SEA Games 2023: Jonathan Tan breaks record, women's silat team wins historic gold

Swimmer outshines Teong Tzen Wei in men's 50m freestyle, while women's trio clinch maiden artistic silat triumph

·3 min read
Singapore swimmer Jonathan Tan (left) celebrating his men's 50m freestyle win with compatriot and defending champion Teong Tzen Wei. (PHOTO:: SNOC/Andy Chua)
Singapore swimmer Jonathan Tan (left) celebrating his men's 50m freestyle win with compatriot and defending champion Teong Tzen Wei. (PHOTO:: SNOC/Andy Chua)

SINGAPORE — Teong Tzen Wei may be the better-known swimmer, but his fellow Singaporean Jonathan Tan is stealing the show at the 2023 SEA Games.

A day after winning the men's 100m freestyle, Tan upstaged Teong in the blue-riband 50m free race, winning gold in 21.95 seconds at Phnom Penh's Morodok Tecno Aquatics Centre on Sunday (7 May).

Even more impressively during the morning heats, the 21-year-old broke Teong's SEA Games record of 21.93sec, clocking a stunning 21.91sec to set the second-fastest time by an Asian swimmer in the event this year, behind Hong Kong's Ian Ho who swam 21.86sec in April.

Teong had to settle for silver medal in 22.50sec, while Vietnam's Jeremie Luong was third in 22.84sec.

Tan's timing at the heats also met the Olympic A qualifying mark in the event for the 2024 Paris Olympics, which was set at 21.96sec.

Three golds from the swimming pool

Tan's gold was one of three victories in the swimming pool by Singapore swimmers on Sunday. Gan Ching Hwee - who won five golds in last year's Hanoi Games - clinched her first gold of this Games by retaining the women's 200m freestyle title in 2min 1.76sec.

Thailand's Kamonchanok Kwanmuang was second in 2:02.21, while another Singaporean, Chan Zi Yi, earned the bronze in 2:02.94.

Letitia Sim followed up on her silver showing in the women's 50m breaststroke on Saturday with gold in the 200m individual medley event. The 20-year-old clocked 2:14.49 to win the final, ahead of Kamonchanok (2:16.16) and compatriot Quah Jing Wen (2:16.39).

The three golds bring Singapore's gold-medal haul in swimming to seven after two days of competition.

Quah Zheng Wen added a bronze medal in the 50m backstroke, while debutant Nicholas Mahabir earned a silver in the men's 100m backstroke, ahead of bronze-medallist Maximillian Ang. The men's 4x200m freestyle team also came in second, behind winners Vietnam.

Singapore's women's artistic silat team of Amirah Sahrin, Iffah Batrisyia Noh and Ashikin Zulkifli celebrate winning the gold medal. (PHOTO: SportSG/Flona Hakim)
Singapore's women's artistic silat team of Amirah Sahrin, Iffah Batrisyia Noh and Ashikin Zulkifli celebrate winning the gold medal. (PHOTO: SportSG/Flona Hakim)

Historic gold for women's artistic silat team

At the Chroy Changvar Convention Centre, the women's artistic silat team of Amirah Sahrin, Iffah Batrisyia Noh and Ashikin Zulkifli earned Singapore's maiden gold in the event, improving on their bronze showing in last year's Hanoi Games.

The trio scored 9.955 points in the final to defeat Brunei's Nur Wasiqah, Norleyermah Haji Raya and Anisah Najihah Abdullah, who scored 9.925 points.

The gold-medal win came after the trio won the world title at the Pencak Silat World Championships in Malaysia last July, and also at the Asian championships three months later.

However, Singapore's world champion Iqbal Abdul Rahman was unable to retain his men's tunggal gold medal, as he was beaten in the semi-finals by Cambodia's Soem Sokdevid. He had to settled for the joint-bronze.

In jiu-jitsu, Singapore's Tang Yong Siang was awarded silver in the men's ne-waza nogi 56kg competition, even though he finished joint top with Vietnam's Dao Hong Son. He was beaten on head-to-head record as he had lost to the Vietnamese in their round-robin bout.

Noah Lim, who clinched gold in the men's ne-waza gi 69kg division on Saturday, settled for joint-bronze after losing the ne-waza nogi 69kg semi-final to eventual winner Marc Alexander Foronda of the Philippines.

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