Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Bruneians swimming into the unknown in UK
Saturday, September 3, 2011

Anderson Lim Chee Wei will find
himself in unfamiliar waters as he
competes in the short-course set
up of the Commonwealth Youth
Games in the United Kingdom.
Picture: BT/ Yee Chun Leong

Anderson Lim Chee Wei and Florence Sea Wern Lyn will find a different kind of challenge at Wednesday's Commonwealth Youth Games.

The swimmers are certainly not used to it, but the short-course set-up at the Isle of Man in the United Kingdom might just work to their favour.

In contrast to long-course (50m) events, the length of a pool in a short-course event is 25m. Short-course is the second type of pool configuration recognised by FINA the world's governing body for the sport.

The duo are both used to swimming in the long course pool at the National Aquatics Centre at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas which meets the standards of the Olympics and World Championships.

Eric Landa, though, thinks the change will be a blessing in disguise for his swimmers.

"The competition will be short-course so I hope our swimmers will go very fast since there will be more turns," said the national coach recently.

"I'm pretty sure we won't make the final.

"There'll be countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand there, and they'll each be bringing two swimmers in every event

"The goal in each of the eight events should be to break personal bests.

"I would say break national records but I don't know if there are even any short-course national records. There are only a few short-course competitions in the region," he pointed out.

Anderson will be swimming in the 100m free and 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly events while Sea is set to compete in the long-distance events; 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle.

Though the duo are both seasoned swimmers, Landa felt they could have done with better practice.

"To be honest the competition has probably come at the worst time for us because of Ramadhan," said the Dutch.

"Florence and Anderson are not Muslim so it has been easier for them to train, but because of Ramadhan, we struggled to get the (training) programme going.

"We still did our nine pool sessions and five gym sessions every week, it's just that the facilities like the pool and gym were closed half the time. We had to be very creative ... Training at 10pm sometimes, doing our dry land training outside the gym.

"The pool will be closed for Hari Raya so we can't swim, so our preparation has been a little shaky. But they've been training hard so we should be good," he noted.

Landa who together with Netherlands national coach Jacco Verhaeren has produced 10 Olympic medallists is a seasoned coach at the highest level.

However, he admitted this year's Commonwealth Youth Games will be a whole new ball game for him.

"I've got no idea what to expect," he stated.

"I've been to London many times but never to Isle of Man.

"But there're going to be at least 1000 athletes from 71 countries so it doesn't matter where the competition is going to be held it's going to be fun!," he added.

This year marks the second time the Sultanate is sending competitors to the Games. The first was during the last edition in 2008 in Pune, India, where Brunei was represented by Mohd Aiman Abdullah and Asher Jeremiah Khan in the tennis competition and Maria Grace Koh in swimming.

This year's contingent will also see Rozmacynthia Simbilan fly the flag for Brunei in athletics.

Badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics and rugby 7s complete the list of seven sports at this year's Games.

The first Commonwealth Youth Games was held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2000, with the second in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, in 2004. This year's edition was pushed forward a year in view of the 2012 London Olympics.

The contingent, which also includes a physiotherapist, will depart on Monday.

Courtesy from Brunei Times