Joseph Schooling, Quah Siblings Have Singapore Sailing at SEA Games

QUAH Ting Wen DCT DC Trident (DCT) ISL International Swimming League 2021 Match 5 day 2 Piscina Felice Scandone Napoli, Naples Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Ting Wen Wuah; Photo Courtesy: Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Joseph Schooling, Quah Siblings Have Singapore Sailing at SEA Games

Behind the Quah siblings and Joseph Schooling, Singapore has dominated in the pool through the first four days of the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.

Singapore has won 15 of the 27 gold medals doled out at Hanoi’s My Dinh Water Palace as the regional multi-sport event, which had been postponed from 2021 to this year. Five of the six nations participating in the swimming competition have a gold medal to their name.

On Monday, Schooling won his signature event, the 100 butterfly. He went 52.22 to claim the title, ahead of countryman Zheng Wen Quah (52.86). Schooling’s time is just the 26th fastest in the world this year for the 2016 Rio Olympic champion in the 100 fly. It is a concrete return, though, for what could be one of Schooling’s final major events in the pool.

That duo joined Maximilian Wei Ang and Jonathan Tan to win the 400 medley relay in 3:37.89. It helped make up for a disqualification in the 400 freestyle relay.

The Quah siblings had an impressive return by themselves. On the first night of competition, Ting Wen Quah won gold in the women’s 100 free in 55.60 seconds. Zheng Wen Quah then won the 100 back in 54.83. But the night belonged to Jing Wen Quah. She set a national record and SEA Games mark in winning the women’s 200 butterfly in 2:09.52. She then turned around to win the 200 individual medley in 2:15.98, a 1-2 finish with countrywoman Letitia Sim.

Night 2 brought gold for Zheng Wen Quah in the men’s 100 free in 49.57, with Tan tying for silver. The sisters joined Amanda Lim and Christie Chue to claim the 400 free relay. And on Tuesday, Zheng Wen claimed the men’s 50 back while the sisters finished second and third in the 50 fly, relegated a step on the podium by the winning time of 26.53 from Thailand’s Jenjira Srisaard.

Singapore had plenty of stars to choose from early in the meet. Sim won the 50 breast. Gan Ching Hwee dominated the mid-distance freestyle field, winning the women’s 200, 400 and 800 freestyle events. Wei won the 200 breast in a meet and national record 2:11.93, while Teong Tzen Wei claimed the 50 fly in a meet record 23.04.

The home fans have had plenty to cheer about, with seven gold medals and 17 total medals, both second on the medal table. Huy Hoang Nguyen opened the third night of the meet with a meet record and Vietnam record in the men’s 500 free, winning in 3:48.06. He had previously won the 1,500, a 1-2 with Huu Kim Son Nguyen, then swam a leg in the meet-record setting 800 free relay.

Bao Pham Thanh won the 100 breast in a meet and national record of 1:01.17 and was second to Wei in the 200 breast. Paul Le has done a little of everything, with silvers in the 50 and 100 back, a silver in the 400 medley relay and gold in the 400 free relay. Jeremie Loic Nino Luong, the 100 free silver medalist, was also part of the winning 400 free relay. Tran Hung Nguyen (a meet and national record of 4:18.10) won the men’s 400 IM with Quang Thuan Nguyen second.

Thailand’s strength was on the women’s side. Srissaard, the Tokyo Olympian, won the 50 fly in 26.53 to go with silver in the 50 breast and the 100 free. Phiangkhwan Pawapotako bested Chue and Sim with a time of 2:30.24 in the 200 breast. Kamonchanok Kwanmuang was second in the 200 free and 400 free and third in the 200 fly.

Both Indonesia and the Philippines struck their only golds in the first four days in women’s backstroke. Masniari Wolf of Indonesia won the 50 back. Her countrywoman Flairene Candrea Wonomiharjo claimed the women’s 100 back, with Nurul Fajar Fitriyati second in the 200 back.

The Philippines’ Chloe Isleta broke through by winning the 200 back. She then finished second in the 100 back. Jessica Joy Geriane was second in the 50 back and third in the 100 back. (Top Filipino male swimmer and Olympian Luke Gebbie missed out on the SEA Games due to a COVID-19 diagnosis.)

Malaysia has three silver medals on the men’s side, all involving Khiew Hoe Yean. He was second in the 400 free and the 200 back then swam on the 400 free relay.

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