PETALING JAYA: Swimmer Welson Sim had to eat humble pie when he was beaten by Indonesian rival Aflah Fadlan Prawira in his pet event at the Tokyo Olympics.
The 24-year-old could only finish sixth in Heat 2 of the men’s 400m freestyle competition after coming home in 3:58.25.
Indonesia’s Aflah finished fourth in 3:55.08 with Alfonso Mestre of Venezuela the winner of Heat 2 in 3:47.14.
Welson certainly struggled to get going from the start as he eventually finished way outside his seeding time of 3:49.55 and placed 33rd out of 36 swimmers in the field.
Welson did the time when he took silver ahead of the Indonesian swimmer at the 2019 Philippines SEA Games.
Welson holds the national record of 3:49.29 set in Australia back in 2019 and has been fighting to rediscover his form since he failed to retain his 400m freestyle SEA Games title in Philippines.
The Sarawak-born swimmer also did not do himself any favour when he fell from his motorcycle and suffered a broken arm in March.
“It has been difficult for Welson to get back his rhythm for this Olympics, especially after he had two pins inserted in his left arm after the incident.
“He does feel the pain some days and we’ve got to give him credit for trying to prepare,” said Malaysia’s swimming coach Chris Martin.
Germany’s Henning Muhlleitner was the fastest qualifier for the men’s 400m freestyle final taking place tonight with 3:43.67.
Welson will return to swim the men’s 200m freestyle tonight while Phee Jinq En will have her chance to make an impact in the women’s 100m breaststroke event.