Long-distance specialist Glen's one for the future, says coach Tan
13-year-old Glen shows he has much promise in the long-distance swim events
The meet was supposed to be a stage for the senior swimmers from the National Training Centre (NTC) to perform, and try and qualify for the Rio Olympics in August.
Instead, Glen Lim, 13, headlined the first day of the Singapura Finance 47th Singapore National Age-Group (Snag) Swimming Championships (Senior) yesterday at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
While Rachel Tseng and Pang Sheng Jun failed to better their seed times and make the Olympic "B" cut in the women's 800m freestyle and men's 1,500m freestyle, respectively, Glen rewrote his own national Under-14 record in the 1,500m freestyle with a time of 16min 36.38sec.
His previous mark, set at the Singapore Swimming Association time trials in January, was 16:39.73.
On last night's swim, the Raffles Institution student said: "It is an achievement for me... although I was trying to aim for 16:32 or 16:30 and qualify for the Junior Pan-Pacs (in August).
"The middle of the race was the toughest because it's the most boring part. It takes a heavy toll on your mind because you can feel unmotivated to finish the race.
"For the next meet, I am going to aim for 16:30," added the skinny teenager, who also owns the U-14 800m freestyle record.
ONE TO WATCH
National assistant coach Gary Tan also felt Glen could have clocked a faster time, but hailed the youngster as one to watch in the future.
"Glen has a lot of talent ... and he's got many more years to push the boundaries with the 1,500m free, something we have been looking for since Teo Zhen Ren (national 1,500m free record holder) left the scene," said coach Tan.
"Jonathan Tan came relatively close to Glen today as well and both are 14 this year, and they are the future in the event."
While the young upstarts were doing well, Tseng, 18, and Pang, 24, had a day to forget.
Tseng had a seed time of 8:53.14 in the women's 800m freestyle - her result in the same meet last year - but clocked 8:57.79 last night.
While the NTC swimmers competed in the Arena Pro Swim Series in Texas right after a hard training camp in the United States in January, they tapered their training in preparation for the Snag, which doubles up as the swimmers' final Olympic qualifier.
Similarly, Pang's 16:12.34 effort yesterday in the men's 1,500 free was off his time of 15:49.56 from the Pro Swim Series, and he received an earful from national coach Sergio Lopez after his race.
The Olympic "B" cuts for the 800 free and 1,500 free races are 8:51.96 and 15:46.79, respectively.
Pang preferred not to dwell on his swim and said: "Everyone has good and bad races, today just happens to be a bad day, so I will just move on from here.
"Tomorrow is a brand new day for me."
The Snag ends on Sunday.