PHNOM PENH: After sitting in the stands for the past few days and watching his teammates put in strong performances, Singapore swimmer Mikkel Lee was itching to get into the pool.
“Everybody’s swimming fast, and sitting in the stands is like … tougher than swimming!” he told reporters at the Southeast Asian Games.
And Lee would put in a sensational performance of his own – a personal best – as he won his first individual Games gold on Wednesday (May 10) at the Morodok Techo Aquatics Centre in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
“I’m happy to just get the gold for Singapore and add to the medal tally,” said Lee. “Anything’s possible, as long as you put your mind to it, there is a chance.”
The 20-year-old clocked a time of 23.45s in the 50m butterfly final to beat defending champion and teammate Teong Tzen Wei (23.67s) to the wall. Teong remains the Games record holder in the event (23.04s).
“He’s done a great job trying to progressively get better,” said national head coach Gary Tan. “Kudos to Mikkel for raising the bar, raising the game, it’s always good to give Teong a bit more competition as well.”
There were four other golds for Team Singapore in the pool on Wednesday, bringing the total from five days of competition to 19.