PETALING JAYA: Swimmer Welson Sim made a double sweep of the middle distance freestyle titles as Malaysia bagged three more gold medals in the pool at the 7th Asean Schools Games in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.
The 18-year-old from Sarawak set a new meet record of 1:50.46 on his way to a comfortable win in the boys’ 200m freestyle final. Thailand’s Chakorn Wanphen, the previous record holder at 1:52.66, settled for silver in 1:55.41. Maurica Sacho of the Philippines took bronze in 1:55.61.
Having claimed the 400m freestyle title on Monday, Welson has clearly proved that he is the fastest middle distance swimmer in the region.
Welson won the Singapore SEA Games gold medal in 400m freestyle in June and has broken the national 200m freestyle record three times in the last two months.
His personal best of 1:48.26 for the 200m freestyle, posted at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Dubai early this month, is the fastest in the region this year.
Welson went on to anchor the 4x100m freestyle relay quartet to victory – and his third gold of the meet – later.
The Malaysian quartet of Brendan Yip, Yoo Zhi Qian, Foong Wei Tze and Welson clocked 3:32.28 to finish ahead of Indonesia (3:35.35) and Singapore (3:38.30).
Asmalia Filzati Redzuan provided more joy for Malaysia when she won the girls’ 200m butterfly final.
|Malaysia's Asmalia Filzati Redzuan during the National Schools swimming meet last year. - The STAR Filepic|
Bukit Jalil Sports School swimmer Asmalia clocked 2:21.79 to hold off Thailand’s Jutharnan Suthiwong (2:22.81) for the gold medal.
Malaysia also got a bronze from Jordan Yip, who clocked 1:00.69 in the boys’ 100m backstroke final.
After two days of competition, Indonesia are just ahead of Malaysia in the overall standings for swimming, with a haul of 6-8-3.
Malaysia have raked in 5-1-2 to be placed second, ahead of Singapore (3-1-2) and Thailand (2-5-5).