The Star : Welson brushes aside injury to bag 400m freestyle gold

All smiles: Welson Sim posing with the gold medal after winning the men’s 400m freestyle of the Malaysian Open at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday. — M. Azhar Arif/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Welson Sim shook off a heel injury to defend his men’s 400m freestyle title in the Malaysian Open swimming championships in Bukit Jalil.

The Sarawak-born swimmer may have not been at his best at the National Aquatic Centre yesterday but still had enough power to finish ahead of fellow national training partner Yeap Zheng Yang in 3:57.89.

Zheng Yang took the silver for Selangor in 4:00.30 ahead of India’s Sajan Prakash, who posted 4:06.20 for the bronze.

Welson is the national record holder with 3:49.48 and he also holds the meet record of 3:53.26.

Welson was, nevertheless, satisfied with the effort considering he did not push himself.

“I consider this as a training event and I don’t want to go all out as I injured my left heel while training on land two weeks ago.

“In fact, it got worse last week when I tried to push in training. It is better now and I just pace myself as my goal is to be at my best for the Asian Games in Indonesia in August,” said Welson, who bagged two golds at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games last year in new record times.

Welson has decided not to swim the 100m freestyle event today.

“It is a sprint event and I want to rest well as I have the 200m freestyle on Saturday and the 1,500m freestyle on Sunday.”

National swimmers Tern Jian Han and Chan Jie also did well to go within a touching distance of the national record in their respective pet events.

Jian Han won the men’s 50m backstroke event in 25.67, just outside his own national record of 25.60 set at the Gold Coast Commmonwealth Games last month.

In Gold Coast, Johor-born Jian Han broke Alex Lim Keng Liat’s national record of 25.67 set 16 years ago en route to earn a place in the 50m backstroke final.

Chan Jie claimed the men’s 100m butterfly gold medal in 53.87, not too far off the national record of 53.33 set by Daniel Bego back in 2009.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/sport/swimming/2018/05/04/welson-brushes-aside-injury-to-bag-400m-freestyle-gold/#zE3VJGWb8HcPxTrK.99