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By Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, Feb 17: Sarawak-born swimmer Welson Sim Wee Sheng may be our next Olympic champion, said Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan.
He based his optimism on the fact that Sim beat reigning Olympic champion Mack Horton by clocking a time of 3.54.77 to win gold in the 400m Men’s Freestyle event at the Victorian Open Swimming Championship in Melbourne, Australia, on Friday.
“With adequate exposure, persistent training, combined with strong self-discipline, a possible Olympic champion in the aquatic arena is now in the making.
“This (latest win) is a strong achievement, and we are proud and happy for him. He is a Sarawak-born athlete, and this shows we are never short of talents, if we scout well,” Snowdan told DayakDaily today.
In the coming SEA Games in the Philippines, Sim is expected to do well, but the Tokyo 2020 Olympics shall be his target.
“Let’s keep our fingers crossed.”
He added that Sim’s win is testimony that any athlete, given the opportunity, time and training, could excel in sports.
All this will complement the success stories of past athletes such as Tania Bugo in swimming, Watson Nyambek (athletics), Azlan Iskandar (squash), Pandelela Rinong (diving) and Buda Anchah (bodybuilding).
“They all made Sarawak proud,” he said.
Snowdan urged all Sarawakian athletes to put their minds on what they wanted to do and the victory podium will be theirs’. — DayakDaily