4th Singapore National Swimming Championship (Short Course)

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A long weekend was spent racing in the 4th Singapore National Swimming Championships last week and I am glad to say that I did really well!

For those who do not know what short course is, it is basically swimming in a 25m pool instead of the usual 50m, that means we get twice the amount of turns, which really benefits those swimmers with good turns!

I competed in 5 events in just 2 days, which is a really tough schedule for me as I usually just take one event per day during competitions.

To be honest, I really wasn’t expecting anything for this competition competition as we had a tiring week of training with Gary and we were really exhausted.

I’m sure my teammates like Rainer, Roanne, Zhen Ren and Dylan Koo were equally as tired coming to this meet as we were still doing crazy sets a few days before the competition.

Just to give you a clearer idea on our crazy sets, we actually did 20x200m Aerobic Paddle Pull followed by 15x100m Freestyle going on 1500m Pace just 3 days before the competition. I remember that set totaled to about 9000 meters which is A LOT for a swimmer to complete.

Zhen Ren and I were complaining about how hard the set was but Gary still made us do it anyway.

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On the day of the competition:

“Sheng Jun, how do you feel?”

“Let me be honest with you G, I feel like SH*T.” 

“Well, this is also the time whereby they differentiate real men from boys, so whether you’re a real man or just a boy, we’ll know after your races.”

“Alright G, I’m ready for some great times. Watch me.”  

That’s what actually makes Gary the most motivational coach I’ve ever trained under. When we’re at our weakest mental and physical state, he always finds a way to pick us back up again.

I ended the meet off with 5 Golds, 4 meet records and 2 National records. And the best part was that we did not taper down much before the competition!

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Results of the competition can be found in the Singapore Swimming Association website here.

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When the competition ended Gary asked me,

“Sheng Jun, did you expect these results?”

“WELL OF COURSE NOT, we both know how tiring a week it was from training and it’s really incredible to still be able to achieve this results.” I laughed.

“Results usually come when they are unexpected, that’s what makes swimming so interesting. Great swims Sheng Jun, we’re looking good for Asian Games.” It was followed by a High 5 with Gary.  

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I also give credit to my family for always supporting me throughout these 2 days of competition. A lot of people say that swimming is one of the most demanding sports ever, and I agree with that. During the 2 days of competition, it was as though the world was revolving around me. Everything had to go according to my plan in order to get the proper rest and nutrition that I needed.

In the morning my parents would have to get up earlier than me to prepare breakfast. During heats in the morning my dad would be video taping my race so that I can learn from the mistakes I make during heats to prepare myself better for the finals.

Immediately after the morning heats, they have to rush to grab lunch for me so that I can save the time of eating out and get home to rest for finals.

They would also have to rush to grab dinner for me after watching me race in the finals as I have to prepare for another round of racing the next day.

It is as though everything has to go according to my way for it to work out.

I am really grateful and blessed for the amount of sacrifice they put into making sure that I race well!

Here are some photos of the medal ceremony for each of my events: 

Men’s 400m Individual Medley

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Photo (Left to Right): Malcolm Low, Me, Dylan Koo

Men’s 400m Freestyle

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Photo (Left to Right): Teo Zhen Ren, Me, Benedict Boon

Men’s 100m Individual Medley

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Photo (Left to Right): Lo Ching, Me, Darren Chua

Men’s 200m Freestyle

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Photo (Left to Right): Teo Zhen Ren, Me, Lukas Menkoff

Men’s 200m Individual Medley

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Photo (Left to Right): Malcolm Low, Me, Darren Chua

This competition has really taught me that in a sport like swimming, it’s not always how your body feels, you just have to swim with your heart, and results will take care of itself. 🙂

So the next time you’re tired from training always remember that this is the time whereby great swimmers stand out from the average ones, don’t give up!

It’s back to training again and I hope everything goes well for the Asian Games! 🙂

A special shoutout to my good friends Rachel Tseng and Roanne Ho as they did really well too! We have been encouraging one another during the meet so I am really happy for them. 🙂

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Rachel being interviewed after winning 2 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze Medal
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Roanne breaking the National Record for her 50m Breastroke

Guess what? 

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A day after the competition my dad came home with 2 dozens of JCO Donuts.

“Go share these donuts with your teammates son, they have helped you along the way too.” 

That’s what makes me respect my dad so much. He is always constantly thinking of others, and most of the time he always puts my needs ahead of his own, which made me the person I am today. Thank you for everything, dad. I will keep working hard and do you proud one day I promise 🙂

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Hard Work Pays Off

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