NEW CLARK CITY (Philippines), Dec 7 — National elite swimmer Welson Sim Wee Sheng failed to retain the men’s 200 metres freestyle title at the 30th SEA Games today, admitting that he had caved in to pressure.
Sim finished second in his pet event with a time of 1 minute 48.52 seconds at the New Clark City Aquatics Centre.
The time was a far cry from his national record of 1:47.36 seconds he set two years ago in winning gold, and which remains as the SEA Games record.
Singapore’s Darren Chua Yi Shou won the event by clocking 1 minute 48.26 seconds, while Hoang Quy Phuoc of Vietnam settled for bronze in 1:48.59 seconds.
“I was just too stressed, and I knew I had a great chance to win, but so much noise (of spectators) and (high) expectations on me as well.
“I kept pushing myself too much (during the race), and eventually I lost,” he added.
Sim had also failed to retain the gold medal in the men’s 400 metres freestyle after losing to Vietnamese teenage sensation Nguyen Huy Hoang on the opening day of competition on December 4.
Besides the two silvers, Sim also won the bronze in 4x200 metres freestyle relay on December 4.
Two other national swimmers also had a dry day today.
Daniel Lim finished fifth in the men’s 200 metres breaststroke with a time of 2 minutes 16.62 seconds.
Ketin Nuttapong of Thailand rewrote his own SEA Games record en route to winning the gold with a time of 2 minute 12.57 seconds, while Pham Thanh Bao of Vietnam and Singapore’s Maximillian Wei Ang bagged the silver and bronze after clocking 2:12.84 seconds and 2:13.96 seconds respectively.
Nuttapong set the SEA Games record of 2 minutes 12.99 seconds in the 2011 edition in Indonesia.
Another national swimmer, Goh Chia Tong, finished last among eight swimmers in the women’s 400 metres freestyle with a time of 4 minutes 31.92 seconds.
Nguyen Thi Anh Vien of Vietnam took the gold on 4:13.20 seconds, followed by Singapore’s Gan Ching Hwee and Natthanan Junkrajang of Thailand in second and third places on 4:14.56 seconds and 4:17.59 seconds respectively. — Bernama