Team Singapore’s Quah Zheng Wen raced into the semi-finals of the 200m butterfly after a strong display in qualifying on Monday (Tuesday local time).
A time of 1:56:01 at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio meant Zheng Wen was 10th fastest of the 29 participants and will now get a chance to reach his first Olympic final.
TeamSG swimmer Quah Zheng Wen in action at the 200m Butterfly heats. Photo: Sport Singapore
“It was a personal best time. It kind of hurt at the end but I am pretty happy with how everything turned out,” said Zheng Wen, after his warm-down session at the pool.
His previous personal best was 1:56.26 while Singapore's national record is 1:55.73, set by Joseph Schooling at last year's SEA Games.
The Team Singapore swimmer, who bounced back from his 100m backstroke, will be up against one of the favourites for gold medal in his semi with Hungarian Laszlo Cseh in the same half of the draw.
American Michael Phelps, who on Sunday won his 19th Olympic gold, is racing in the second semi.
“I am pretty excited to be in my first Olympic semi-final,” said Zheng Wen, “I definitely have to go significantly faster in the semi-final in order to get into the top eight. Right now I am tenth and a lot of the big names out there might not have been giving it their maximum in the heats.
“It will be a pretty intense dog-fight out there tonight so we will see how that goes,” said Quah, who clearly did not let Sunday’s disappointment affect him.
“I feel like it was good to get a race out of the way, like an ice-breaker so to speak, it wasn’t one of my best races, but I had to look at the positives.
“I try to get over these kind of things as quickly as possible. When you have multiple events in a competition you can’t just let one race get you down”.
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