Eric Landa (pic) believes that the Sultanate have got the capability to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Nanjing next year.
The national swim coach feels that Brunei is not far off and he is looking at this weekend's Brunei Open Swimming Championship at the Aquatics Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas as a benchmark.
"The plan is to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) next year. I believe that we have got the quality but we are not there yet. Some swimmers are a second or a half away from the qualifying time," said Landa in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
"I want to see where they are right now. We will have to get swimmers out to Malaysia or Singapore for qualifying in April," he added.
"It will be interesting tomorrow (Friday). There will be no age groups and I'm not only looking forward to swimmers training under me but also every those competing," continued the Dutchman.
The last competition for the national swimmers - Christian Nikles, Muhammad Isa Ahmad, Nur Hamizah Ahmad and Tiara Shahril Anwar - was the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona from July 28 - August 4.
Others had their last taste of competitive swimming at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Age Group Swimming Championships hosted by the Sultanate in June.
Landa is looking forward to see how much the swimmers have progressed after a few months of non-competitive swimming.
"We have stepped up a notch in training after returning from Barcelona. I'm expecting lot of new records," said Landa.
"Most of them will be swimming several events to see if they will be able to handle them as they're not able to take part at big competitions," he added.
"I'm also looking to see what younger swimmers like Ashley (Chai of RBRC) can do. I want to see where they are now. I'm also expecting swimmers not training under me to put up some good times," continued the former national coach of Egypt.
A total of 36 events both individual and team will be competed at the Nov 22-24 event.
SLR-Temburong, ISB Hammerheads, Dolphin Swimming Club, Jerudong Swimming Club (JSC), Royal Brunei Recreation Club (RBRC), Panaga, Brunei Speed and Micia are the teams vying for top honours in the three-day event.
Nikles, Muhammad Isa and Nur Hamizah are all swimming under the banner of ISB Hammerheads while Tiara is competing under JSC.
The first session will begin at 9am and will continue with the second at 3.30pm.