Sports School's Clydi in a league of her own
It would be easy to miss the skinny, 1.57m-tall Clydi Chan in a crowd.
But, the 13-year-old Singapore Sports School (SSP) student was the centre of attention at the 58th National School Swim Championships Finals at the OCBC Aquatic Centre yesterday.
After all, she had thumped her opponents in the C Division 200m freestyle event, beating her nearest challenger Renata Cheong of Singapore Chinese Girls' School by a whopping 10.96 seconds.
On top of that, her winning time of 2min 08.28sec was faster than those clocked by the winners in the B Division (Chan Zi Yi, 2:10.81) and A Division (Melanie Wong, 2:18.69).
Yet, despite her victory, Clydi couldn't help feeling a tad disappointed.
Clutching her gold medal, she said: "I was initially disappointed that I didn't hit my personal best today. But I did my best and that's the main thing."
Clydi could not remember her personal best timing, but said that it is close to the 2:07.77 - a meet record - she clocked in the heats on Tuesday.
Despite her easy win, Clydi has her feet firmly on the ground.
Asked if she is superior to her peers, she replied: "Some of my peers may be late bloomers.
You never know, one day they could start to surpass me. I can't get too complacent."
Clydi, who is from Aquatic Performance Swim Club, added that swimming in the Olympics is her "ultimate goal", and she is also eyeing a spot in the 2019 South-east Asia (SEA) Games team.
The bubbly teen said: "As of now, I'm still a few seconds off from the SEA Games qualification mark (2.00.84).
"There are plenty of others way ahead of me, but it's about believing I can do it."
Ng Kok Wei, senior general manager of SSP's swimming academy, agreed that Clydi has what it takes to medal in the Manila SEA Games in 2019.
He said: "Improvement is reliant on growth and development, and she has talent that can be developed.
"Clydi's humility and passion (for swimming) are also attributes that will see her go far.
"The two-year target (for the SEA Games) is both realistic and challenging."
The National School Swim Championships will end today.