Nur Hamizah Ahmad was less
than a second away from
breaking the national
record in the women's 100m
Picture: Courtesy of Eric
Nur Hamizah Ahmad was a stroke away from breaking the national record in the women's 100m backstroke after clocking 1.13.25 in her heats at the World Championships in Barcelona yesterday.
Nur Hamizah, who was just 0.65s off the national record she set last month (1.12.60), mistimed her finish and had to glide into the wall to put her hand on it losing valuable milliseconds.
She went on to finish 48th in the field of 50 swimmers, with American rising star Missy Franklin topping the group after clocking 59.13s.
National aquatics coach Eric Landa sent The Brunei Times another progress report yesterday and used the email to explain the intricacies of the backstroke and why timing is so crucial, providing yet another reminder to the four Bruneian swimmers in Barcelona about their need to stay focused on the task at hand.
"Swimming is a very simple sport in general," Landa wrote.
"You start, you swim, sometimes you turn (when the distance is over 50m) and then you finish.
"You put your hand on the wall and the time stops.
"However when you swim on your back, it's a bit of a challenge to put your hand on the wall at the right time since you're looking at the ceiling or the sky (when outdoor) the whole race.
"You have to practice to know exactly at what time you will reach the wall so you can put your hand against it.
"This is exactly what happened to Nur this (Monday) morning.
"She had a great race, good start,strong swimming, good turnbut then timed the finish completely wrong and therefore had to glide into the wall to put her hand on it.
"She probably lost about one second in the process and no personal best time, her result (1.13.25) shy of her own national record of 1.12.60 set a month ago on June 7.
"A sport like swimming is fair and hard. The results are the results, make a mistake at 10 in the morning and you're going to be disappointed.
"You need to be sharp, sharp as a razor.
"We analysed the race, we know what went wrong, and we'll try to better next time taking in all the new info," added the veteran coach.
Nur Hamizah's second of two races is the 50m backstroke tomorrow, where she will try break her personal best and national record of 32.95s which she set last month.
Both the 50m and 100m backstroke records were set at the 37th Southeast Asian Age Group Swimming Championships which Brunei hosted.
Nur Hamizah's younger brother, Muhammad Isa, will take to the pool today for the men's 50m breaststroke where he will be looking to better his personal best and national record of 31.29s.
Muhammad Isa set the time in Barcelona while swimming the 100m breaststroke on Sunday.
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 his heat, with his time putting him 68th in the 77-swimmer field.
Australia's Christian Sprenger was the fastest with 59.53s.
Joining the siblings in Spain are Christian Nikles and Tiara Sharil Anwar.
Nikles will swim the 100m freestyle tomorrow and 50m freestyle on Friday and Tiara's the women's 100m freestyle on Thursday and 50m freestyle on Saturday.