C'wealth Games: Swimmers set to make noise in Glasgow

C'wealth Games: Swimmers set to make noise in Glasgow
From left: Nur Marina Chan, Amanda Lim, Danny Yeo

National swimming coach Ian Turner has a good feeling about the prospects of his athletes at the Commonwealth Games.

He has already said that Joseph Schooling could win Singapore's first swimming medal at the Games in the 200m butterfly, and perhaps Tao Li has a small chance to get on the podium in Glasgow.

While he ruled out the rest of the 11-member team from returning with any medals, Turner, who is also the Singapore Swimming Association's technical director, told The New Paper yesterday that he has set them a target to rewrite their personal best (PB) times over the next few days.

The swimming programme gets underway today with a whole host of Singapore swimmers in action.

"Our medal hopes lie with Joseph and Tao Li, and we'd be far too optimistic to say the rest have a chance at a podium," said the Briton.

"One reason is that the developed swimming nations can put three swimmers in any race - up from the usual two at international meets.

"So, you could well find one nation finishing one, two, and three in an event.

"It will be difficult for our kids. You have to remember that Joseph and Tao Li are world-class athletes.

"The rest have to target a national record or bettering their personal best. For them, it's really about progression."

Turner cited Amanda Lim, 21, Danny Yeo, 24, and 16-year-old Nur Marina Chan as swimmers who could make a splash in Scotland.

RECORD HOLDERS

Lim is the current women's 50m freestyle national record holder and will compete in the 50m, 100m, and 200m free events.

Current national men's 100m and 400m freestyle record-holder, Yeo, will race in the 100m, 200m, and 400m free.

Both swimmers fared well at the TYR South-east Asia (SEA) Swimming Championships held here last month, bagging two gold medals each.

"I would be disappointed if Amanda didn't make it to the semi-finals in the 50m freestyle," said Turner.

"She swam very well at the SEA championships, as did Danny, and I'm hopeful that either of them can get a new PB."

Nur Marina, added Turner, was one swimmer Singaporeans should take note of.

The Anglo-Chinese Junior College student emerged among Singapore's top performers at the Mizuno SEA Age Group Swimming Championships last month, when she bagged three golds (50m freestyle, 50m butterfly, 100m free).

Hailing from the famous Chan swimming clan - her father is Bernard Chan and aunt Patricia is the nation's original Golden Girl - she will compete in the 50m and 100m freestyle, and 50m butterfly events.

"Marina is young enough not to be overawed by everything," said Turner.

"She's at that stage where she's fearless and has been improving beyond recognition the last four, five months.

"So our eyes are on her to keep improving."

aakasim@sph.com.sg

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