She felt good after a timed swim in July last year, her first after a break of more than three years.
But breaststroke specialist Roanne Ho reeled back in horror when she was told that she clocked a hand-timed 37.80 seconds in her pet 50m event, a far cry from her national record of 32.44.
Yesterday morning, the 21-year-old finally erased her old mark, set at the 2009 Asian Youth Games here, with a 32.37 effort at the Singapore National Age-Group Swimming Championships at the Singapore Sports School.
"I went to Australia for my undergraduate studies after the 2009 SEA (South-east Asia) Games and, in those three years, I did not work out at all," said Ho, who clocked 32.48 in last evening's final.
"When I graduated last year, my dad said that I could either work for the rest of my life or give swimming another shot, for a couple of years," added the Swimfast Aquatic Club swimmer, who also has a medical condition where she would faint if her heartbeat is too fast.
She chose the pool, but found the going tough at the beginning.
The Queensland University of Technology marketing graduate said: "At first, my coach Gary (Tan) gave me slower intervals but I was still struggling, and I was frustrated at the beginning because my timings were stagnant.
"But it gradually began to fall."
With her timing, Ho qualified for the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, this September.
But she is aiming to make a splash at the SEA Games here next June.
She said: "That's actually the main reason for me coming back and, if I do well next year, I might even consider training for the Olympics (in 2016)."
Meanwhile, Aquatic Performance Swim Club's Danny Yeo erased Quah Zheng Wen's national men's 400m free record of 3min 57.75sec with a 3:55.14 effort last evening, with club-mate Teo Zhen Ren also going under the mark, clocking 3:57.69.
Said the 23-year-old undergraduate Yeo: "This is my third PB (personal best) this year, but my previous two were about 3:58. I think swimming with my training mate Zhen Ren really helped today."
With his timing, Yeo also qualified for the Asiad this September, where he is hoping to make the final again.
He said: "I clocked four minutes then to finish seventh, but that was four years ago and everyone's improved since then. The final would be my goal."
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