(L-R) Eva Pet, Muhammad Isa Ahmad, Tiara Shahril Anwar and Christian Nikles posing for a photo during yesterday's Brunei Open Swimming Championship. BT/Waqiuddin Rajak
Christian Nikles and Tiara Shahril Anwar led the way at the Brunei Open Swimming Championship once again as Muhammad Isa Ahmad shone with another national record to his name.
The trio of national swimmers bagged a record each during Friday's opening day, and Nikles and Tiara went one better yesterday after each broke two new national records - one of them lasting for 14 years.
Nikles' time of 29.26s in the 50m backstroke improved on the old record of 29.81s made by Fadillah Ismail back in 1999 - the oldest of the five national records to be broken at the Aquatics Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
Nikles also set a new national record of 5:01.64 in the 400m individual medley (IM) breaking the previous record of 5:08.19 held by Anderson Lim.
Tiara, 16, managed to break a record that was set back in 2000 when she clocked 2:16.27 in the 200m freestyle, breaking the previous record held by Nurizyenny Hj Muslim - the time of which could not be obtained. She also set a new time of 4:50.33 in the 400m freestyle, improving on the 5:01.87 she set in June.
Meanwhile in the 200m backstroke, Muhammad Isa, 15, managed to beat his personal best of 2:33.54 which he set in April by clocking 2:29.78.
Seven age-group records and 13 championship records were also set yesterday - with Nikles breaking two of the former and five of the latter, one of which was a relay with Holland's Eva Pet, Muhammad Isa and his sister Nur Hamizah.
"We are always after records," said Nikles. As long as we get new records, it does not really matter whether we finish first, second or third. We are always happy when we see the time after we finish a category. We beat the record but coach (national aquatics head coach Eric Landa) will always say .you can do better'," he added.
Tiara, who also won a silver medal in a relay, said that it is up to swimmers like herself, Nikles, Muhammad Isa and Eva Pet - who won three gold, one silver and one bronze medal yesterday - to promote swimming in the sultanate.
"I think we swimmers have to set the benchmark (breaking records) so people will be encouraged to swim," she said.
"There has to be more people participating in tournaments like these so the level in Brunei will improve.
"In comparison with the rest of the world, Brunei is quite far from reaching international standards," said Tiara, who set two new national records (100m freestyle and 100m individual medley) at the 6th leg of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Cup 2013 in Singapore earlier this month.