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Quah siblings dominate for 4 individual SEA Games golds on first day of swimming competition

HANOI: Swimmer Quah Ting Wen was halfway through changing for her event when she heard the announcement for the women's 200m butterfly finals.

Her younger sister was competing and she had to support her no matter what.

"I just ran out. I had to watch it because the 200m fly is special to my sister and it was really good to see her break the 2min 10sec mark and the SEA Games record," she told reporters.

"So (it was) a great adrenaline rush before my event."

But on a dramatic first day of the swimming competition at the My Dinh Water Sports Palace in Hanoi, it was the Quah siblings, not just Jing Wen, who stole the show as they combined for four golds for Singapore.

Competing in her only event of the day, older sister Ting Wen would successfully defend her 100m freestyle title. She is unbeaten in this event in four editions of the Games since the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.

Thailand's Jenjira Srisa-Ard finished second (56.62), while Miranda Christina Renner took third (56.95).

Zheng Wen would later also win gold in the100m backstroke, with a time of 54.83.

However, he was denied another in the 4x100m freestyle relay when the quartet of Quah, Joseph Schooling, Mikkel Lee, and Jonathan Tan would finish first but be later disqualified due to what national head coach Gary Tan would later describe as a "technicality".

CNA understands that the disqualification was due to a marginally early take-off from one of the swimmers on the team.

Vietnam would take gold, Indonesia the silver and Thailand bronze in the event.

Jing Wen, the youngest of the three, claimed two golds in the 200m butterfly and 200m individual medley events.

In a commanding swim in the 200m butterfly, she took the victory with a new SEA Games record of 2:09.52. The time is also a new national record and personal best for her.

"I just wanted to go out there and show the world what I can do because my training has always been pretty good. And I feel like it doesn't really translate to racing as much until I guess about now," she said.

"I feel like I still can go faster and the world still hasn't seen the best of me yet."

Vietnam’s Le Thi My Tao claimed silver (2:14.20), while Thailand’s Kamonchanok Kwanmuang (2:14.35) took bronze.

The 22-year-old Quah also won the event in 2019 and 2017.

Jing Wen then would go on to hold off a challenge from compatriot Letitia Sim later in the night to win the 200m individual medley. This is her first Games gold in the event.

When asked about her siblings, she noted that their support has always spurred her on.

Said Jing Wen: "Being able to do this sport with my family, my siblings like my brother and sister .... It's just really special and not something that a lot of people can experience," she said. "And I'm just so appreciative of that."

Source: CNA/mt(rw)

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