Thoughts of retirement had crossed national swimmer Shana Lim's mind early last year but a promise she had made to herself forced her to delay that decision.
The 21-year-old had planned one final hurrah at the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar, where she would compete alongside her younger brother Darren, but that dream failed to materialise after she was ruled out with a shoulder injury.
Yet, fuelled by her desire to make up for that missed opportunity, Lim cut a determined figure yesterday at the Singapore National Swimming Championships as she won the women's 50m backstroke in 29.85sec.
It met the Games qualifying mark of 29.96, and as long as her time remains in the top two before the eligible window ends in March's Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships, Lim will get her shot at glory in the June 5-16 Games.
Darren, 16, had won the men's 100m freestyle on Wednesday and is likely to compete in the biennial Games on home soil.
Said Lim: "That will be my last SEA Games and the 50m will be my only event. It would mean a lot to me if I could be there with my brother. That's been my main motivation for this past year."
She had suffered a labrum tear in her right shoulder in February last year and the road to recovery was a long and arduous one for the backstroke specialist.
She has three relay golds from competing in three previous Games (2007, 2009 and 2011).
Also posting times under the SEA Games 'A' marks at the OCBC Aquatic Centre last night were Quah Ting Wen, 22, and Amanda Lim, 21, both of whom finished first and second in the 100m freestyle with times of 56.38 and 56.51 respectively.
Their timings were narrowly inside the 56.63 window.
Said Quah, who owns the 100m free record of 55.57 she set in 2009: "I was a bit disappointed with my time and was trying to go for a low 55sec. I went out okay in the first 50m but I was struggling over the last 25m.
"I'm still working on my fitness and it's a gradual process."
Meanwhile, her younger brother Zheng Wen, 18, bagged the men's 200m backstroke in 2min 5.05sec while Malcolm Low, 17, finished second in 2:05.30.
Both were under the 'A' mark of 2:05.38.
In the men's 200m butterfly, 15-year-old Dylan Koo clocked 2:02.95 to win the gold medal and put himself in the running for a spot in next year's squad.
The 'A' mark is 2:04.20.
This article was first published on Dec 19, 2014.
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