More competitors met qualifying marks for next June's SEA Games yesterday at the Singapore National Swimming Championships (SNSC), with Darren Lim leading the way with a new national Under-17 mark in the men's 100m freestyle.
The 16-year-old freestyle specialist came out tops with a timing of 50.72sec, going under the 50.83 required for the biennial event on home soil.
It eclipsed his own mark of 51.25 set last June.
In the women's 200m backstroke, Chantal Liew also met the SEA Games qualifying time - 2min 21.19sec - when she finished first with a time of 2:19.87.
Darren was awarded the Neo Chwee Kok Cup which is given to the winner of the 100m freestyle event.
However, he declined comment after his event, with his elder sister Shana, also a swimmer, saying that he was "not ready". Chantal, meanwhile, said her new personal best was an unexpected surprise.
The 16-year-old, a Year 12 student at the British International School in Phuket, had just returned to Singapore from a meet in Dubai two days ago.
"I'm still jet-lagged... and I was feeling quite tired and I had the 800 last night," she said yesterday at the OCBC Aquatic Centre. "I was behind on the third 50m... but just had to keep pushing.
"It's been a long time since I made an improvement.
"I had a drop in training in the middle of the year and was feeling unmotivated but things are back on track now.
"It's time to go back and work even harder because there are still two more trials to go so anything can happen."
The SNSC is one of three qualifying meets designated by the Singapore Swimming Association.
Swimmers can also qualify through time trials in February and at the Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships in March.
The fastest two qualifiers for each event will earn berths at the SEA Games next year.
Hannah Quek, the 14-year-old runner-up in the women's 200 back race, also met the SEA Games qualifying mark with a time of 2:20.49.
In the women's 50m butterfly event, Quah Ting Wen also met the SEA Games qualifying standards, with a first-place finish of 27.43.
The SNSC continues today until Sunday.
This article was first published on Dec 18, 2014.
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