Bruneian swimmers during a
physical training session
at the United World College
South East Asia in
Singapore recently. Four
Bruneian swimmers left
Singapore on Tuesday to
take part in the 15th FINA
World Championships in
Courtesy of Eric Landa
Brunei swimmers have left for the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona.
The Sultanate will be represented by the quartet of Christian Nikles, Tiara Sharil Anwar, Muhammad Isa Ahmad and Nur Hamizah Ahmad, with the team leaving from their training base in Singapore to Spain on Tuesday.
Though the tournament runs from July 19-August 4, the quartet will only take to the pool on Sunday which gives them four days to get accustomed to their new surroundings. Nikles will take part in both the men's 50m and 100m freestyle events while Muhammad Isa will swim in the men's 50m and 100m breaststroke events.
Tiara will swim in the women's 50m and 100m freestyle while Nur Hamizah will take part in both the 50m and 100m backstroke events.
They were training at the United World College South East Asia in Singapore for the past two weeks, practicising 28 hours a week instead of their usual 20-hour routine in the Sultanate.
National aquatics coach Eric Landa is not expecting any medals but hopes that his charges will be able to deliver some good times in Barcelona.
"We are obviously not here (Spain) to bring back a shipload of medals," said Landa on Tuesday.
"Actually most of the 2,293 participants are not. It is surprising how small the number of medal winning swimmers actually is.
"We are here to represent Brunei as good as we can by preparing well by having a training camp during Ramadhan although three out of four swimmers are Muslims.
"They are all going to try to break their best times. Is this going to happen? We hope so," continued the Dutchman.
Only Nikles has prior experience in the tournament after taking part in the previous edition two years ago in Shanghai, China.
Sibilings, Muhammad Isa and Nur Hamizah, both swam at the FINA Short Course World Championships in December 2012 while Tiara is set to make her debut at this stage. "We have an incredible young team of swimmers three 15-year-olds and a 17-year-old with limited experience."
"If they all keep their heads cool and do what they have been practising for, they should be able to do something nice and proudly represent Brunei," said Landa.
"We're all looking forward to it. It has been good preparation so we're all excited," he concluded.
According to the FINA website, a record number of 181 nations have entered the World Championships.