There’s Teong Tzen Wei, who cemented his status as the region’s best this year when he clocked Games records in the 50m butterfly (23.04s) and the 50m freestyle (21.93s).
He is already among Asia’s best – since 2022, only two swimmers have been faster in the 50m freestyle, and none have surpassed his personal best of 23.03s in the 50m butterfly.
Last year, Teong finished fourth in the men’s 50m butterfly final at the 2022 FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Melbourne. His time of 22.01s equalled the Asian record he set a day earlier in the heats.
Watch out for debutant Nicholas Mahabir as well.
The 17-year-old, who is based in the United States, is the current national record holder in the 100m breaststroke. His time of 1.00.37 is significantly quicker than the current Games record of 1.01.17, set by Vietnam’s Pham Thanh Bao at the last Games.
The 28.09s which Mahabir clocked in the 50m breaststroke at McDonald’s Queensland Championships last year is also faster than Pham’s winning time of 28.28s in Hanoi. Malaysia’s Andrew Goh could be a factor in this race, having clocked a national record of 28.10s earlier this year.
Then there’s 22-year-old Quah Jing Wen. Three years after her older brother Zheng Wen took home six golds at the 2019 Games, Jing Wen replicated that success with six of her own in Hanoi.
Jing Wen clinched victories in three individual events (100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, 200m individual medley) as well as three team events (4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle, 4×100 medley relay)
She already has 15 Games golds at the age of 22, and should add a few more to the collection in Phnom Penh.
4. Is a rebound on the cards for table tennis?
It was a tough outing for Singapore table tennis at the last Games, as they lost the title of Southeast Asia’s top nation to Thailand for the first time in more than a decade.
But since then, things have been on the up. There were strong results at the 2022 Commonwealth Games (women’s team, women’s singles and women’s doubles gold as well as men’s team silver) in addition to the breakthrough of young players such as Izaac Quek.