PETALING JAYA: Welson Sim (pic), who has had to return from a training stint with top swimmers in Melbourne, will not lack competition here even though only a small number of athletes have been allowed to return to training from June 1.
Khiew Hoe Yean and Sebastian Soon, the fastest freestyle swimmer after Welson in the country, have been roped in to keep the Sarawakian motivated.
Welson, who is aiming to qualify for Tokyo Olympics next year, is among the small number of athletes allowed to train but under quarantine-like conditions in Bukit Jalil.
For aquatics, only three swimmers and seven divers together with their respective coaches have been approved for the exercise.
“We have requested for Welson to be given two sparring partners as he can’t be training alone in the pool.
“Hoe Yean and Sebastian will be training together with Welson. Coach Chris Martin recommended the two as they are the best available, ” said Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia secretary Mae Chen.
The divers who will be involved in the early training move are Leong Mun Yee, Pandelela Rinong, Nur Dhabitah Sabri, Wendy Ng Yan Yee and Cheong Jun Hoong for the women’s side.
The male divers are Chew Yiwei, Ooi Tze Liang and Hanis Nazirul Jaya Surya.
Jun Hoong will not join the national team training but will have access to the pool and dry gym at Bukit Jalil as she is under a special programme with Chinese coach Yang Zhuliang.
The other national divers will be coached by Li Rui and Christian Brooker.
“Youth Olympic diver Jellson Jabillin was also offered a place but his parents are unsure of letting him join as he is still in Sarawak. We will wait for his parents to get back to us.
“The athletes will be under orders to follow social distancing and hygiene measures.
“They need to clean up the dry gym themselves after training.
“The National Sports Council have also engaged a company to sanitize the training facilities daily.”