HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah (right), the President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council, talks to national swimmer Anderson Lim before his race yesterday. Picture: Infofoto
National swimmer goes 3 seconds faster than previous mark in Olympic heats
Anderson Chee Wei Lim may not have qualified for the final of today's 200-metre freestyle at the London Olympics, but the 16-year-old national swimmer still left the Aquatics Centre at London's Olympic Park with his head held high after smashing the national record by nearly three seconds in yesterday's heats.
Brunei's first Olympic swimmer clocked 2:02.26 to comfortably break his previous best and national record of 2:05.19.
His goal in his only event at the Olympics was to break his previous best, and now that he has, the pressure is off and he can sit back and enjoy the rest of the Games.
After a strong start off the blocks where he challenged Mauritius' Gilles Marquet until the first split Lim lost some steam and finished behind Marquet and Dominican Republic's Nicholas Schwab Alfaro in the three-man Heat 1.
Lim set a new national record in
London. Picture: Infofoto
Competing in the biggest race in his life, Lim, who is based in Florida, United States, admitted he got caught up in the occasion and didn't exactly follow his race strategy.
"When I came out and saw the big crowd ... it got me a bit nervous," said Lim.
"But this was ... I think I did really well. I dropped three seconds, that's pretty good. I was expecting that kind of time, 2:02.
"If I could do it all over again I wouldn't go as fast in the first 100m I was really pushing it," said Lim, who would eventually end 41st out of the 41 swimmers in six heats.
To put Lim's results in perspective, China's Sun Yang topped the list of swimmers with 1:46.24. Switzerland's Dominik Meichtry was the 16th and last swimmer to qualify for the semi-finals after clocking 1:47.97.
Though he felt that Lim should have paced himself better, Lim's coach at the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida, was still happy with his time.
Calling it an "outstanding swim", Christian Bahr, who has been coaching Lim for the past nine months, said that the most important thing was that Lim was able to improve on his previous best.
"Our goal coming in here was to do 2:02, maybe 2:01 ... But 2:02 was a realistic goal," Bahr told The Brunei Times.
"Many people come here with goals they don't reach.
"Lim was a little excited in the beginning and swam a little bit too fast. Faster than he meant to go ... He didn't feel he went so fast though.
"It took a toll as he got a little tired at the end, but he held on and broke his personal best by three seconds.
"I think he felt relaxed before the tournament ... and his body language was very positive.
"But once he got behind the blocks, with the energy of the crowd and this being his first Olympics ... It's alright though he's only 16."
Courtesy from Brunei Times