Zheng Wen rewrites 50m back records

Swimmer Quah Zheng Wen continued where he left off last year by claiming two national marks at the New South Wales State Open Championships yesterday.

The 15-year-old clocked 26.19 seconds in the men's 50m backstroke heats at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre yesterday morning to rewrite the national Open and Under-17 marks.

He clocked 26.77s in the "A" final to finish ninth of 10swimmers.

Rainer Ng held the previous Open record of 26.32, while Zheng Wen rewrote his own age-group best of 26.57.

Said Singapore coach David Lim: "The indications were that it was within his reach, but we didn't know whether he'd do it today.

"He had a good start and finish."

National head coach Ang Peng Siong added that the teenager will be among the ones to watch when Singapore hosts the South-east Asia Games in 2015, and at the Rio Olympics a year later.

He said: "He is very focused and determined, and is still growing. He will definitely become stronger and would make a good candidate for 2016.

"It is also a matter of time before he breaks the 26-second mark in this event, and going forward, we would definitely want to create more opportunities for him to race.

"He'd have three or four years before he reaches the peak age for male swimmers, so there's plenty of time to improve."

Great potential

Zheng Wen, who is the younger brother of national swimmer Ting Wen, showed glimpses of his potential at the national championships last year, when he bettered Ng Tze Kang's 200m fly record of 2min 3.61secs.

But his achievement was overshadowed when Joseph Schooling clocked 2min 0.05sec in the same swim to claim the record.

At last year's SEA Games in Palembang, Zheng Wen clinched one gold (400m IM), a silver (200m fly) and a bronze (50m back).

Meanwhile, Lionel Khoo clocked 28.88 in the 50m breast heats yesterday morning, a whisker away from his own national Under-17 mark of 28.87.

He then clocked 28.97 in the final later yesterday.

Tao Li finished second in the 50m fly "A" final in 26.73, after clocking 26.88 in the heats.

She will attempt to meet the 100m fly Olympic "A" qualifying time of 58.70 today.


This article was first published in The New Paper.