Cover Welson Sim (Photo: Under Armour)

Our exclusive interview with the national swimmer as he prepares for the regional sporting event

The Southeast Asian (SEA) Games will finally return next Thursday after its original schedule last year was pushed back due to pandemic restrictions. The 31st edition of the biennial games will be held between May 12 and 23 in Hanoi, Vietnam. During the six-month delay, athletes from all around the region—including Malaysia's 584 competitors—have been diligently training for their respective sports. 

Among them is national swimmer Welson Sim. The 25-year-old athlete, who recently made his second appearance at the 2020 Olympics, takes some time out of his busy training schedule to talk about what he has learned in Tokyo, how he has been preparing for his upcoming competitions, and what he hopes to achieve at the SEA Games. 

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What has it been like training for the SEA Games?

It has been a tough journey as things have been switching up lately. After Tokyo, I personally felt that I was slightly out of shape. I rejoined my previous coach to get back on track with my physique and performance. Fortunately, things have been on the right track since then, especially as restrictions are lifted and I can mostly resume my pre-pandemic training routine, besides basic SOPs and face masks

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How are you keeping yourself motivated for the upcoming Games?

Under Armour’s brand message, 'The Only Way is Through', has been my motivation. The pursuit of getting better in my sport is a constant challenge, from the daily grind of training to the pressure from the fans and trials of life outside the water. This motto makes sure that I stay focused on becoming better at what I do day by day and stay on the right path, so I can come out faster, stronger, and better on the other side. 

I hope to reclaim the 200m freestyle gold medal and also aim to break through and get my first medal in the 100m freestyle event.
Welson Sim

Have your friends and family been supportive?

My family and friends are very supportive, physically and emotionally. They encourage me constantly, which makes me feel confident to go after my dreams. Even when I'm down, they have stayed by my side and guided me through it. My family attends most of my competitions and cheer me on from the stands. That calms me down before every race and allows me to focus on my goals.

My Under Armour family has also supported me with the right performance gear in my training and recovery leading up to the SEA Games and every competition I've participated in since I signed on with them. My fellow Under Armour ambassador friends have also cheered me on from the sidelines when I compete.

See also: Malaysian Olympic Gymnastics Star Farah Ann Retires

What do you hope to achieve at the upcoming SEA Games?

I hope to reclaim the 200m freestyle gold medal. I also aim to break through and get my first medal in the 100m freestyle event.

Have you been to Hanoi before? What are you most looking forward to visiting?
Yes, I went to Hanoi a few years ago for a competition. I remember we all were staying in an athlete's village and every morning, the canteen would serve us pho. It was so nice, especially with all the fresh ingredients. I hope I have time to enjoy that again after completing my events at the SEA Games!

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