Double gold success in Singapore boosts his Sea Games hopes
AJITPAL SINGH firstname.lastname@example.org
WELSON Sim continued his mesmerising start to the season ahead of the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games by clinching two gold medals in the ongoing Singapore national age group championships at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
The swimmer started the competition with a gold in the men’s 18 and over 200m freestyle by clocking 1:49.37s ahead of Singapore’s Yeo Kai Quan (1:49.37s) and Sheng Jun (1:51.33s) on Wednesday.
Welson, who made his Olympic debut in Rio last year, was a bronze medallist in this event at the 2015 Singapore Sea Games.
The 20-year-old also made a mark on Saturday in the 400m freestyle. Welson clocked 3:52.89s, which is inside his Sea Games record of 3:53.97s set in Singapore two years ago, for the title.
Indonesia’s Perwira Aflah Fadlan bagged the silver in 3:55.88s ahead of Singapore’s Pang Sheng Jun, who finished in 3:55.91s.
Welson has been making progress since returning with four silver medals from the Victorian Open in January and the swimmer is a favourite for the 200m and 400m freestyle at the KL Sea Games.
“Welson posted decent timings and is just where he is expected to be. We are still in the preparatory stage for the Sea Games,” said national coach Paul Birmingham yesterday.
Welson was the only Malaysian gold medallist after four days of competition in Singapore, which attracted not just the region’s best swimmers but also from Japan.
Compatriot Caroline Chan clocked 29.71s for the silver in the women’s 18 and over 50m backstroke behind Singapore’s Hoong En Qi (29.71s).
Malaysia’s second silver was won by Wong Fu Kang in the men’s 18 and over 100m breaststroke in 1:02.73s.
Tern Jian Han and Chan Jie won bronze in the men’s 18 and over 50m backstroke (26.71s) and 100m butterfly (54.29s) disciplines, respectively.
Welson Sim won gold in the men’s 18 and over 200m freestyle and the 400m freestyle in the Singapore national age group championships.