Raffles Girls' Secondary School swimmer Kathlyn Laiu surprised even herself with a new national Under-14 record on the final day of the Schools National Swimming Championships at the Singapore Sports School yesterday.
The 14-year-old clocked 1min 12.64sec for the C Division girls' 100m breaststroke, 0.13 faster than Samantha Louisa Yeo's old mark set in 2010.
"I didn't perform well the day before, so I didn't think I would break my personal best or even the national record," she said.
On Tuesday, Kathlyn finished first in the 200m backstroke, but missed the meet record by two seconds.
Yesterday, the Secondary 2 student also teamed up with Jamie Koo, Elizabeth Lee and Cherlyn Yeoh to break the 4x50m medley relay meet record, clocking 2:01.55 to smash their own school's 2:02.05 timing set last year.
Their record-breaking time was even faster than the winning A and B Division teams - Anglo Chinese Junior College and RGS respectively - eclipsing their efforts by more than two seconds.
"It was difficult because we don't train together. We were aiming to break the record, but we weren't sure whether we could," said Jamie, 14.
Their closest rivals, Methodist Girls' School, finished more than five seconds back.
Another meet record was broken by national swimmer Hoong En Qi from Singapore Sports School, who improved her preliminary timing in the B Division girls' 50m freestyle with 26.05 in the final.
"This is a stepping stone for me as I'm trying to do better for the SEA Games," said the 16-year-old, who was aiming for a 25.9 effort. She will be competing in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the SEA Games in June.
In all, 12 meet records were broken as the swimming championships came to a close yesterday.
Last year's champions across all divisions and genders retained their positions this year.
RGS were overall champions for the B and C Divisions, while Raffles Institution topped the girls' A Division.
For the boys, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) repeated a grand slam from last year as overall champions in all three divisions.
"We just kept our focus and confidence because we knew we could do it," said the school's Year 6 swim captain Marvin Choo.
This article was first published on April 23, 2015.
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