By FADHLI ISHAK | firstname.lastname@example.org
FIERY FORM: Welson wants to break more records to book Sea Games berth
SARAWAK'S Welson Sim strengthened his claim for a spot in the Myanmar Sea Games squad this year when he continued his fine form in the Malaysia Schools Sports Council Swimming championships by breaking another long-standing tournament record yesterday.
Welson, who on Monday broke Daniel Bego's eight-year-old 200m freestyle mark, clinched gold in the boys Under-18 100m freestyle in a new record time of 52.94 seconds at the Darul Ehsan Aquatic Complex in Shah Alam.
The old mark of 53.49s was set by Selangor's Foo Jian Beng six years ago.
In second place was Penang's Alwyn Tan (54.00s) while Sarawak's Roydon Ong clinched bronze on 54.14s.
Despite the victory, the 16-year-old, who also won the 50m backstroke gold yesterday (28.29s), said he still has unfinished business at the tournament.
"It feels great to get my fourth gold medal here and also set a new personal best and record in the 100m freestyle," said the Bukit Jalil Sports School student, whose former personal best in the 100m freestyle was 53.36s.
"The freestyle is my favourite event and I want to win and hopefully break more records in the 50m (today) and 400m (tomorrow) freestyle events as well.
"I have never been to the Sea Games and would like to go this year. I am hoping to improve this year and make the team this time."
Meanwhile, Sabah siblings Eric and Chris Tan both notched double victories to bring their individual gold medal hauls to four and five respectively.
Eric (boys' Under-16) and Chris (girls' Under-18), who are coached by former Olympian Alex Lim Keng Liat, cruised to the 50m backstroke gold in 29.39s and 32.34s respectively.
Eric later added the 200m individual medley (2:15.48s) while Chris took the 100m freestyle in a time of 1:00.82s. She, however, had to settle for bronze in the 200m individual medley (2:28.68s).
|Sabah siblings Eric (left) and Chris Tan both notched double victories to bring their individual gold medal hauls to four and five respectively.|
In diving, Ng Zheng Ni eased to the girls under-15 1m springboard gold with a 191.65 score.
Second was Negri Sembilan's Aimi Nazifah Shaari (129.90) while Nur Amira Najha Tahir of Johor clinched bronze with 114.55.
Zheng Ni, who joined the national back-up squad in January, said she is hoping to repeat her double victory in the tournament last year.
"I did a few mistakes today (yesterday) but am happy to start the tournament with a win," said the 13-year-old, who won two bronze medals at the Malaysia Games in Pahang last year.
"I won two gold medals (in MSSM) last year and I hope to improve in the 3m springboard event (today) and defend both my gold here."
Her elder brother, Ng Zheng Hao, was also in impressive form as he clinched the boys' Under-15 1m springboard title with a score of 220.35.
Negri's Mohd Danial Asyraf Azmi took bronze on 200.85 while Federal Territories Abd Hafiz Abd Kahar finished third with 75.35.
The boys' Under-18 1m springboard saw Sarawak's Carlysle Chan take gold with a 309.30 score.
Silver went to Slyvester Gaing Peter Jawa (262.50) while Negri's Adzhar Imran Rusli took bronze on 257.70s.
FT's Hanis Nazirul Jayasurya, who won the 1m springboard on Tuesday, completed a clean sweep in the boys Under-12 competition when he clinched the 3m springboard gold with 279.45, ahead of Sabah's Jellson Jabilliin (235.20) and Farez Izzudin Suhaimi who took bronze on 213.30s.
In the final round of group matches in water polo, defending champions Malacca maintained their 100 per cent record with a 23-10 win over Sabah.
FT rebounded from their 16-3 defeat to Malacca on Tuesday to advance to the semi-finals with a 16-8 win over Perak while Negri, also unbeaten in the tournament, eased past Penang 22-6.
Malacca will play Selangor while FT are set to face Negri in the semi-finals today.