It was an event which was not even his main priority.
In fact, the 53rd MILO Schools National Swim Championships, were a mere blip on Quah Zheng Wen's radar.
His real focus? Olympic qualification.
But in the Boys' B Division 100m backstroke event at the Singapore Sports School yesterday, Zheng Wen swam a perfect race.
The Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) student finished in 56.63 seconds, shattering the previous national record (56.73sec) set by Rainer Ng in 2009.
Zheng Wen, 15, was unaware that he had set a new national record, and was surprised when he found out.
He said: "I didn't know. I guess it's a bonus. I didn't rest for this meet, so all these records are just a bonus.
"What matters is that I've beaten my personal time."
Zheng Wen, however, is no stranger when it comes to breaking records. He holds the national record for three other disciplines - the 50m backstroke, 200m backstroke, and the 400m individual medley.
Over the past two days, Zheng Wen won gold medals in the 200m butterfly, 100m backstroke, and the 4x50m medley relay. He also won a silver in the 4x50m freestyle relay.
His coach, Gary Tan, was pleased with his charge's effort, which also helped his school, ACS (Independent) secure the Boys' B Division title.
He said: "It (100m backstroke) was not an event we were training specifically for. Zheng Wen just wanted to help the school score the necessary points."
The pair, who have worked together since Zheng Wen was 13, have set their sights on Olympic qualification, and did not alter their schedule in preparation for the annual meet.
Their rigorous training left Zheng Wen fatigued entering the competition.
Zheng Wen said: "I didn't rest for this meet. I continued training as usual and there was no differentiation. I was tired but I just went in and raced."
"He was tuning up for other competitions lined up, gearing up towards Olympics qualification. But the race gave us a very good indicator of where he stands," coach Tan added.
The upcoming South-east Asia (SEA) Swimming Championships from May 28 to June 17, is their primary focus.
The event is the last chance for swimmers in the region to earn qualification to the London Olympics in July.
Zheng Wen is looking to qualify for three events - the 400m IM, 200m backstroke and the 200m butterfly.
It looks like his best chance is in the individual medley event, in which his timing (4:21.70) is well within the Olympic 'B' qualifying mark (4:25.44).
Tan is confident that Zheng Wen will make the cut.
Tan said: "He is a hard worker. Being a teenager, he still has his idiosyncrasies. But at the end of the day, he knows what's the biggest agenda - Olympic qualification. He looks at it from a very big picture perspective."
When asked to rate his chances, Zheng Wen was optimistic and determined.
"I'm not sure how I'll fare in the Olympics but I'm trying my best to secure my ticket to London," he said.
This article was first published in The New Paper.