Swimming: Darren stands tall

Swimming: Darren stands tall
Stunner: Singapore's Darren Lim receiving the gold medal from Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, after an incredible display in the 50m freestyle event at the TYR South-east Asia Swimming Championships yesterday.

SINGAPORE - Darren Lim raised the decibel level at the OCBC Aquatic Centre at Kallang last night, when he beat Indonesia's speed merchant Triadi Fauzi Sidiq in the men's 50m freestyle at the TYR South-east Asia (SEA) Swimming Championships presented by Yakult.

The home fans had plenty to cheer as Darren stormed home to win in 23.34sec, causing a huge upset when he touched home ahead of the Indonesian, who won the 50m and 100m freestyle at the Myanmar South-east Asia (SEA) Games last December.

There was no bronze medallist in the event, after Triadi and Thailand's Alexander Lewis shared the silver for posting an identical time of 23.55.

Speaking after his win, Darren, 15, said: "I haven't been doing well in the past year, but this is a real morale-booster for me.

"I'm really surprised because this year isn't a swimming year for me as I have my 'O' Levels that I need to concentrate on, but I'm hoping to be good enough for next year's SEA Games, if possible."

The other star of the night was Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Anh Vien.

She scored a hat-trick of gold medals, rewriting her own meet records for two of those events.

Vien won the women's 50m backstroke and the 400m individual medley in an action-packed Day 3 of the swimming programme.

The 17-year-old Vietnamese clocked 29.51 in the 50m backstroke, bettering her meet record of 29.89 set in 2012.

Right behind her was Indonesia's Aa Istri Kania Ratih (30.61) and Singapore's Stacy Tan (30.70).

Speaking to The New Paper later, Vien said: "I feel very proud to win all three of my events, that was my aim.

"But I really didn't expect to break two of my old records, so that's a bonus for me."

Vien also bettered her 2012 mark of 4min 50.27sec in the women's 400m individual medley event, which she won in 4:49.03.

Thailand's Piangkhwan Pawapotako came in second (4:55.60) and Singapore's Jing-E Tan collected the bronze (4:59.09).

Her third gold came in the 100m butterfly when she touched home first in 1:00.69, outside Tao Li's meet record of 59.23.

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