Singapore #FitFind of the Week: Quah Zheng Wen

The women have their limelight in Monday's #Fitspo. Now it's the men's turn. The Yahoo #FitFind series is a new weekly feature every Wednesday dedicated to all fit men out there. Know of any who deserve to be featured? Hit me up on and on FacebookTwitter and Instagram (cheryltaysg).

Swimmer Quah Zheng Wen. Photo: Cheryl Tay
Swimmer Quah Zheng Wen. Photo: Cheryl Tay

National swimmer Quah Zheng Wen is a prolific name in the local swim scene, especially after his 12-medal haul from this year's SEA Games where he broke six Games records. At the FINA World Cup in Moscow and Paris in August, Quah picked up medals in the 50m (silver in Moscow, bronze in Paris) and 100m backstroke (bronze in both Moscow and Paris). Despite feeling under the weather in the Singapore leg of the World Cup on 4 Oct, he won two silvers - one in the 100m butterfly, and one in the 50m backstroke. He has now set his sights on the 2016 Olympics in Rio. So far, he has made two Olympic 'A' cut times for the 200m butterfly and the 100m backstroke and aims to qualify for more events.   

Name: Quah Zheng Wen
Age: 19
Height: 179cm
Weight: 65kg
Occupation: Full-time athlete
Status: Single
Diet: Mostly home-cooked food
Training: 10 sessions with the national swimming team; each session is around 2.5 hours

Swimmer Quah Zheng Wen. Photo: Cheryl Tay
Swimmer Quah Zheng Wen. Photo: Cheryl Tay

Are you satisfied with your body now and why?
Quite satisfied. I think I look good. A lot of friends in school say they need to lose weight and get bigger, but I never had the urge to because my body is fit for my sport and I don’t see the need to change it aesthetically wise.

What kind of comments do you get about your body?
After the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, I had girls come up to me to ask if they can feel my abs. I let them do it, but it felt weird.

What does fitness mean to you?
It’s about staying healthy and doing physical activities without overexerting yourself or worry about collapsing from a heart attack. It is also about being able to have options to do whatever you choose.

Swimmer Quah Zheng Wen. Photo: Cheryl Tay
Swimmer Quah Zheng Wen. Photo: Cheryl Tay

What are some misconceptions of fitness that society has today?
I think girls generally have this misconception that being skinny, smaller and lighter means fit. I don’t think that way – look at my sister (Ting Wen); she’s fit but not skinny. These are societal pressures and a culture that isn’t healthy.

What are some misconceptions people have about swimming?
During the SEA Games, people kept asking me when the competition will end, but there’s really never an end to swimming competitively. If you take a break for a week or two, you lose ‘water fitness’ quite fast. By that I mean the feeling of the water. It’s not like running where walking around every day is still somewhat in that element. Water feels different and we have to keep being in it.