Swimming: Ting Wen back at DC Trident for International Swimming League

SINGAPORE – National swimmer Quah Ting Wen, 28, will race for DC Trident in the upcoming International Swimming League (ISL) in Italy for a third time. She was one of the first five swimmers announced by the United States-based team on its Instagram page on Wednesday (June 23).

She made her DC Trident debut at one of the ISL legs in the US in 2019. Last year, the two-time Olympian raced for them in the short-course competition in Hungary, where she clocked new national short-course records in the 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle.

Quah, who holds four national short-course records, is the first Singaporean to compete in the ISL, an inter-team competition for professional swimmers that is now into its third season.

She told The Straits Times she is grateful to be given the opportunity and is glad to have something lined up amid the uncertainty surrounding the year-end SEA Games in Hanoi.

“I know that as a team member, I have to play my part and score points for team so that gets me fired up and motivated,” she said.

“It’s also nice to know that in a way, I have semi-solid plans for some part of the second half of the year which is really nice and it gives me motivation to keep going to the pool every day and keep racing.”

The ISL announced on June 15 that this year’s competition, featuring 10 teams, will take place in Naples with the first of three phases taking place from Aug 26 to Sept 30. The meet will be held “in a strict safety-first set-up like that of the successful ISL Season 2 bubble in Budapest organised considering the Covid-19 pandemic”, said the ISL on its website.

The top eight teams move on to the play-off phase in November while the final is set to be held at the end of December or in January next year.

Elite swimmers such as American Caeleb Dressel, Katinka Hosszú of Hungary and Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom will feature in the ISL this season.

Quah said she enjoyed last year’s format, which saw the swimmers train and compete in a bubble for about six weeks in Budapest, as she and her teammates got into a routine of training as a team.

She added: “Sometimes it get a bit tiring living out of a suitcase. What I liked about last year is we got to settle down … build bonds with one another and we fostered camaraderie.

“What I also enjoyed was how everything moved really quickly. It does get stressful how quickly the meet goes but I appreciated that pace because in the last two years, racing has been difficult. The last few meets here in Singapore didn’t feel like the usual competitions we’re used to, they were very quiet.

“At the ISL, even though there were no spectators, they played the music really loud and made the light show brighter to get everyone in the mood and I really enjoyed that because it was kind of a down year for everyone last year and that was a high point for me.”

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Quah is now competing in the ongoing 16th Singapore National Swimming Championships Invitationals (Major Games Qualifier), where she hopes to qualify for the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.

The five-day meet sponsored by Ajinomoto/aminoVITAL ends on Sunday.

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