Jing Wen eager to join swim siblings at elite level
14-year-old aims to make it a trio of Quahs in Rio next year
She has had to endure comparisons with her more illustrious siblings for some time.
But Quah Jing Wen has learnt to take it in her stride, and work hard to get to where swim stars Ting Wen and Zheng Wen are.
A break-out season this year helps.
The 14-year-old made her SEA Games debut on home soil in June, and won a bronze in the women's 400m individual medley, her only event.
She then made the Olympic 'B' qualifying mark of 2min 18.96sec in the women's 200m individual medley, when she clocked 2:18.72 at the recently concluded Fina World Junior Swimming Championships at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
Her time at the world meet was also almost three seconds off her previous personal best (PB) of 2:21.00, which she clocked at the Schools Nationals earlier this year.
And it is not far off from Joscelin Yeo's Under-17 record of 2:17.48, set at the 1993 SEA Games.
"You could say that it has been a good year for me," the Methodist Girls' School student told The New Paper earlier this week.
"I was really happy when I touched the wall at the World Juniors because I took almost three seconds off my PB, but it was not until I spoke to Sergio (Lopez, national coach) later that I found out that I made the Olympic 'B' cut."
Zheng Wen, 18, swelled with pride when TNP spoke to him about his sister.
He said: "I am really proud of my younger sister and everything she has accomplished.
"She really needed this breakthrough - my elder sister and I had more success when we were around her age, but looking at what she has accomplished at the World Juniors, I am not really worried for her.
"She is taking things at her own pace, but she has a lot of potential and looking really good now."
While the SEA Games this year marked the first time all three Quah siblings competed in a major meet together, they may also get to swim together at the most important stage of all - the Rio Olympic Games next year.
Ting Wen, 23, has made 'B' cuts in the women's 50m, 100m, and 200m freestyle, as well as the 100m butterfly, while Zheng Wen has qualified for the Olympics after making the 'A' cuts for the men's 100m backstroke and 200m butterfly, along with several 'B' cuts.
Fina will invite the swimmer with the top 'B' cut in an event to the Olympics, if the country does not have an 'A' qualifier.
Jing Wen's swim in the Fina World Juniors places her above US-based Singapore teenager Samantha Yeo, whose 2:18.77 effort won her a bronze at the SEA Games.
While Jing Wen has one foot in the Olympics, she knows her participation is yet to be confirmed, with swimmers having until July 3 next year to better their times.
She said: "I really want to improve my time to increase my chances of being invited to the Olympics.
"I've always dreamt of competing in the same meet with my siblings and I'll be really happy if I am able to share the Olympic experience with them as well."
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