Jing-E shatters 3rd U-14 record

Tan Jing-E capped her most successful Singapore National Age Group Championship outing by claiming a third Under-14 record yesterday.

In the final event of the meet, the promising 13-year-old clocked a time of 4min 58.21sec in the 400m individual medley (IM), breaking Quah Ting Wen's previous record, set in 2005, by more than three seconds.

This would have been good for a silver medal at last December's Myanmar SEA Games, had the promising swimmer taken part.

However, because she and fellow swimmer Quah Jing Wen had not met the qualifying time for the SEA Games, their names were not included in the Singapore Swimming Association's (SSA) appeal to the Singapore National Olympic Council. This was despite a request from Swimfast Aquatic Club (SAC) coach David Lim to include their names.

Although her time yesterday fell short of the "B" qualifying mark for September's Asian Games in South Korea (4:57.57), the SAC swimmer was still overjoyed with the record.

Said the 1.73m tall teenager, who towers over her peers: "My personal best in this event was 5:05 so to clock a timing like this today was a miracle.

"I really want to thank God for my performances this week."

Jing-E also rewrote the national U-14 100m backstroke and the 200m IM records at the six-day meet.

Her fine showing, where she also clocked personal bests in six of her seven events, earned her the Most Valuable Swimmer (13-14 age group) accolade. The boys' title was clinched by her SAC teammate Darren Chua.

This double honour capped a successful meet for SAC whose swimmers rewrote three national open records and five U-14 records. Lim was proud of his stable of swimmers, including national record-holders Quah Zheng Wen - who broke two national marks at the meet - as well as Roanne Ho and Darren Lim.

"We usually try to get them to peak around this competition, and it shows. Records have fallen and a lot of personal bests have been clocked," said Lim, a former national swimmer.

Darren, who smashed two national U-14 records on Wednesday, was satisfied with his own performances.

"I'm feeling quite good because I managed to clock personal bests in most of my events," said the 14-year-old.

"Beating the 200m IM record by three seconds was quite unexpected."

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