KUCHING: Welson Sim Wee Sheng is the first state representative in the national team to bag a medal in the current SEA Games in Manila.
Malaysia is aiming to collect 70 gold, 61 silver and 106 bronze medals from the Games.
Besides Welson, Sarawak’s representatives in the national team include international sensation Pandelela Rinong (diving) and five track-and-field athletes.
Welson who had been undergoing training in Melborne and had shown good form while competing in a championship in Australia bagged a silver in the 200m freestyle and a bronze in the 4x200m free events.
As there is no 10m platform synchronised event in the current SEA Games, Pandalela Rinong may have to give the Games a skip.
It will be a roll over for Pandelela in the SEA Games as she had won medals in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and the Gold Coast. She had also won a silver and bronze in the Olympics in London and Rio De Janeiro.
Policewoman Bibiana Ng Pek Chin is definitely going to end her dry run in the shooting events. She had won four gold medals since she made her debut in 2002 – three golds in KL 2000 and one in 2005.
In track and field, Sarawak who had won two golds from Grace Wong Xiu Mei and Jackie Wong Siew Cheer both in the hammer throw will likely dominate in two events in Manila.
Grace should be the favourite for the gold as she is the defending champion and her best throw is 60.99m achieved in a Korean meet in 2014.
Jackie is also the defending champion in his event as he won it in the last SEA Games in 2017 in a distance of 65.90m. His personal best is 67.01m which he achieved in Asian Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Jonathan Nyepa, another potential medal winner who had trained in the US will go for the 100m, 200m and the 4x100m relay events. Another Sarawakian sprinter Nixson Kennedy is in the relay team.
The fifth athlete included in the Games is two times Sukma champion in discus Queenie Ting.