Swim coach Turner says Singapore set for a big splash at Commonwealth Games
National coach Turner says likes of Amanda, Danny and Nur Marina could set top times
National swimming coach Ian Turner has a good feeling about the prospects of his athletes at the Commonwealth Games.
He has already said that Joseph Schooling could win Singapore's first swimming medal at the Games in the 200m butterfly, and perhaps Tao Li has a small chance to get on the podium in Glasgow.
While he ruled out the rest of the 11-member team from returning with any medals, Turner, who is also the Singapore Swimming Association's technical director, told The New Paper yesterday that he has set them a target to rewrite their personal best (PB) times over the next few days.
The swimming programme gets underway today with a whole host of Singapore swimmers in action.
"Our medal hopes lie with Joseph and Tao Li, and we'd be far too optimistic to say the rest have a chance at a podium," said the Briton.
"One reason is that the developed swimming nations can put three swimmers in any race - up from the usual two at international meets.
"So, you could well find one nation finishing one, two, and three in an event.
"It will be difficult for our kids. You have to remember that Joseph and Tao Li are world-class athletes.
"The rest have to target a national record or bettering their personal best. For them, it's really about progression."
Turner cited Amanda Lim, 21, Danny Yeo, 24, and 16-year-old Nur Marina Chan as swimmers who could make a splash in Scotland.
Lim is the current women's 50m freestyle national record holder and will compete in the 50m, 100m, and 200m free events.
Current national men's 100m and 400m freestyle record-holder, Yeo, will race in the 100m, 200m, and 400m free.
Both swimmers fared well at the TYR South-east Asia (SEA) Swimming Championships held here last month, bagging two gold medals each.
"I would be disappointed if Amanda didn't make it to the semi-finals in the 50m freestyle," said Turner.
"She swam very well at the SEA championships, as did Danny, and I'm hopeful that either of them can get a new PB."
Nur Marina, added Turner, was one swimmer Singaporeans should take note of.
The Anglo-Chinese Junior College student emerged among Singapore's top performers at the Mizuno SEA Age Group Swimming Championships last month, when she bagged three golds (50m freestyle, 50m butterfly, 100m free).
Hailing from the famous Chan swimming clan - her father is Bernard Chan and aunt Patricia is the nation's original Golden Girl - she will compete in the 50m and 100m freestyle, and 50m butterfly events.
"Marina is young enough not to be overawed by everything," said Turner.
"She's at that stage where she's fearless and has been improving beyond recognition the last four, five months.
"So our eyes are on her to keep improving."
SINGAPORE’S SWIMMERS IN GLASGOW
Joseph Schooling: 50m, 100m, 200m butterfly; 200m freestyle; 200m IM
Quah Zheng Wen: 50m, 100m, 200m backstroke; 50m, 100m, 200m freestyle; 100m butterfly
Danny Yeo: 100m, 200m, 400m freestyle
Christopher Cheong: 50m, 100m, 200m breaststroke
Clement Lim: 50m, 100m freestyle
Tao Li: 50m, 100m butterfly; 50m, 100m backstroke
Quah Ting Wen: 50m, 100m, 200m freestyle; 50m, 100m, 200m butterfly
Samantha Yeo: 50m, 100m, 200m breaststroke; 200m IM
Amanda Lim: 50m, 100m, 200m freestyle
Lynette Lim: 200m, 400m, 800m freestyle; 200m butterfly
Nur Marina Chan: 50m, 100m freestyle; 50m butterfly
Another swim cap fuss for Team Singapore
On the eve of the first day of the swimming programme, the Singapore contingent faced a disruption in their preparations for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
They had to throw out their swim caps and replace them with new ones.
The New Paper understands that during a team officials meeting yesterday, the Speedo swim caps used by Team Singapore's swimmers were in breach of the rules.
The Speedo logo on the cap was bigger than the regulation size, in accordance with the competition's advertising rules.
As a result, team officials had to scramble for new Speedo caps for the 11-member team, made up of five men and six women.
The new caps, however, do not bear the Singapore flag.
Low Teo Ping, Singapore's chef-de-mission at the Games, said the problem has been fully resolved.
"Swimming caps belonging to 10 of the 11 swimmers were found to be non-compliant with the advertising codes of the Games.
"The caps have since been replaced with similar ones and the swimmers are satisfied with the new caps.
"The difference between the old caps and new caps is that the new (ones) do not feature the Singapore flag."
There was relief for swim sensation Joseph Schooling, though.
His cap, sponsored by TYR, did not infringe the rules, and hence, he will be the only swimmer to have the Singapore flag emblazoned on his cap when he takes the plunge tomorrow in the 50m butterfly heats.
This is the third incident for Singapore swimming at a major Games.
At the 2012 London Olympics, Schooling was told minutes before his 200m butterfly heat that his cap and goggles, both manufactured by TYR, were not on the list of approved equipment.
The hiccup rattled Schooling, who clocked two seconds more than his personal best at the time.
At the 2007 Fina World Championships in Melbourne, Tao Li was unable to use her usual cap because the size of the national flag printed on it was deemed too big.
Subsequently, she had to wear one given by Fina, the sport's governing body, and after she failed to make the final in the 100 fly, the swimmer complained about the ill-fitting new cap.