Quah will go all out in the 100m fly at World
Zheng Wen posts new 200m back mark of 1:59.49, vows to go all out in 100m fly
It would have been a tall order for Singapore swimmer Quah Zheng Wen to progress beyond the men's 200m backstroke heats at the Fina World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, yesterday.
The 20-year-old told local media recently that he had not been focusing on the backstroke of late.
Last month, he told The New Paper he now considers himself more of a specialist in the butterfly and not the backstroke, despite making his name in the latter stroke in his earlier years.
While he clocked a new national record of 1min 59.49sec in the 200m back heats yesterday, what perhaps was more important for the UC Berkeley undergraduate was the recalibration of his race strategy.
The 2012 and 2016 Olympian missed out on the 200m butterfly semi-finals on Tuesday after finishing 17th in the heats.
Only the top 16 progressed to the next round. He had missed out on a swim-off with the last qualifier by 0.06 seconds.
"The 200m fly was on me, it was just bad race planning and being a little over-confident, maybe," said Quah, who had been aiming to make the 200m fly final early yesterday morning.
"After (that race), Sonya (Porter, Singapore Swimming Association technical director) and I have been talking about trying to go out a bit harder in the 200m back.
I am not at that level where I can afford to sit back and chill. I will definitely be going harder in the morning tomorrow.Quah Zheng Wen on the 100m butterfly — his last event at the Worlds
"I have got to take it out harder, got to be a little braver, and I gave it a go today."
Quah added that he was pleased to rewrite the national record a second time in two months. He had lowered it to 2:00.45 just a month ago at the Singapore National Swimming Championships at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
"This (the 200m back) has been a race that I never actually raced at a high level since 2012 in London (at the Olympics)," Quah said.
"It's pretty cool swimming it again and pretty nice doing a best time, gearing up for the 100m fly tomorrow."
Quah placed 24th overall from five heats in the 200m back, while his former Cal Bears teammate Ryan Murphy - who just graduated - topped the preliminary rounds with 1:56.11.
New Zealand's Corey Main was the last of the 16 qualifiers for the semi-finals with 1:58.34.
Quah and Singapore teammate Joseph Schooling will compete in the men's 100m fly heats today, with the latter aiming to win the event and erase Michael Phelps' world record of 49.82sec.
Quah vows to go harder in the heats to avoid another early exit.
He said: "I am not at that level where I can afford to sit back and chill. I will definitely be going harder in the morning tomorrow.
"I think a 51.7sec, or a mid-51-second timing would be a very safe bet (for a semi-final spot)."