Lionel rewrites own record
National swimmer betters 200m breaststroke record set last December
Singapore's Lionel Khoo set a new national 200m breaststroke record of 2min 11.80sec yesterday, when he finished fifth at the Fina/airweave Swimming World Cup 2016 Singapore at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
The 21-year-old had set the previous mark of 2:12.47, at the national championships last December.
It was an impressive performance, considering that he had come into the event unrested and untapered.
The race was won by Germany's Marco Koch in 2:01.41, while Japanese swimmers Ippei Watanabe (2:03.23) and Yasuhiro Koseki (2:08.43) took silver and bronze respectively.
Said Khoo: "You could say I was surprised at my time, because we haven't rested.
"We swim in these meets to gain experience and exposure, so I guess doing this well is like a bonus for me."
Pang Sheng Jun, the only other Singaporean to qualify for yesterday's finals, competed in the men's 100m and 400m individual medleys.
He clocked 55.23sec and finished eighth in the 100m IM, won by Russia's Vladimir Morozov in 50.70, and sixth (4:15.82) in the 400m IM (won by Japan's Daiya Seto in 4:04.60).
Pang, 24, told The New Paper: "I expected better, but there is still a lot for me to learn.
"I was just aiming for best times, and this timing (for the 100m IM) was really close to my best time, which I achieved last year."
Pang will also be competing in the 200m and 1,500m freestyle events today.
Both swimmers felt that yesterday's performance was a good start to their new season and hoped to improve further and qualify for December's Fina World (short-course) Championships in Canada, Ontario.
Said Pang: "I'm not too sure about the selection criteria for the short-course worlds, but this meet will definitely be used for qualifying.
"This is my first meet since the Asean University Games, so it's pretty good to get some racing experience in."
Assistant national coach Gary Tan was pleased with the performance of his swimmers last night.
He said: "These past three or four weeks, we have been working on their fundamentals, and it has been something that I have been strongly emphasising."
Tan believes that the World Championships in Canada will be a good indication of the swimmers' performance and progress, leading up to next year's South-east Asia Games in Kuala Lumpur.