WELSON AIMS TO STEAL THE THUNDER
Malaysian hopes for record breaking feats in 200m, 400m and 1,500m freestyle
AJITPAL SINGH firstname.lastname@example.org
However, Welson hopes to steal the limelight when he goes for record breaking feats in the 200m, 400m and 1,500m freestyle where he is Malaysia’s only hope for titles in swimming.
Schooling and Welson will only face off in the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle events. Both are expected to anchor their respective counMonaco tries.
Welson holds the national records in the 200m (1:47.67) and 400m (3:49.48), and is closing in on Jeffrey Ong’s record of 15:23.61 with a personal best of 15:31.10, set in March at the Singapore Age Group Championships.
For the record, he is the only Malaysian swimmer in recent years to have beaten an Olympic champion in a meet.
Welson edged out Rio Olympic champion Mack Horton of Australia to the men’s 400m freestyle gold medal in the leg of the Mare Nostrum Tour in June with a new national record of 3:49.48s.
The achievement will definitely give him the psychological confidence when he races against Schooling and other top Southeast Asian swimmers.
Welson is a hot favourite to retain his 400m gold medal, but will face stiff resistance in the 200m and 1,500m events.
“It all boils down to the Sea Games. All the records that I have achieved in the past will mean nothing if I do not meet my target of gold medals,” said Welson.
“The Sea Games is very important not only for me but also the nation. I would love to break records, but I do not want to add pressure to myself by thinking about it,” said Welson.
“I am only focused on my training right now. I am gearing up nicely and I have no injuries. I am physically and mentally prepared to face anyone in the pool.”
On the possibility of racing against Schooling in the relay events, Welson said the Singaporean has achieved great things, but he will not fear the Olympic champion.
“If I want to be a great swimmer, I will need to continue breaking records. Like I said, I am ready to face anyone regardless of his status.”
With age on his side, Welson, who made his Olympic debut in Rio, is expected to break records and shine for Malaysia in the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympics one day.
Welson Sim hopes to take the shine off Singapore’s Olympic champion Joseph Schooling at the Sea Games.