Nicholas Mahabir is first Singaporean to go under 60 seconds for 100m breaststroke
Nicholas Mahabir set a national record in the 100m breaststroke on Friday, becoming the first Singaporean to swim the event in under a minute – and moved closer to his goal of qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
He clocked 59.96 seconds in the final to finish between winner Jake Foster (59.64sec) of the Mason Manta Rays and Nova of Virginia’s Charlie Swanson (1min 00.09sec) at the TYR US Pro Championships in Irvine, California.
His time was just 0.47sec shy of the Olympic qualifying time of 59.49sec.
Only compatriot Jonathan Tan (50m freestyle) has earned a spot at the Summer Games in the French capital.
Mahabir, 17, attributed the result to his coach Peter Linn and his family.
He said: “I’ve received unwavering support that helped me break a minute in the 100m breaststroke.
“Having one of the best coaches in the world working with me is a huge privilege.”
The teenager had a creditable debut outing at the Phnom Penh SEA Games in May.
He claimed three silver medals in the 50m (his 27.91sec was a national record), 100m and 200m breaststroke events.
He also won two golds in the 4x100m medley for the men’s and mixed team.
He had nearly gone below the 60sec mark after clocking 1:00.07 in the heats on Friday. He has swum the eight fastest times in the event for a Singaporean.
Mahabir’s mark would have put him in the semi-finals of the ongoing World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
His fellow Singaporean Maximillian Ang had competed at the world meet and finished 40th in the 100m breaststroke last Sunday in 1:02.45.
On Saturday, Letitia Sim swam 31.33sec in the women’s 50m breaststroke heats to finish 24th. She did not advance to the semi-finals.
Quah Ting Wen was 28th in the 50m free heats after clocking 25.52sec, while her brother Zheng Wen finished 32nd in the 50m backstroke in 25.76sec.
The mixed 4x100 free relay team of Ting Wen, her sister Jing Wen, Tan and Mikkel Lee did not advance to the final after placing 20th in the heats in 3:30.89.