Singapore swimmer Letitia Sim wins silver at Japan Open, qualifies for Paris Olympics
National swimmer Letitia Sim will be packing her bags for Paris in July, after she clocked 1min 6.36sec in the 100m breaststroke at the Japan Open on Nov 30 to qualify for the Olympics.
Competing at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, Singapore’s breaststroke queen posted a national record en route to clinching the silver behind home favourite Reona Aoki (1:06.24), while Kanako Watanabe (1:07.16) took the bronze.
She is the second Singaporean swimmer to qualify for the 2024 Games, after Jonathan Tan made the cut in the men’s 50m freestyle at the Cambodia SEA Games in May.
The University of Michigan student, 20, said: “Going into tonight, I knew I had a really good swim in the morning. It was one of my better swims...
“In the past, I struggled a lot to get it going in the morning.
“So, being able to see that time and be seeded first and also knowing that I was in a good position going into finals really gave me a little bit of confidence.”
National Training Centre assistant coach Gustavo Schirru had told her to “go out there and have fun”, which helped ease the pressure she put on herself to meet the qualifying time.
Sim said: “The past few meets, I’ve been super, super close to this cut, and I knew I was right there.
“I just didn’t know when I would be getting the cut.
“At first, I didn’t look up at the scoreboard to see my time, just because I didn’t want to be disappointed by falling short again.
“Knowing I got the cut by quite a margin was really, really exciting and gave me a lot of confidence and there was a lot of adrenaline.”
Sim holds the national records for the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke and 200m individual medley.