SINGAPORE - She went into the race against medallists from the last two South-east Asia (SEA) Games, but that didn't faze Rachel Marjorie Tseng.
On Day 5 of the swimming programme at the TYR 2nd South-east Asian Championships presented by Yakult yesterday, Singapore's Rachel stood tall and beat the likes of Benjaporn Sriphanomthorn of Thailand (bronze medallist at the 2011 SEA Games) and Raina Saumi of Indonesia (silver medallist at the 2013 Games).
That saw her finish third in the women's 800m freestyle event last night.
The 16-year-old touched home in 8min 58.26sec, behind gold medallist Nguyen Thi Anh Vien (8:40.75) and second-placed Sarisa Suwannachet (8:47.14) at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
Speaking to The New Paper after her swim, Rachel (below) said: "I'm definitely very happy with my performance because I didn't expect to win a bronze.
"It may sound like a cliche, but my aim was to just do my best, and hopefully get a new personal best. So the medal was a real surprise."
Rachel revealed she was aware of who she was lining up against.
She said: "I competed in last year's SEA Games so I knew what I was up against.
"And to know that I beat medallists like them makes my bronze even bigger.
"But I'm sure they weren't at their best tonight."
In the women's 50m breaststroke, Roanne Ho and Samantha Yeo made it a one-two for Singapore, claiming the gold and silver, respectively.
Roanne clocked 33.35sec, and just behind her, Samantha finished in a time of 33.39. Thailand's Phiangkhwan Pawapotako (33.84) was third.
In the men's 100m freestyle, Vietnam's Hoang Quy Phuoc, silver medallist at last year's Myanmar SEA Games, stormed to victory in a fast time of 50.06sec.
Singapore's Clement Lim took the silver (51.00) and Ching Hwang Lim of Malaysia claimed the bronze (51.21).
This article was first published on June 22 , 2014.
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