SINGAPORE: Swimmer Quah Ting Wen set a new national record in the women's 50 metre freestyle event at the China Life 48th Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships on Sunday (Mar 19).
The two-time Olympian clocked a time of 25.27s, eclipsing the previous national record of 25.38s that was set by teammate Amanda Lim in 2009.
Quah also made the "A" qualifying mark for the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur.
The 24-year-old said she was upbeat about her result. "I'm very pleased as this was not something that I was aiming for," she said. "The 50m free has always been an on-and-off event for me as you need to have a perfect swim to do well. I'm happy because today is the first time that I've swum consistently well both in the morning and afternoon. I was having fun out there.
"It was important to have a good result to end the meet and I'm quite proud to have finished it in this manner. Now the next step is to work hard for SEA Games."
Lim, who trailed Quah in Sunday's event, touched home in 25.50s.
"It has been quite a rough couple of months after Rio Olympics, and it was hard to get into the rhythm of things," she said.
"In a 50m freestyle race, anything can happen and she (Ting Wen) had a really good race today and got my national record. That will be a motivating factor for me to train up and take back my title."
The head coach of the National Training Centre, Gary Tan said he was happy with how his swimmers performed.
"I feel very optimistic about our chances of sending a big, strong team (to the Games)," he said.
"We will go there with the expectation of giving Malaysia a run for their money at their home ground. If we make sure the kids perform up to their expectations and hit their personal bests, I think we are going to have a successful SEA Games.”
The championships saw a total of 12 swimmers qualify for the SEA Games and 10 national records (Open, U17 and U14) being broken.