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Records tumble in swimming pool at SEA Games

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Five SEA Games records were sunk on an extraordinary first day of swimming at the OCBC Aquatic Centre on Saturday.

Every session of swimming has been sold out at the SEA Games and it was little wonder after the region's top swimmers destroyed five records.

Vietnam teenager Nguyen Thi Anh Vien was responsible for three of them. 

SEA Games 6 June 2015

Vietnam's Nugyen Thi Anh Vien celebrates winning the gold. Photo credit: SINGSOC/ Action Images via Reuters

The 18-year-old broke the 400 metres individual medley record in the morning heats then returned to the pool later that night and broke two more records in less than an hour.

Her first came in the 800 metres freestyle when she stopped the clock at eight minutes 34.35 seconds, berating the previous record set by Singapore's Lynette Shu-En Lim in 2009.

After being presented with her first gold medal, Nguyen plunged back into the water and easily won the 400 IM, breaking her record which she set in the morning.

Nguyen is going for 11 gold medals in total and says she is confident about her chances. "I know I can do this," she said. Vietnam's Hoang Quy Phuoc also set a SEA Games record in the men's freestyle final after a thrilling duel with Singapore's Quah Zheng Wen.

The pair went stroke for stroke over the last lap, as the crowd let out a deafening roar. Both men broke the old record but it was Hoang who got his hands on the wall first.

But Quah, who has signed up for 12 events, did not have to wait long to get on the top of the winner's podium. 

SEA Games 6 June 2015

Singapore's Quah Zheng Wen in action. Photo credit: SINGSOC/ Action Images via Reuters

With no time to waste, he got back on the blocks for his second race, the 100m backstroke.

This time, his main challenger was Indonesia's Gede Siman Sudartawa, who carried his country's flag at the 2012 London Olympics.

Sudartawa was just ahead after the first 50m but Quah, swimming so close to the lane rope that he almost hit, stormed home to win the gold and with yet another SEA Games record.

"When I turned at the first 50, I kind of took a tiny look underwater and saw him right next to me," Quah said.

"It kind of fired me up to out touch him at the wall. I didn't want a repeat of my first race."

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