IT looks like Sarawak may just have another new swimming star in the form of school boy Welson Sim from Kota Samarahan.
He has been a shinning light at the five-day Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM) Aquatic Championships at Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex in Sabah.
Sure Erika Kong has played the staring role in Sarawak’s dominance at the meet (she’s fighting for a spot on the Malaysian squad for the London Olympics), but it is Welson who has shown that he is a new force to be reckoned with.
Welson made his mark early when he rewrote the 200m freestyle mark on the first day of the tournament with a time of 1:58.45s, bettering fellow Sarawakian and national swimmer Daniel Bego’s 2004 record of 2:00.05s.
On Wednesday, he won the gold for the Boys 1500m freestyle with a time of 17:26.08s.
Yesterday – Day 3, Welson set another record in the Boys’ Under-15 100m freestyle with a time of 54.21s, again shattering Daniel’s eight-year-old record of 54.68s.
Welson also went on to win the 50m backstroke with a time of 29.03s.
Last month, Sim also stole the limelight at the 39th Sarawak Age Group Swimming Championship at Bukit Lima Swimming Pool in Sibu.
He set six records during the event, three records on the last day alone!
This included shattering a 19-year record held by Yong Kuok Soon in the Boys B 50m freestyle! Welson rewrote the 25.64′ record with his time of 25.57’.
He, of course, received the title of best swimmer in the Boys B category for the Sibu event.
Yes Welson has succeeded at school events, but that’s how Daniel’s swimming prowess was first discovered and he has since done Sarawak and Malaysia proud with five gold medals at the Laos SEA Games in 2009.
Welson is already in the Sarawak training squad under chief coach Ren Xiao Shun from China and will hopefully do well at Sukma in Pahang this July.
We look forward to bigger and better things to come. All the best Welson!
The report from The Star:
Welson breaks Daniel Bego’s long-standing 100m freestyle record
PETALING JAYA: Young swimmer Welson Sim was back on the winning track for Sarawak as he erased the long-standing meet record held by current star Daniel Bego en route to claiming his fourth gold medal in the national schools swimming championships at the Kota Kinabalu Aquatic Centre.
Welson posted 54.21 to dip under the boys’ 13-15 age-group 100m freestyle meet record of 54.68 set by fellow Sarawakian Daniel back in 2004.
The 15-year-old Welson started the day by winning the 50m backstroke in 29.03 ahead of Johor’s Tia’a Faang Der, who came in second in 29.22.
It was a sweet win for Welson as he had been beaten into second place by Faang Der in the 200m backstroke on Wednesday.
Welson had won 200m freestyle and 100m backstroke for Sarawak on the opening day of the meet. His 200m freestyle triumph was also significant as he erased Daniel’s eight year-old meet record.
Daniel made an impression at the Sukma (Malaysia Games) before going on to bag five gold medals for Malaysia at the Laos SEA Games two years ago.
Welson, like Daniel, excels in the freestyle disciplines and has the potential to shine at the upcoming Sukma in Pahang this July.
He has already been drafted into the Sarawak training squad and currently trains under chief coach Ren Xiao Shun from China.
Faang Der set the second meet record of the day in the 200m individual medley.
The Johor swimmer clocked 2:14.94 to better Ian James Barr’s previous mark of 2:15.03 set in 2010.
Fatigue appeared to have set in on Sarawak swimmer Erika Kong on the third day of competition. Erika, who donned national colours at the New Delhi Commonwealth and Asian Games in 2010, only managed to win one gold out of the three finals she contested.
Erika came out tops in the girls’ 16-18 age-group 200m individual medley but finished second and third respectively in the 100m freestyle and 50m backstroke.
Sarawak currently lead the medal standings with 30-12-10 ahead of second placed Johor on 10-6-2.
The New Straits Times report:
Swimming: Sarawak continue dominance
RUNAWAY leaders Sarawak kept up their pace in the Malaysian Schools Sports Council aquatics championships in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.
The east Malaysia state bagged seven more gold medals yesterday to bring their tally to 29 in the meet at the Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex in Likas.
The 11 other gold medals were won by Johor (four), Selangor (three) and two each went to Malacca and Kuala Lumpur.
Maintaining her dominance in the pool was Erika Kong who bagged gold in the girls’ 16-18 200m individual medley with a time of 2:26.40s. It was her seventh gold medal.
Another show stopper was Welson Sim, who set a record in the Boys’ Under-15 100m freestyle with a time of 54.21s, breaking the old mark of 54.68s set by Daniel Bego in 2004. He also went on to win the 50m backstroke with a time of 29.03s.
Other gold medal winners from Sarawak were Angela Chieng (Girls’ 100m freestyle 1:02:63 and 200m individual medley 2:31:55), Gui Ping Nee (Boys’ 7-12 200m individual medley 2:33:87) and Alex Tiong (Boys’ 16-18 200m 2:26:40).
Another record breaker yesterday was Tia’A Faang Der from Johor in the Boys’ Under-15 200m individual medley in 2:14.94s, beating the old mark of 2:15.03s set by Ian James Barr from Kuala Lumpur two years ago.
Other gold medalists from Johor were Cindy Tai (Girls’ Under-12 100m freestyle 1:05:63 and 200m individual medley 2:43:13) and Kenji Lim (Boys’ Under-12 100m freestyle 1:01:48).
The Selangor contingent won three gold medals through Kok Cher Ling (Girls’ 16-18 100m freestyle 1:00.50), Chan Jie (Boys’ 16-18 100m freestyle 54.60) and Caroline Chan (Girls’ 16-18 50m backstroke 31.65).
Malacca’s gold medallists were Fatin Raudzah (Girls’ 7-12 50m backstroke) and Terrence Ng (Boys’ 7-12 50m backstroke) while Kuala Lumpur’s gold medal winners were Rou Ying Tan (Boys’ 13-15 50m backstroke) and Tzi Rok Wong (Boys’ 16-18 50m backstroke). By Roy Goh