Muhammad Isa Ahmad (2L) in
this file photo. The
national swimmer broke
the national and age
group record in the 50m
breaststroke at the World
Championships in Barcelona
Courtesy of Eric Landa
Muhammad Isa Ahmad had a bittersweet day at the World Championships in Barcelona yesterday after failing to set a new national record in the 100m breaststroke but hitting the mark in the 50m.
The 15-year-old finished the event with a time of 1:09.96 which was slower than his old record of 1:08.64.
However, his time at the turn was 31.29s, which bettered the national and age group record of 31.58s which he set in April.
Muhammad Isa placed seventh out of 10 swimmers in Heat 2, where his time put him 68th out of 77 swimmers in the event.
Christian Sprenger of Australia was the fastest in the heat with a time of 59.53s at the Palau Sant Jordi.
According to national aquatics coach Eric Landa, the 50m record is legit since it was swum with electronic time keeping.
The Dutchman, who has plied his trade with six countries, had mixed feelings about the time set by his swimmer but was satisfied with Muhammad Isa's overall performance.
"Both Muhammad Isa and myself agree that the 100m time is really not that good... Slower than his personal best. That's not satisfactory," said Landa.
"He was very eager to finally get to swim at the World Championships long course and to break the ice for Brunei.
"However, he was so enthusiastic that he sprinted the first lap and had to pay the price in the second lap.
"But you see the way this happened... An absolute explosion on the first lap and deflating baloon of energy in the second lap, then I can only smile at age group swimmers competing at an event like this.
"It was a beginners' mistake that could happen when you are 15 years old and one of the youngest competitors at your first World Championship... You are over excited.
"It happens sometimes. I'm just smiling about it and so is he. It shows how important experience is but still pulling off a national record... That's very good at a such a big competition and we should not forget that.
"It's good to see him getting up there and giving it all he's got, maybe a bit too much in a short amount of time but it was definitely all he had," praised the former Egypt national coach.
The team arrived in Spain last Wednesday and had four days to acclimatise to the temperature, time zone (six hours difference), hotel and swimming pool.
Muhammad Isa's elder sister, Nur Hamizah Ahmad, will see action today in the women's 100m backstroke.
Muhammad Isa will then take to the pool tomorrow for the 50m breakstroke.
The other two Bruneian swimmers at the July 19-August 4 tournament are Christian Nikles and Tiara Sharil Anwar.
Nikles will swim the 100m freestyle on Wednesday.
Nur Hamizah Ahmad will also see action in the 50m backstroke on the same day.
Tiara will end the country's campaign in Spain when she swims in the women's 100m freestyle on Thursday and 50m freestyle on Saturday.