Friday, 6 April 2018

The Star : Welson reaches 400m final then fails to even better his national record

Gutted: Welson Sim competing in the men’s 400m freestyle final at the Optus Aquatic Centre yesterday. He finished seventh with a time of 3:53.36.

IT turned out to be a bittersweet finish for Welson Sim in the men’s 400m freestyle event.

The 21-year-old splashed his way to a major breakthrough when he became Malaysia’s first swimmer in 12 years to reach the final of the Commonwealth Games.

He qualified for the final eighth fastest with a time of 3:51.78 in the morning session at the Optus Aquatic Centre yesterday.

But that was as good as it got for the Sarawakian as he fell short in the final.

Olympic champion Mack Horton won with a time of 3:43.36, ending Australia’s 12-year wait to regain the gold.

Compatriot Jack McLoughlin took silver with 3:45.21 while Eng­land’s James Guy settled for a second successive bronze with 3:45.32.

The result yesterday showed that Welson still has a long way to go despite the fact that he has beaten Horton once – at the Mare Nostrum Tour in Monte Carlo last year where he set the national record of 3:49.48.

And Welson wasn’t pleased with his showing in the final.

“I made the final and finished seventh out of eight swimmers but my time was very bad,” admitted Welson.

“I really wasn’t expecting such a bad time. I felt that I did everything right prior to the start of the race.

“My warm-up was good and I felt that my pace was faster than the morning session ... I just can’t explain it.

“Maybe the atmosphere of being in the final overwhelmed me but that’s not an excuse.

“It’s still a big achievement making the final but I can’t be happy because I didn’t meet my target at all. We always train to improve and I was expecting to at least rewrite the national record,” added Welson, who will focus on the 200m freestyle next.


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