ACS(I) swimmers secure all 3 titles

The Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)swimmers set a new benchmark yesterday, sweeping all the division titles - for the first time - at the Schools National Swimming Championships at the Singapore Sports School (SSP).

They joined the girls of Raffles Institution (RI) and Raffles Girls' School (RGS), who also bagged the A, B and C Division titles - for the ninth year running.

"It's the collective support of the people around us that has made this possible," said Jerryl Yong, 18, A Division captain of ACS(I), who referred to their feat as a "Grand Slam".

The B Division title had eluded the school last year but division captain Kevin Ong, 16, attributed this year's success to everyone pulling their weight.

"Every single event by every single member of the team has contributed to this victory. There is no individual event that adds up to the total effort of the team," said Kevin, 16.

Having swept the 4x50m freestyle relays on Tuesday, they repeated that feat in the 4x50m medley relays to reaffirm their dominance in the pool.

National swimmer Quah Zheng Wen, who set a new meet record on Tuesday in the 200m backstroke, swam 56.08 seconds in the 100m backstroke yesterday to smash Rainer Ng's 2010 mark of 58.16.

He was prouder, though, of his backstroke leg in the medley relay for Anglo-Chinese's A Division team, which was 0.3sec better than his own personal best.

RI's A Division medley relay team of Teo Jing Wen, Samantha Yeo, Madeline Quek and Song Ai Vee, who were swimming as a quartet for the first time, set a new meet record of 2min 2.88sec to rewrite the 2:02.91 mark set by last year's RI team.

Samantha, who took the lead for RI in the breaststroke leg, had been disqualified earlier in the 100m breaststroke for executing alternating kicks. Her time of 1:11.65 would have been a new meet record and good for gold.

Said Samantha: "I was devastated after (being disqualified), as it's the third time this year that I've been disqualified for my kicks, but I'm very thankful for my team-mates who encouraged me to look forward to this (medley relay)."

RGS won the C Division medley relay in a new meet record of 2:02.05, just ahead of rivals Methodist Girls' School (MGS) who finished in 2:02.22, erasing the 2:04.27 record that they set last week in the heats.

The B Division event was won by SSP.

This article was published on April 24 in The Straits Times.

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