Dou­ble gold suc­cess in Sin­ga­pore boosts his Sea Games hopes

New Straits Times - - Sport -

AJITPAL SINGH ajit­pals­

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.

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