BIRMINGHAM – National swimmer Teong Tzen Wei clinched Singapore’s first medal at the on-going Commonwealth Games on Saturday (July 30), after finishing second in the men’s 50m butterfly.
He touched the wall at the Sandwell Aquatic Centre in Smethwick, England, in 23.21 seconds to clinch the silver medal. England’s Ben Proud claimed the gold in a Games record of 22.81sec, while New Zealand’s Cameron Gray (23.27) took the bronze.
Teong, 24, said: “Everyone’s here to win. I’m happy with silver but I think I can go faster and better next time, so I want to go and see and look back and learn how I can improve on my racing.
“Every race I try to give my best so whether the outcome is first or last, I always just want to improve and get better because I know that’s not my best time and we are all fighting against ourselves.”
He had qualified for the final as the second fastest swimmer on Friday with his time of 23.24sec, with only England’s Commonwealth Games triple gold medallist Proud (23.06) going below that. Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter (23.41) was the third fastest.
The 24-year-old’s feat in England makes him just the third Singaporean swimmer to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games. Joseph Schooling first clinched a 100m fly silver at the 2014 edition in Glasgow, before Toh Wei Soong bagged a men’s S7 50m freestyle bronze at Gold Coast 2018.
Teong has been in remarkable form in recent months. At the Hanoi SEA Games in May, he became the first South-east Asian man to go under 22 seconds for the men’s 50m freestyle while en route to the gold medal.
At the Fina World Championships in June, he qualified for the men’s 50m fly final, making him just the third Singaporean male swimmer to make a final at the world meet.