SHAH ALAM: Welson Sim admits he is cautious of the Vietnamese chance beforehand of his 200m and 400m freestyle titles defense at the Philippines SEA Games in November.
Welson is keen to see how he stacks up against Hoang Quy Phuoc (200m), and Nguyen Huy Hoang (400m) as the duo hasn’t begun to compete in any of the international swimming competitions up to now.
However, the 22-yr-vintage will quickly get a threat at the World Championships in Gwangju from July 21-28.
Quy Phuoc, 26, is a two-time SEA Games gold medallist in Myanmar in 2013 and Singapore in 2015, earlier than being dethroned through Welson on the Kuala Lumpur Games years ago.
Huy Hoang, simply 18, has long passed from power to energy seeing that he made heads turn utilizing marking his SEA Games debut with a victory inside the 1,500m freestyle in Kuala Lumpur.
Last yr, he clinched a sensational silver in the occasion at the back of Chinese superstar Sun Yang on the Asian Games and bagged the 800m freestyle gold at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
Despite the 400m events now not being his forte, Welson has each motive to be involved.
Huy Hoang has a private nice of 3:48.85, faster than Welson’s 3: forty-nine .29.
“Huy Hoang, like the other Vietnamese swimmers, had absolutely gone off the radar for a reason that final yr,” stated Welson after signing an 18-month sponsorship deal well worth RM33,000 with Usana, a global nutritional organization, right here the day gone by.
“Huy Hoang is certainly my biggest rival if I had been to win my 0.33 immediately 400m gold. He has completed an excellent process remaining yr, and I’m positive he’s currently training very hard someplace inside the globe.
“The Vietnamese are very strict and secretive; I can’t appear to discover any updates on them on social media.”
Despite his fears, Welson can’t conceal his exhilaration at competing in the global meet for the first time in 4 years.
He becomes compelled to pass the previous edition in Budapest, Hungary, years ago because it turned too close to the KL SEA Games.
“It’s the largest swimming meet in the globe where all of the nice such as Chad Le Clos (of South Africa) assemble. So I’m going to savor the moment at the same time as trying to accomplish my desires … To qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games,” he delivered.
After failing to influence his debut in Kazan, Welson will enter the fray in Gwangju as one of the pinnacle Asian swimmers.
His season high-quality of 1:47.Forty-eight in the 200m and 3:49.29 within the 400m placed him as the 5th quickest inside the vicinity.
Welson could be seeking to do higher than 1:47.02 and 3:46.78 to comfy direct qualification to Tokyo.
He has also set his sights on turning into the primary Malaysian to make the semi-finals or higher because Lim Keng Liat. The former Asian Games 100m backstroke gold medallist reached the final in 2003 in Barcelona.
“If I can beat the A-time, then the whole thing will fall into the vicinity. This consists of my target of making the semis, which makes you the top 16 swimmers within the international,” stated the Sarawakian.