PUTRAJAYA: A buoyant Welson Sim has set his sights on bagging two gold medals at the upcoming SEA Games after being crowned the National Sportsboy at the Ministry of Education (MOE)-Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM)-Milo Sports Awards 2014.
The 17-year-old swimmer, who has been in sensational form since joining the national team in 2013, was rewarded for his outstanding performances in local and overseas competitions.
Welson bagged three gold medals during last year’s Perlis Sukma (Malaysia Games) and at the Asean Schools Games in Palembang.
He now aims to improve his tally of two silvers (4x100m and 4x200m freestyle) and one bronze (1,500m freestyle) during his SEA Games debut in Myanmar in 2013.
Welson, who specialises in the freestyle, is targeting a personal glory in the 400m freestyle and hopes to make it a grand double by teaming up with his team-mates to snatch the 4x200m freestyle relay title from hosts and arch-rivals Singapore.
“I couldn’t have wished for a better start this year ... a great outing in my first competition of the year at the New South Wales State Open Championships (ended on Sunday) and today, I received this prestigious award, arguably the biggest recognition you could earn at junior level,” said the jubilant Welson after receiving the award from the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Tuesday.
“This award will certainly boost my confidence as I prepare for the Games in June.
“It will be my second Games appearance and I believe two golds are within reach.
“I’m feeling really good and confident with my pace at the moment, particularly, in the 200m and 400m distance where I qualified for two ‘B finals’ in Australia last week.
And it will be a matter of time before Welson dips below 1:51 for the 200m which will set him closer to Daniel Bego’s 1:49.22 national mark.
At the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre last week, Welson posted a personal best of 1:51.10, beating his previous record of 1:51.90.
Diving prodigy Nur Dhabitah Sabri made it a memorable day for aquatics by scooping the National Sportsgirl award, thus making it yet another clean sweep for aquatics in the second successive year.
Diver Mohd Nazreen Abdullah and swimmer Yap Siew Hui won the Sportsboy and Sportsgirl awards respectively in 2013.
Dhabitah, however, was not present at the ceremony as she is currently undergoing centralised training with the diving team in China. Her mother Fazidah Jaafar, who is an officer with the MOE received the award on her behalf.
Dhabitah’s fine season in 2014 was highlighted by a third placed finish in the 10m platform synchro with Pandelela Rinong at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and claiming the 3m springboard synchro title with Wendy Ng in the Kuala Lumpur leg of the FINA World Grand Prix.
ROLL OF HONOUR
Sportsboy: Welson Sim Wee Sheng (swimming)
Sportsgirl: Nur Dhabitah Sabri (diving)
MOST PROMISING AWARD
Boy: Kiven Shanmugam (squash)
Girl: Noor Ainaa Amani Ampandi (squash)
Boy: Muhd Syamil Hafiy Md Adnan (taekwondo)
Girl: Loh Ying Ting (wushu)
SPECIAL EDUCATION AWARD
Boy: Abdul Latif Romly (Paragames track and field)
Girl: Felicia Mikat (Paragames track and field)
SPORTS LEADERSHIP AWARD
Datuk Mazlan Ahmad
DEDICATED TEACHER AWARD
Ting Siew Nguong (track and field)
Chang Siang Cheng (track and field)
EXCELLENT COACH AWARD
Mustafa Kamal Ali (track and field)
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