final

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Newsflash: Tao Li finishes fifth in Olympics final

National swimmer Tao Li’s gallant effort to win Singapore’s first Olympic medal since 1960 did not come to fruition this morning as she finished fifth in the Women’s 100m butterfly final at the Water Cube National Aquatics Centre in Beijing.

The plucky 18-year-old finished fifth in the event in 57.99sec, about 1.26sec behind eventual champion Libby Trickett (56.73sec) of Australia. 

American Christine Magnusson was second in 57.10sec while Trickett’s compatriot Jessicah Schipper took the bronze in 57. 25sec.

China’s Zhou Yafei was fourth in 57.84sec.

Wearing her trademark blue goggles, Tao Li did look a little tense moments before her final as she prepared for the biggest swim of her life. And the pressure that the Singapore Sports School student was feeling showed in the way she swam her first 50m.

Usually strong in her starts, Tao Li was second last in the field of eight wheh she turned after completing her first 50m in 27. 29sec.

That meant a lot of catching up to do in the final length for the young lass, and although she made a valiant and courageous effort, it was all a little too much to do in the end.

Nevertheless, despite not winning a medal, Tao Li wil have much to be proud about at this Olympics. She rewrote both her national record and the Asian record twice during the heats and semi-finals. And the fact that Zhou Yafei finished in 57.84sec means that Tao Li will still walk away from the Water Cube with the Asian record to her name after her stupendous 57.54sec swim in the semis yesterday.

She can also walk away knowing that she has created Singapore sporting history by becoming the first Singapore swmmer to make it to an Olympic final. Prior to this,Singapore’s best performance in the pool in the Games came in 1984 when Ang Peng Siong won the Men’s 100m freestyle B final to emerge the ninth best swimmer in the world in that event.

And finally, she can also walk away knowing that she has won the hearts and respect of her fellow citizens back home with her scintillating performances.

The Singapore Sports Fan congratulates Tao Li and her coach, Peter Churchill, for their brilliant efforts and for the way they captured the nation’s imagnation in the past three days. Here’s wishing the duo all the best in her next event – the 200m butterfly – and even greater success at the 2012 London Olympics.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan 

Related link:

10 August: Newsflash – TaoLi qualifies for 100m butterfly final

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Newsflash: Tao Li qualifies for 100m butterfly final

National swimmer Tao Li continued her sensational form in the Beijing Olympics this morning by setting yet another national record and becoming the first Singapore swimmer to qualify for a swimming final.

Coached by Australian Peter Churchill, the 18-year-old Singapore Sports School student, who was considered a dark horse in the Republic’s hopeful efforts to break its 48-year medal drought in the Games, finished third in her semi-final heat this moring in 57.54secs, smashing the 57.77secs national record timing she set in the heats last night.

She finished third in her race, behind Australia’s Lisebeth Trickett (57.05sec) and Christine Magnuson (57.08sec) of the US.

Five minutes later – the news was confirmed: Tao LI had qualified for the final. This after the second semi-final ended with Australia’s Jessicah Schipper winning in 57.43sec, China’s Zhou Yafei in second place in 57.68sec and Dutch swimmer Inge Dekker third in 58.20sec.

The results means that Tao Li will enter tomorrow’s final as the fourth fastest qualifier – a position that puts her within striking distance of a much-desired Olympic medal.

Tao Li’s fantastic effort this morning also means she has reclaimed the Asian record which Zhou Yafei took from her last night. She had set the Asian mark in her heat only for Zhou to take t away a minute later with her 57.70sec swim in the next heat.

The Singapore Sports Fan congratulates both Tao Li and Churchill and hopes they can give Singapore the perfect National Day present tomorrow by winning a medal and setting yet another new national and Asian mark.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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