Double joy in the pool

Sebastian posing with his gold medal

KUALA LUMPUR: Sebastian Soon finally got his revenge in the pool.

The 17-year-old reclaimed the national 400m individual medley record in 4:28.34 en route to the gold medal at the Malaysian Open swimming championships at the National Aquatic Centre here yesterday.

He shaved more than two seconds of the previous time of 4:30.48 set by Tia’a Faang Der at the Sukma in Ipoh last year.

Terengganu’s Arvin Shaun Singh clocked 4:30.47 for the silver while Faang Der settled for the bronze (4:33.63).

It was indeed sweet revenge for Sebastian as he lost to Faang Der at the Sukma.

“A few months before Sukma I broke the record with 4:30.85 at the Asean Schools Games and everybody had high hopes on me to better my time,” said Sebastian.

“And I was also eyeing a gold or two but Faang Der spoilt my party. Not only he won the gold, he also set a new record. So this win is kind of satisfying.

“I was also pretty nervous because in the afternoon everyone was doing good times.

“The record was a bonus as I wasn’t expecting it. I was only aiming for the gold and beat Arvin because he has been improving lately.”

Sebastian will now take part in the 1,500m today where he will be up against hot favourite Welson Sim.

Welson came close to breaking his own 200m freestyle record when he clocked 1:47.48 just shy of the previous time of 1:47.36.

“Although my time is a bit off, I know I can go faster than that,” said Welson.

“During the race, I was feeling exhausted and I was like dragging my legs. It’s like my legs had no more battery.”

Nonetheless it was enough for him to secure his third gold medal after he won the 400m and 100m freestyles earlier.

He smashed the 100m record with a time of 49.54 on Friday.


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