PETALING JAYA: It was a day of double joy in the pool with Welson Sim and Tern Jian Han winning their respective pet events at the Singapore Open swimming championships.
Welson warmed up for next month’s World Aquatics Championships in style by winning the men’s 200m freestyle event yesterday in 1:48.86 to claim his first gold medal of the meet.
Singaporeans Jonathan Tan and Darren Chua settled for silver (1:49.93) and bronze (1:50.73) respectively.
Rio Olympic 100m butterfly champion Joseph Schooling from Singapore also reached the final but he finished seventh in 1:53.16.
It was a creditable display from Welson, who has been training in Melbourne from the beginning of the year.
Welson, who holds the current national record of 1:47.36 in the 200m freestyle, aims to make the A qualification time to earn a second straight Olympic appearance in Tokyo next year.
Welson needs to clock 1:47.02 to make the automatic cut for the Tokyo Olympics and the strong field present at the world meet in Gwangju, South Korea, next month will provide the ideal push for him to achieve his goal.
Today, he will bid to win his second gold medal in the 400m freestyle.
Jian Han romped to a double in the backstroke events by winning the 50m distance race in 26.30 ahead of Sri Lankan Dimuth Alakanda (26.68) and Singapore’s Mikkel Lee (26.71).
The Johor-born swimmer did a better time in the heats, posting the fastest time of 26.00.
It was the second gold for Jian Han, who finished first in the 100m backstroke on Wednesday.
Another national swimmer Chan Jie grabbed bronze in the men’s 50m butterfly final with a personal best mark of 24.59, behind top Indonesian swimmer Glenn Victor Sutanto (24.32) and Singapore’s Tzen Wei Teong (23.82).
Sebastian Soon just missed out on breaking his national record by 0.02 seconds, clocking 4:28.36 to take bronze in the men’s 400m individual medley final.
The 17-year-old set the national mark of 4:28.34 at the Malaysian Open in Bukit Jalil last month.