Sunday, 9 June 2013

Borneo Bulletin : Four Brunei Swim Records Smashed

Pehin Hazair opens the 37th SEA Age Group Swimming
Championship with a ceremonial cutting and releasing
 of the balloons
Published on Sunday, 09 June 2013 09:26 Written by Jake Ten

Bandar Seri Begawan - Four national records were broken during the second day of the 37th Southeast Asian (SEA) Age Group Swimming Championships at the Aquatics Center of the Hassanal Bolkiah Sports Complex.

Following the opening ceremony for the meet which was officiated by Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Christian Nikles completed the Group 1 (16-18 year old) 50m butterfly event in a time of 27.03s.

The 16-year-old beat his old national Open and Age Group record of 27.27, which was set in June last year.

The result marked Christian's fourth record at the meet alone, after he bettered his own Open and Age Group record of 25.71s, set in June 2012, in the 50m freestyle event with a time of 25.12s on Day One.

Ashley Chai also set a new national Age Group record after completing the Girls 200m backstroke (13 and under) event in 2:43.44.

The 12-year-old smashed Felicia Lee's record of 2:46.31, which was set in May 2006.

Brunei Amateur Swimming Association President
Aziz Latip presenting a souvenir to Pehin Hazair
The Brunei men (mixed age groups) team followed up their 4 x 200m freestyle relay national Open record of 9:03.44 on the first day with another record in the 4 x 100m freestyle relay yesterday.

Team Brunei blew the previous national Open record of 4:26.38, set by the ISB swimming team in February, out of the water with a blistering time of 3:58.24.

Nur Hamizah Ahmad was another record breaker after completing the 100m backstroke event in a time of 1:12.60 on Day One.

The 18-year-old marginally beat her previous national Age Group and Open record of 1:12.65, set back in November 2012.

This is the first time that the Sultanate is both competing and hosting the swimming meet.

The Bruneian contingent is made up of nine swimmers, and as of yet, they are still the only country out of the seven contenders who have yet to win a single medal.

Brunei Aquatics head coach Eric Landa was well aware of the calibre of swimmers his team would be up against and understands that their chances of winning a medal are limited.

"The competition is proving to be of very high quality. Many of the SEA-AG records are being broken during this meet, and the battle for medals is on," remarked Landa following a hectic second day.

"Unfortunately, Team Brunei does not have any medals yet. In 2011 (Vietnam), we didn't have any medals also, and in 2012 (Indonesia), Christian Nikles scored a shared bronze medal in 50-free," he added.

Despite remaining medal-less, Landa was satisfied with his team's progress.

"All of our swimmers are breaking their personal best times and we are seeing so far that nine national records have been broken," revealed Landa.

"The expectations are being met, and so far, I'm content with that. With one more day to go, we'll see what tomorrow brings.

Singapore currently leads the Swimming Championships with 19 gold, 18 silver and 15 bronze.

Following closely in second is Malaysia, who have 19 gold,11 silver and 10 bronze after Day Two, while Thailand are not far off the pace in third with 14 gold, 26 silver and 15 bronze.

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