Thursday, 10 September 2015

The Star : Malaysian swimmers make big splash in Commonwealth Youth Games


PETALING JAYA: Malaysian swimmers Wong Fu Kang and Welson Sim are making big splashes at the Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) in Samoa.

While Fu Kang bagged his second gold medal in as many days, Welson finally got his hand on his first.

First in action on Wednesday was the 17-year-old Fu Kang, who came out tops in 28.92 in the men’s 50m breaststroke – finishing just ahead of South Africa’s James Greig Isemonger, who clocked 29.20 and third-placed Kieran Preston of Scotland.

Fu Kang had won the 100m breaststroke gold on Tuesday.

The Malaysian camp’s celebration had hardly died down when it was Welson’s turn to take to the pool in the 400m freestyle.

The 18-year-old Sarawakian held off a determined Kyle Chisholm of England to win the eight-lap race in 3:54.25. Chisholm settled for silver in 3:54.76 while Australia’s Clyde Lewis got the bronze.

That’s the first time Welson has stood at the top of the podium in the quadrennial Games. He delivered two silver medals in the 200m and 1,500m freestyle races on Monday, and finished fourth in the 100m freestyle on Tuesday.
Malaysian swimmer Welson Sim with the 400m freestyle gold medal he won at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa on Wednesday.

Malaysian swimming coach Paul Birmingham was pleased with the boys, who were the only medal contributors for Malaysia on Wednesday.

It kept Malaysia fourth in the medal standings with a haul of 7-2-2. Australia lead with 15-11-13, followed by South Africa (10-5-8) and England (7-11-11).

“We’ve kept up our medal streak since the first day. Fu Kang clocked good times ... not too far off his national record of 28.67 set at the Singapore SEA Games in June,” said Birmingham.

“Welson is a bit tired as he has been swimming for the last three days. He will finish off with the 50m freestyle tomorrow, but I’m not expecting anything as he is not a sprinter.”

Phuket-based Fu Kang will seek to end his CYG outing on a high by winning the men’s 200m breaststroke on Thursday.

There was also good news from the archery range as Nuramalia Haneesha Mazlan put herself in medal contention after making the semi-finals of the women’s individual recurve.

The 15-year-old from Terengganu received a bye in the first round and beat Charlotte Harris of the Isle of Man 6-5 in the last eight.

The semi-finals will see Nuramalia taking on England’s Elizabeth Warner and India’s Prachi Singh facing Scotland’s Eugenia Helen D’Arcy.

In the boys’ division, Arriffuddinur Zakaria fell at the first hurdle, losing 6-0 to Tonga’s Arne Jensen.

The athletics competition ended on Wednesday with Malaysia finishing empty-handed. In boxing, none of the four pugilists reached the semi-finals.

Fifty-three nations are participating in the CYG, which features nine sports – athletics, boxing, squash, swimming, archery, lawn bowls, rugby 7s, tennis and weightlifting.

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