Making great strides: Welson Sim lowered his own 400m SEA Games record by more than a second at the Singapore National Age-Group Swimming Championships to win gold.
PETALING JAYA: Welson Sim sent a warning to his rivals that he means business in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games with a double golden splash at the Singapore National Age-Group Swimming Championships.
The 19-year-old swam a powerful last lap to win the 400m freestyle gold in 3:52.89 in the boys’ 18 and over category at the OCBC Aquatic Centre on Saturday.
Welson’s time was inside his own SEA Games record of 3:53.97 set at the same venue in 2015.
Indonesian Perwira Aflah Fadlan grabbed the silver in 3:55.88 ahead of Singapore’s Pang Sheng Jun who clocked 3:55.91.
It was the second gold for Welson. Earlier on Wednesday, he emerged triumphant after a hard-fought 200m freestyle win in the 18 and over class.
Welson touched home in 1:49.27, just ahead of Singaporean rival Yeo Kai Quan who settled for the silver in 1:49.37. Sheng Jun clocked 1:51.33 to secure the bronze, also for Singapore.
Welson, who made his Olympic debut under Category A in Rio de Janeiro last year, was a bronze medallist in the 200m freestyle at the 2015 SEA Games and clearly indicated he is going for the gold in KL in August.
“Welson posted decent timings. We’re still in training mode at this time of the year,” said national coach Paul Birmingham.
Welson was the only Malaysian gold medallist after four days of competition.
The best from South-East Asia as well as swimmers from Japan are competing in the championships.
Caroline Chan, competing in the girls’ 18 and over, contributed a silver for Malaysia when she clocked 29.71 in the 50m backstroke.
Wong Fu Kang was the other silver medallist for Malaysia. He posted his season’s best time of 1:02.73 in the boys’ 18 and over 100m breaststroke final.
Malaysia also bagged two bronzes through Tern Jian Han in the boys’ 18 and over 50m backstroke (26.71) and Chan Jie in the boys’ 18 and over 100m butterfly (54.29).