Quah siblings bag four SEA Games gold medals, all in record time
She won gold in a SEA Games record time on a momentous night when her two siblings also did the same.
But Quah Ting Wen's disappointment was palpable from the moment she squinted her eyes to check her timing following her 100m freestyle win at the at the New Clark City Aquatics Center yesterday.
The 54.74 seconds on the screen was better than second-placed compatriot Cherlyn Yeoh's 55.55 and Filipino bronze-medallist Jasmine Alkhaldi's 55.76.
But crucially, it fell short of 54.38 - the Olympic "A" mark which would have seen the 27-year-old replicate the feat of her brother Zheng Wen earlier in the night when he booked his spot for Tokyo 2020 in the 100m backstroke.
Said Ting Wen, the eldest Quah: "Not exactly a national record (54.62), but I'll take it. It's alright...
"My sister and I are also chasing the 'A' cut. Today was our main events...
"It's nice, I'm glad we won. But I think, as a whole here, our goal right now... is Tokyo 2020.
"It's mixed feelings, I'm happy, it was an OK swim. But I have bigger goals.
"I'll try again, I guess... I have the 50m free and the 4x100m freestyle, and I think I can use the first leg to try again."
Quah's younger sister Jing Wen was in better spirits after winning the race of the night by 0.02 sec in the 200m butterfly.
The 18-year-old's 2min 10.97sec effort was just enough to pip Filipino crowd favourite Remedy Alexis Rule, with Vietnam's Le Thi My Thao finishing third in 2:12.70.
Said the youngest Quah: "I was just trying my best to keep my lead, but I could definitely see her creeping up. It was a really close race...
"(The crowd) were going crazy and I was like, 'I got to get to the wall'. I know they were cheering for her, too, but it just gave me an extra boost."
On the historic night for the Quah family, National Training Centre head coach Gary Tan added: "I think that's the beauty of sports, you have all three Quah siblings swimming at the same time, and they performed to the best of their abilities.
"They stepped it up, you've got to give them credit for that."