Christian Nickles (Top) and
Anderson Lim (Center) hoping to
improve their personal records.
(Above) Wallace Koh (1st row L),
Vice-President of the Brunei
Amateur Swimming Association,
Eva Wong, National swim coach,
(2nd row R) and team manager,
Nelson Chok (3rd row R) posing
with the swimmers yesterday.
Pictures: BT/Yusri Adanan
High hopes are placed on the shoulders of the Group 3 swimmers (11-12 years old), as 13 swimmers departed the Brunei International Airport yesterday for the 34th Southeast Asian (SEA) Age Group Swimming Championships from June 3-5 in the Philippines.
"We're aiming to best our previous record and at the same time get the medals. The last time we participated was in 2008 in Thailand and we weren't able to capture any medals. Though we have not been practising as much as I'd like, I think we have a pretty good chance in the Group 3 category," said Eva Wong, national swim coach, who is accompanying the swimmers and team manager, Nelson Chok for the competition to be held at the Trace Aquatic Complex in Los Banos, Laguna.
One of the young swimmers in Group 3 is Christian Nickles from the Royal Brunei Recreational Club.
The 12-year-old broke six national records in the 11-12 years old Age Group at the 8th Asean Inter-Club Swimming Championship in April. He competed in all 10 events in his Age Group to return with a haul of three gold, five silver and two bronze medals.
However, this time he does not expect to match the tally in this competition, only to better his personal record.
"Actually I'm just aiming to improve my time but hopefully I could also finish on the podium," said Nickles.
He broke the national Age Group records for 50 metres backstroke (swimming in 32.83 seconds for the new mark), 100m backstroke (1:12.85), 50m butterfly (29.49s), 100m butterfly (1:06.97), 50m breaststroke (35.52s) and 100m breaststroke (1:18.18).
"The events I'm aiming for medals are in the 50m butterfly, 100m butterfly, 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle," Nickles revealed.
He will be joined in Group 3 by Muhd Ahmad Isa, while for the Girls' are Tiara Shahril Anwar and Jocelyn Wong.
Meanwhile, 2008 Malaysia Games (Sukma) representative Maria Grace Koh will be leading Group 1 (15-17 years old), joined by Jeremy Joint and Nicholas Young.
Koh is more than capable of spearheading the country's campaign, winning 14 gold and one silver during the 17th Brunei Age Group Swimming Championships last year and setting four national records at Sukma two years ago.
In Group 2 (13-14 years old), the duo of Anderson Lim and Desmond Lee will be the ones to watch out for.
The best swimmer in his age group in the country, Lim holds the age-group record for the 50 metres butterfly and 100m butterfly while Lee has the 200m butterfly record under his belt.
Also in Group 2 are Nor Hamizah Ahmad Isa, Tiffany Liew, Nathaniel Nickles and Florence Seah.
Courtesy from Brunei Times