(Top) National swimmer Anderson
Lim in action at the 14th FINA
World Swimming Championships
in Shanghai,China, last July.
(Above) National swimmer
Christian Nikles will have to beat
teammate Anderson Lim to get
a ticket to London Olympics.
Nat'l swimmers battling for London Olympics spot
Will it be Anderson Lim Chee Wei or Christian Nikles?
The Sultanate's fastest male swimmers are slugging it out for that single spot to represent the country at the upcoming 2012 London Olympics.
Both are training hard and have been regularly competing at International Swimming Federation (FINA) certified meets, but only the fastest will get his ticket to London.
Brunei will send one athlete each in athletics and swimming to the July 27-Aug 12 Olympics.
The Sultanate will be competing because of the universality places which the world governing bodies for athletics and swimming, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and FINA respectively, have opened to countries who have no qualified athletes.
Each sport can send an extra athlete in case of injury or loss of form, but the Brunei Amateur Swimming Association (BASA) could only nominate a female swimmer for the slot.
However, it is understood that BASA chose not to nominate any female swimmer as none met the criteria.
The decision was also taken because the country did not send any female swimmers to the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships in Shanghai last July a prerequisite to swimming in London.
As a result the two boys will have to outdo each other to compete for that one berth.
National swim coach Eric Landa feels that this is a healthy competition and believes this is the best way for the swimmers to progress especially that both of them are friends, but not living and training at the same place.
"These are great moments. This is how you achieve excellence. You train as hard as your can, you get out there, compete with the best of the best and to the best of your abilities," said Landa in a statement yesterday.
"Hopefully that is enough to be picked for the 2012 London Olympics. This is how sports works all around the world," added the Dutchman.
"Very simple and very honest. The best of the best gets to go," he continued.
Nikles, who is from the Royal Brunei Recreation Club (RBRC) and coached by Victor Tan, is currently under Landa's Centre of Excellence (COE).
The 13-year-old Bruneian broke the national record in the men's 100-metre freestyle with a time of 57.24 seconds at the 2nd National 100m Sprint Championships at the Aquatics Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas on Feb 12.
Lim, who is one of the recipients of the London 2012 Olympic Scholarships (with national runner Maziah Mahusin being the other), also has an identical fastest time in the same event which he set just last weekend.
The 16-year-old Lim shaved almost a second off his personal best as the first swimmer in the freestyle relay of his Bolles School team at the Sectional Southern Zone Swimming Championships in Orlando, Florida.
Having taken his talents to the United States since last October, Lim has constantly been improving and set a new national record in the men's 200m butterfly event.
He set the new time of 2:19.53 on Feb 26 at the Florida Swimming Senior Championships at the YMCA Aquatic Centre in Florida, United States.
Next on the calendar for Nikles is the Brunei Age-Group Swimming Championships from April 12-15.
He will also compete at the Singapore Grand Prix which will be an opportunity to secure a spot on the Brunei Olympic Team.
According to Landa, Lim's coach in Florida Sergio Lopez said that the Bruneian is hoping for a performance peak in May.
Courtesy from Brunei Times