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Singapore swimmers do well despite haze

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In a field packed with some of the world’s best swimmers, Singapore’s Quah Zheng Wen and Yeo Kai Quan did the nation proud by winning three silver medals in the FINA/ airweave Swimming World Cup 2015.

Despite a slight sore throat and fever the day before, Quah, who is asthmatic, added to his tally of a silver and three bronzes from previous legs to bring his medal total to six with good performances in the 100m butterfly and 50m backstroke. 

FINA world cup

Singapore's Quah Zheng Wen in action during Men's 100m Butterfly at the FINA Swimming World Cup. Photo: Sport Singapore

Held over the weekend, the third leg of the Asian cluster of the Swimming World Cup had it’s first day of competition finals cancelled due to the haze. In a statement to the media, SSA Vice President of Finance Jose Raymond said: "The Singapore Swimming Association, along with FINA deeply regrets cancelling day one of the finals.”

"On our part, the SSA will seek legal advice and may consider joining other parties and individuals in any class action suit which is brought against any Singapore-listed company which is linked to the burning of forests in Indonesia which is now causing one of the worst haze episodes to affect the region and in particular Singapore," he continued.

Team Singapore Swimmer Quah Ting Wen said: “Some us us find it pretty hard to breathe, we’re finding ways to deal with it. We still can do things indoors, like we do our land training.

“That’s what makes a good swimmer, you learn to adapt to situations you learn how to make snap decisions and if you can swim, you swim fast at the moment and if you can’t you wait until the next opportunity.”

“My siblings and I are asthmatic. My brother (Quah Zheng Wen) is actually the worst out of the three of us. He actually feels it more. I know when I find it difficult to breathe he is having a harder time.” 

FINA world cup 2015

Competitors in action during the Men's 200m Individual at the FINA Swimming World Cup. Photo: Sport Singapore

Despite the poor air quality swimmer Madeline Lye, 12, had a great time meeting and competing with her swimming idols. “I’m swimming with all the good swimmers. Katinka (Hosszu), Alia (Atkinson) and everybody else which is great. I can just brag in school and start telling people that I am in the same lane as Katinka and that I met them and I got photos with them.” she said with a mischievous grin.

Coach Sergio Lopez added that this was the first time he had encountered a prolonged period of haze and should this persist in the years ahead he will have to create contingency plans to train overseas to keep his athletes in top form.

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