Welson aims to outdo his idol


IN PURSUIT OF RECORDS: Welson Sim competes in a swimming event recently. The 15-year-old Kota Samarahan Amateur Swimming Association swimmer trains four hours daily in pursuit of excellence and to surpass Daniel Bego’s achievements.

Kotas swimming rising star hopes to surpass Daniel Bego’s achievements

KUCHING: Sarawak swimming sensation, Daniel Bego has always been Welson Sim’s idol.

But now, the 15-year-old of Kota Samarahan Amateur Swimming Association (Kotas) swimmer harbours the ambition to surpass his swimming idol’s feats.

In fact, he has already done so by breaking two of Daniel’s records during this year’s Majlis Sukan Sekolah Malaysia (MSSM) and the recent National Age Group Swimming Championship.

In this year’s MSSM meet held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, the young hardworking swimmer had smashed Daniel’s 2004 record of 54.68s in the 100m freestyle event by clocking 54.21s.

And in the recent National Age Group meet held at the National Aquatic Centre at Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, he registered a new time of 1:57.84 in the Boys’ 13 -14 age group 200m freestyle event to rewrite the record of 1:58.24 set by Daniel in 2004.

At the same meet, Welson also broke another state’s swimming star, Vernon Lee’s 400m freestyle record of 4:15.01 set last year by clocking a new time of 4:13.31. He chipped 0.33s off Ian James Barr’s 50m backstroke record of 28.86s set in 2009.

Believing in training hard for success, the form three student at SMK Batu Lintang, Kuching trains four hours daily under China coach Ren Xiao Shun and his assistant Jeffrey Ho.

His incredible string of achievements in this year’s local and national swimming meets has proven how determined he is to stay ahead of the competition.

On the local front, Welson broke six records to win 14 gold medals and the Best Boy in Group II of the recent Sarawak Age Group Swimming Championship held in Sibu.

This was followed by bagging eight gold and three silver medals in the MSSM meet with two new meet records and six golds, two bronzes and three new records in the national age group.

For the record, at his young age Welson is also currently Malaysia’s number three ranked swimmer in the 1,500m category after Kelvin Yap and Vernon Lee but he is aiming to become the country’s top distance swimmer.

Taking up swimming only in 2008, it was his parents who encouraged him to take up the sports at the tender age of 11.

Winning his first ever medal in the Boys D 100m backstroke event at the 2008 Sarawak age group meet held in Bintulu, the silver medal may have burnt his ambition to go further in swimming.

On a lighter note, Welson also listens to music during his leisure time.

When asked on his plans this year, Welson replied that he is looking to win more medals in the upcoming Malaysian Open next month, the South East Asia (SEA) age group swimming championship to be held in Brunei sometime in June and the 15th Malaysia Games (Sukma XV) to be held in Kuantan, Pahang in July.

After this, he will be focusing on preparing for the lower secondary examinations (PMR).