The new Singapore Sports Hub saw the world’s top sprinters descend upon its OCBC Aquatic Centre last Friday when it hosted the inaugural Prudential Swim Stars invitational.
Billed as a glitzy showdown where participants feature in one-off races against each other, big names like Olympic and world champions Ruta Meilutyte, Emily Seebohm, Jessica Hardy and Nathan Adrian were in attendance.
Also on show was local sprint queen Amanda Lim, who raced in the women’s 50-metre freestyle. Other Team Singapore swimmers in other events included Russell Ong, Malcolm Low, Hoong En Qi, Christopher Cheong and Chantal Liew.
21-year-old Lim gave a good account of herself despite finishing last out of nine swimmers, clocking in at 25.66 seconds - just behind her national record of 25.38s.
It was faster than the Southeast Asian Games record she set in Myanmar last year and Lim welcomed the boost in timing ahead of the Asian Games later this month.
“I think I did pretty well because I did a personal best [for this year] just now,” she reflected. “So [to do this] in the midst of hard training and while untapered, I wouldn’t say I was slow so yes, I am happy with the swim."
“I just treated this as another training session and went in without expectations. I just wanted to do my best… if I tapered and wrapped up, I could actually go much faster. So I think I am on track for Asian Games."
Lim admitted to being intimidated by the world-class line-up alongside her, even if she had swum against many of them during the heats of international events.
She is also looking forward to future editions of Swim Stars, as it offers an opportunity to race in front of a capacity crowd.
“I hope to be part of it next year… you know, it’s very hard that we get a full-house crowd, so it was nice to swim in front of them,” she explained.
Of course, Lim hopes for the stands to be similarly packed with home support when Singapore hosts the SEA Games next year.
“My only [time experiencing a] full crowd [at home] was during the YOG (Youth Olympic Games) in 2010, so this was actually close to that,” she said. “I think it would be good if it was the same during the SEA Games.”