Tears flow as national swimmer Jamie Koo misses world meet by 0.03sec
A mere 0.03sec stood between agony and ecstasy for national swimmer Jamie Koo at yesterday's Singapore National Swimming Championships.
Despite her 29.24sec win in the women's 50m backstroke final at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, Jamie could not hold back her tears as she had missed the "B" cut for next month's world championships in Gwangju, South Korea - by 0.03sec.
The 18-year-old did not speak to the media after her race, but National Training Centre (NTC) head coach Gary Tan said: "As coaches, we are like their second parent. When she cried, I also wanted to cry, but I had to be composed, to keep her assured that defeats are part and parcel of sporting life.
"I feel for her. I know that she's worked really hard this year and made improvements.
"To see her miss something she really wanted by an inch of a margin, I really feel for her."
The Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) student lowered her timing by 0.1sec from her last meet in March, and she was just a split-second away from the "B" cut timing of 29.21sec.
But Tan has seen a tremendous improvement in Jamie, who was not aiming for the world meet when she joined the NTC nine months ago.
"(At first), she was trying to make the SEA Games and that was it. I've seen a transformation in her.
"Now she's a girl trying to make the Worlds. That's something you have to be proud of.
"We told her that this may not be her chance right now, but to remember today and make it better."
Meanwhile, Lionel Khoo had hoped to break his own national record of 1min 1.61sec in the men's 100m breaststroke he set last year, but clocked 1:02.26 in the final.
In the women's 100m breaststroke final, Christie Chue, 19, won in 1min 10.12sec, but was disappointed she did not break Samantha Yeo's national record of 1:09.44. - ADEENA NAGIB