2017 SEA Games Preview: Schooling Ruffles Malaysian Feathers


  • Opening Ceremony August 19th; Swimming Competition August 21st – August 26th
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • LCM
  • Meet Site
  • Results

The 29th edition of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games held its Opening Ceremony today, with the swimming competition slated to start on August 21st. Swimming is just one of 38 sports to be contested by the estimated 4900 athletes across 11 countries, all vying for their share of the 404 gold medals up for grabs.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is hosting the multi-national event for the 6th time, having last held the competition in 2001. To commemorate, Malaysia has set a target of 111 gold medals in order to match the nation’s result from those 2001 Games. That may prove to be a tough task considering Malaysia finished in 4th place in Singapore 2 years ago, collecting a total of just 62 gold medals.

However, helping the host nation in the pool will be Welson Sim, the 20-year-old defending SEA Games champion in the 400m freestyle. Sim has been in fine form as of late, competing at the Mare Nostrom Monaco stop earlier this season where he won gold in the aforementioned event over Olympic champion Mack Horton of Australia. Notching a winning time of 3:49.48, Sim established a new national record, which he’ll be looking to lower in Kuala Lumpur. He’ll also be targeting the longstanding, 26-year-old national record in the 1500m event set by Jeffrey Ong way back in 1991.

The nation of Singapore will see its golden child Joseph Schooling hit the pool across the 50m free, 100m free and 100m butterfly events where the Olympic champion is expected to win rather handily. If anything, Schooling may hit more friction outside of the pool, as the 22-year-old rubbed Malaysians the wrong way by saying he was ready to ‘teach them a thing or 2’ while competing in their backyard. Schooling has since apologized, clearly stating that ‘offending someone wasn’t his intention.’

Schooling will be one of 569 Singaporean athletes representing the nation’s largest SEA Games squad ever. In 2015, Singapore reaped 23 swimming titles, claiming myriad of Games records in the process, so look for the nation to be on form once again in this year’s version of the Games.

Vietnamese swimmer Thi Anh Vien collected an incredible 8 gold medals at the last edition of this meet, representing half of her nation’s entire swimming medal total. She is expected to swim 11 events this time around to help her nation improve upon its 2nd place finish in 2015’s swimming medal table.

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Swimmer A

Why doesn’t Schooling ever swim the 200 fly anymore


Because he has no endurance last 100m


His physiology and build do not suit 200fly.
Yeah he swam it when younger but swimming it now will come at the expense of other things.
100free / 100fly swimmer now as a man, sick of hearing haters say he has no endurance etc he’s Olympic champ makes the sport look bad uneducated people saying he isn’t fit, 100/200fly completely different events and require different training.


None of that changes the fact that he doesn’t have the endurance for a 200 fly


It’s SEA Games though. He has very little competition, unless he’s afraid of being beaten by Quah Zheng Wen.

E Gamble

He did swim the 200 fly at the 2015 Sea Games. I believe he’s avoiding that 200 fly just like he avoided the 200 fly against Conger at NCs. If there is a chance of losing…he’s not swimming.


You have to be honest with yourself. If he can go 50.39 in a 100 but isn’t a contender in the 200 then it has everything to do with endurance. Sure he’s not 6’4″ and 190 lbs, but but Kosuke Hagino is roughly the same size and throws down decent 200s/400s. That’s not to say he doesn’t work hard, it’s just some swimmers can’t translate from 50 to 100’s or 100’s to 200s, however at age 22 a third event at age 22 isn’t out of the question.

crooked donald

He did a 1:56 at 16. It’s not exactly like he’s jacked like Adam Peaty, so the physiology/build argument doesn’t really hold. He doesn’t have the endurance because he doesn’t put in the training for it like he once did. Once he decided that his only medal shot at Rio was the 100 fly, he went all in for that distance.


It’s funny that people always state that you need to train 1 event/distance as a specialist to win a gold medal and when a guy does this they complain that he is only swimming one event so everybody make up yours minds!


Didn’t clock a qualifying time within the qualifying period. His 1:56.45 in May used to qualify for Worlds was after qualification for SEA Games closed


Schooling has said before he is going to get back his 200 fly. I hope he start swimming from next year onwards. He swam 1.56 for 200 fly in 2012 so he definitely got the potential. This year is like a “honeymoon” period for him since it’s post-olympics


He’s not training for the 200 fly. His focus is on holding the world record (now it’s beating Dressel I’m sure). He also failed to make even the semis at NCAA, he probably doesn’t want to risk embarrassment to some extent.


There’s no semis at NCAAs


The long and short reason as far as SEA Games is concerned, is that he didnt have a qualifying time (as he wasnt swimming this event anywhere). So he couldnt swim this at SEA Games. Anyway, his events are the 50 Fly, 100, Fly and 100 Free, not 50 Free


Malaysians overly sensitive IMO. What happened to the spirit of competition and a little trash talk?


This. I also think swimming could use a bit more feather rufflin’


Malaysians can’t take banter


You don’t know much about Malaysia and relationship among its ethnic groups, do you?


Those who understand South East Asia would never in a million years mouth off something like this.

Such ignorance. Sigh.

crooked donald

He must’ve been referring to the “thing or two” he learned while watching Dressel’s hip. https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2017/08/265018/schooling-boasts-hell-teach-msians-thing-or-two-kl2017-netizens-school

crooked donald

Geez. He’s been reduced to trash-talking the Malaysians.


Well, you have been reduced to trash talking Schooling. Your obsession is little annoying. Okay, so he does not practice hard and did not win Words. Now, let it go.


The voice of reason.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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