PETALING JAYA: Welson Sim may swim in three events when he makes his Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro in August.
The teenager capped a delightful end to his campaign in the Singapore national age-group swimming championships at the OCBC Aquatic Centre on Sunday when he made the Olympic B time in the 100m freestyle.
The 18-year-old sprinted to snatch the silver medal in the final in 50.40 and in the process dipped under the Olympic B qualifying time of 50.70. Singapore’s Darren Lim claimed the gold in 50.34
Welson qualified fourth fastest in the morning preliminaries with 50.85.
Although he failed in his bid to erase the national record of 50.16 held by Daniel Bego, it was still an impressive effort considering the Sarawakian is a middle distance swimmer.
Daniel set the national record when he won the gold medal at the 2009 SEA Games in Laos.
Welson is already assured of an Olympic spot after hitting the Olympic A time for the 200m and 400m freestyle events earlier in the week, the first Malaysian swimmer to do so.
The 1:47.67 and 3:50.33 he set in winning the 200m and 400m freestyle were also new national records.
Swimmers who made the B qualifying time will have to wait until July to know their fate based on their rankings. Swimming have a maximum number of 900 participants for the Olympics.
For Welson, the hard work continues with less than five months before the Olympics.
“My road to Rio has started and I will continue to work hard,” said Welson.
“The feeling is honestly unreal (on qualifying under category A). I trained day and night for many years to be able to swim with the world’s best.
“I’m thankful for all the guidance coach Paul (Birmingham) has given me and all the support from my family, team-mates and friends,” added Welson.