SINGAPORE – Teong Tzen Wei’s life is decided by shavings of a second and slivers of time. A hair’s breadth, you might say, or the length of an untrimmed fingernail. In June he lowers his 50m butterfly personal best by 0.01 of second. This is living on the liquid edge.

Teong’s life is a rush, a thrill, a blur, a buzz. If marathon runners are the equivalent of long movies, then he’s a Tik Tok dude. His world is concise, it is 50m, 36 strokes in the freestyle, 19 for the butterfly, and not even a single breath. So really there’s no point in asking him this, but let’s do it anyway.

Last modified: July 27, 2022