National swimmer Glen Lim rewrites national 800m freestyle record at SNAG Swimming Championships 2023

SINGAPORE — SEA Games medallist and freestyle specialist Glen Lim broke his own men’s national open 800 metre freestyle record at the 53rd Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships held from March 14 to 19 at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, Singapore Sports Hub.

Lim who recently turned 21 on March 28, clocked a time of 8 minutes 6.98 seconds to better his 2019 effort of 8 minutes 9.61 seconds. It was Lim’s first national record in three years, and he also holds the national record for the men’s 400m and 1,500m freestyle.

“I’m pretty happy about my swim, as it has been a long time since I’ve hit a national record. I did not expect to hit that time, but it is surely a welcome sight. It’s also a nice advance birthday present,” said Lim, who broke the record on March 18.

His record and performance in the pool comes ahead of the Cambodia SEA Games in May where he hopes to improve on his two-bronze medal haul of the 400m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle relay at the 2021 Hanoi SEA Games.

In 2021, he teamed up with Jonathan Tan, Quah Zhen Wen and Olympian Joseph Schooling in the 4x200m freestyle relay. They clocked a time of 7:21.49, finishing behind Malaysia and hosts Vietnam who set a new Games record. In the 400m freestyle, Lim came in third with a timing of 3:56.68, while Olympian and Vietnamese 2022 Athlete of the Year Nguyen Huy Hoang took top spot with a new Games record clocking in a time of 3:48.06.

“After SNAG we (the national team) are going to have a small training camp to help us get back into shape, so I think we are pretty prepared going into SEA Games. I hope to at least get a podium finish for all my events. I also hope to better my two bronzes,” said Lim who was named by Singapore Swimming Association in early March in their national team squad list for the Cambodia SEA Games.

Photo: Singapore Swimming Association

The association named a total of 22 swimmers on March 1, but one name is notably missing from the list, Singapore’s only Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling. He won the Republic’s first Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Olympic in Rio, where he set a new Olympic record of 50.39s in the men’s 100m butterfly event. 

In a media statement, the 27-year-old said that he decided to pull out of the upcoming SEA Games after careful consideration with his team as he feels that he is unable to perform at a level that he holds himself to.

“This was not an easy decision, but I am currently not at the level at which I hold myself to perform. Ultimately, my country comes first before individual accolades. I have decided to give my spot to team mates who have been getting themselves ready and considered for selection while I cheer from home and focus on my Navy duties,” said Schooling, who will not be featured in a SEA Games since he made his debut in the 2011 in Indonesia.

In the 2021 SEA Games, Singapore came out top in the swimming competition with a total medal haul of 21 golds, 11 silvers, and 12 bronze medals. The swimmers will be led by former national swimmer Gary Tan at the Cambodia SEA Games.

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