Welson well on his way with record-breaking gold medal

PETALING JAYA: Swimmer Welson Sim (pic) continues to amaze by winning gold at the Australian Short-Course Championships in Melbourne.

The 22-year-old obliterated his own national record by three seconds en route to winning the men’s 200m freestyle final when he punched in at 1:45.01 yesterday.

He erased his previous national record of 1:48.25 set at the World Cup in Beijing two years ago.

Thomas Hauck was denied the double in his first senior national Open as the 16-year-old finished in 1:45.42 ahead of fellow Aussie Joshua Hertz, who clocked 1:45.68.

The short-course meet is held on a 25-metre pool and Welson indicated he was able to come up with something special by qualifying fastest in the preliminaries with 1.46.83.

It is the second national short-course swimming record for Welson.

He also improved on his two-year national record of 3:48.93 by taking bronze in the 400m freestyle event on Thursday.

Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia secretary Mae Chen said Welson is certainly on the right track to make a strong charge to defend his 200m and 400m freestyle titles (long-course) at the Philippines SEA Games from Nov 30-Dec 11.

“Welson has been training in Melbourne for almost a month and he wants to continue on until the SEA Games, ” said Mae Chen.

“Our national coach Chris Martin has no problem with that and supports whatever decision Welson makes. Martin, in fact, has written to Welson to continue with his training and competitions.

“It is an impressive performance from Welson as any national meets in Australia is very competitive, ” she said.

Welson is not the only top South-East Asian swimmer racing in Melbourne as reigning Olympic butterfly champion Joseph Schooling also picked up his second gold in the 50m butterfly in 22.70.

The Singaporean won the 100m freestyle on Thursday.

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