Swimming

Pang qualifies for second 
SEA Games event

He was feeling down, after clocking a bad time during the men's 400m individual medley heats at the China Life Singapore National Age-Group (Seniors) Swimming Championships at the OCBC Aquatic Centre yesterday morning.

But Singapore swimmer Pang Sheng Jun bounced back in last evening's finals with a 4min 25.91sec swim to better the South-east Asia (SEA) Games qualifying mark of 4:26.29.

"Today, I raced my heart out," said the 24-year-old, who clocked 4:35.23 in the heats.

"Coming into this, I wasn't feeling too good because of the morning heats, but it is all about trusting in the race plan even if you see someone pulling ahead of you," added Pang, who also made the Games qualifying time for the men's 400m freestyle on Thursday.

Two other local swimmers, Lionel Khoo and Quah Ting Wen, also met the Games qualifying marks yesterday.

Khoo, 21, clocked 1:02.82 in the men's 100m breaststroke to better the Games qualifying time of 1:02.87, although it was off his national record of 1:02.26, set at the same event last year.

"Today's race was average on a whole and I'm quite disappointed," said Khoo, who clocked a new national mark in the 200m breaststroke on Thursday.

"However what matters at the end is I qualified (for the SEA Games), I have one more event which is the 50m breaststroke on Sunday and I'm feeling good for it."

Quah, 24, clocked in 1:04.28 to win the women's 100m backstroke, and better the Games standard of 1:04.80, but missed the cut on the women's 200m freestyle with 2:01.79.

The swimmer underwent surgery on her arm late last year and started training only early this year.

"I'm quite pleased with my performance today," said the 2008 and 2016 Olympian. "I'm the type of person to be very nervous when I know that I'm not fully prepared but, despite training for only four to five weeks (before this meet), I managed to pull through."

Quah will not compete today, and will race in the women's 50m free tomorrow. She clinched the silver at the 2015 SEA Games with 25.60sec, behind teammate Amanda Lim (25.59).

Asked about how she felt about her event tomorrow, Quah said: "It's anyone's game. It's about who is mentally sharper that day." - JONATHAN LEE