HANOI – Gan Ching Hwee won her fourth individual gold at this year’s SEA Games on Wednesday (May 18), cruising to victory in the women’s 1,500m freestyle in 16min 36.73sec.
The 18-year-old Singaporean also claimed a unique piece of history in becoming the first winner of this event, which is making its maiden appearance at the regional meet this year.
She finished well ahead of Vietnam’s My Tien Vo Thi (16:55.88) and Yarinda Sunthornrangsri (17:07.45).
Singapore captured a second gold through Bonnie Yeo. Letitia Sim, Quah Jing Wen and Quah Ting Wen, who clocked 4:07.62 to win the women’s 4x100m medley relay.
The crowd at the My Dinh Water Sports Palace also witnessed another significant moment when sprint queen Amanda Lim lost the women’s 50m freestyle title that she had held since 2009.
She touched the wall in 25.39 seconds, behind Thai Srisa-Ard Jenjira (25.12). Compatriot Quah Ting Wen was third in 25.49sec
Lim said: “Obviously this is not the result I wanted, but I really came into the race without any expectations. I mean, it would have been good if I could have regained my throne, but I guess everything happens for a reason – 25.39 is the fastest I’ve swum since the pandemic and I’ve got to admit that not being able to race and train has taken a toll, especially for sprinters like me, where we really have to just keep racing and racing.
“That said, I’m very happy for Janjira because she’s been around for quite some time as well and she’s an awesome sprinter. And she’s been on form and most importantly, Singapore got onto the podium and I’m very happy that Ting is there with me as well.”
Asked if she is aiming to reclaim the title in Cambodia next year, she replied: “Well, I would say yes. I don’t think I’m going to retire the next year that’s for sure. This just makes me a bit more hungry to get my gold medal back. I’ve been just starting to train under a new coach (Gustavo Schirru, an assistant coach at the National Training Centre) as well – we’ve been doing very specific sprint work. So hopefully, by next year, we will be in a top position for sure.”
In the men’s 50m breaststroke final, Maximillian Ang was third in a personal best of 28.32sec. He also claimed a bronze in the 200m individual medley in 2:03.73.
Quah Zheng Wen won the 200m freestyle silver in a PB of 1:48.20.