His nerves prevented him from breaking one of the longest-standing national swimming records in June.
Darren Lim has since learned to control his emotions better, after competing in the Nanjing Asian Youth Games in August.
The upcoming Fina Swimming World Cup (short-course), which will feature stars such as Roland Schoeman, will be another eye-opener for the 15-year-old freestyle specialist, as he prepares for his debut outing at the South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Myanmar in December.
"I feel stronger now, in terms of fitness, although I would need to polish my technique in the coming weeks," said the teenager (below), who was just 0.04 seconds shy of equalling Ang Peng Siong's 31-year-old national 50m mark of 22.69sec at the Singapore National Swimming Championships this year.
But he stopped shy of saying he would achieve that mark, or win the 50m free gold at the SEA Games.
Said his coach, David Lim of Swimfast Aquatic Club: "Definitely I am looking for him to make his mark at the SEA Games. But, because he's come up so quickly, he is still relatively new to international level competition.
"I hope he will gain some experience from competing against and watching some of the best swimmers at the World Cup.
"It will provide Darren, (Quah) Zheng Wen and other swimmers one last opportunity to race before the SEA Games, which is our main goal from now till the end of the year."
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