SINGAPORE – National swimmer Quah Zheng Wen broke his own national record in the 200m backstroke on Saturday morning, clocking 2min 00.45sec in the heats of the Neo Garden 13th Singapore National Swimming Championships.
It re-wrote his own previous mark of 2:00.55, set at the SEA Games on home soil in 2015.
The result is notable, given that the 21-year-old had returned from the United States just last month and had not been conditioned for racing. He moved to the States in January to begin his studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also trains with the Cal Bears in the short-course yards format typical of American collegiate swimming.
He had said on Thursday, the opening day of the Singapore meet, that getting back into long-course racing was “always going to be hard”, but felt that he has adjusted well so far.
He also said then: “It’s nice just getting home… and just swimming like it used to be. It’s pretty nice to come back to some familiarity.”
The two-time Olympian will remain in Singapore to prepare for the world championships, which he is slated to compete in next month in Budapest. He has qualified for the 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly as well as the 50m and 100m back events.
He is one of two Singapore swimmers pencilled in for the world meet, alongside Olympic champion Joseph Schooling.
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