PETALING JAYA: Tern Jian Han stole the limelight from double SEA Games gold medallist Welson Sim when he splashed to the gold medal at the Singapore Open swimming championships.
The 22-year-old won the 100m backstroke in 56.79, the first time he has dipped under 57 seconds this year.
Up-and-coming swimmer Khiew Hoe Yean also made the podium for Malaysia on the opening day by finishing second with 57.28 yesterday.
Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Akalanka came in third with 57.93.
Jian Han was also fastest in the morning heats with 56.64.
The Johor-born swimmer reached the 50m backstroke semi-finals at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and will be hoping to replicate his form in his pet race today.
Welson, swimming alongside reigning Olympic champion Joseph Schooling, raised hopes of pulling off an upset when he qualified fastest in the morning heats for the 100m freestyle.
Welson, currently training in Melbourne, posted 50.16 while Schooling was placed fifth (50.75).But the Singaporean saved his best for the final when he powered to victory in 49.16.
Welson settled for bronze in 50.20 behind another Singaporean Jonathan Tan, who clocked 50.01.
Keith Lim, the Malaysia Games (Sukma) gold medallist, also made the final and ended up fourth (50.68).
Welson clocked a new national record of 49.54 en route to victory in the Malaysian Open in Bukit Jalil last month although the 100m freestyle is not his pet event.
Welson has another showdown with Schooling today in the 200m freestyle, where the Sarawakian has the fastest time of 1:47.36.