BIRMINGHAM – Just over a month after making the men’s 50m butterfly final at the Fina World Championships, Teong Tzen Wei continued his remarkable form as he qualified for the final of the same event at the Commonwealth Games on Friday (July 29).
He was the second fastest swimmer with his time of 23.24 seconds at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, with only England’s Benjamin Proud (23.06) going below that. Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter (23.41) was the third fastest.
His times may place him in medal contention, but the 24-year-old, whose personal best is 23.03 set at last month’s world meet, remained a picture of calm after his semi-finals.
He said: “This is my first Commonwealth Games final so I’m pumped but it’s time to relax, come back down so that tomorrow I can peak again. There’s no need to get over-excited so just taking it step by step, this is just according to the process.
“Sometimes when I visualise or think too much, I can get pumped up even when I’m not swimming so there’s no need for me to spike my adrenaline. I don’t need to put so much pressure on myself.”
It was also a special night for Quah siblings Ting Wen, Zheng Wen and Jing Wen, as they and Jonathan Tan clocked 3min 31.90sec and finished sixth in the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay final on Friday night. Australia won gold in a Games record of 3:21.18 followed by England (3:22.45) and Canada (3:24.86).
While they have competed at multiple international meets together, they have never all been on the same relay team.
“It’s a special thing because you’re racing with the people you train with, so it makes it all the more fun, more special, especially when is trying to do their best,” said Jing Wen, the youngest at 21, who also finished 10th in the women’s 100m fly semi-finals.
“You’re also talking about people I’ve lived and grown up with so that makes it extra, extra special.”
Another Singaporean, Maximillian Ang, clocked 2:13.25 to come in sixth in the men’s 200m breaststroke. Australian Zac Stubblety-Cook won in 2:08.07.
While Ang, 21, he could have swam faster in the finals, he was pleased to finish in the top eight. He said: “I feel good but at the same it’s not my best of the best.
“I’ve been having a lot of back-to-back competitions like the SEA Games, a few weeks of training, then world championships and now Commonwealth Games; I’m exhausted. But at the same time, I always do my best.
“I did what I could. Hopefully I can carry this momentum to the next few days to the 50m and 100m breaststroke.”
The Australians dominated the opening day of the swimming competition, winning five of the seven golds on offer.
Elijah Winnington won the first final, the men’s 400m freestyle, touching the wall in 3:43.06, ahead of his compatriots Sam Short (3:45.07) and Daniel Wiffen (3:46.49).
Canadian teen sensation Summer McIntosh, 15, claimed a Games record of 4:29.01 in the women’s 400m individual medley, rewriting Hannah Miley’s previous mark of 4:31.76 set at the 2014 edition. Australia’s Kiah Melverton (4:36.78) and Scotland’s Katie Shanahan (4:39.37) were second and third respectively.