Abdul Haqim Hj Yahya in the high jump event of the 27th SEA Games yesterday at the Wunna Theikdi Stadium. BT/Yee Chun Leong
The national high jump record remains standing after more than 20 years after Abdul Haqim Hj Yahya was unable to make the grade at the 2013 SEA Games yesterday.
The 25-year-old jumped the minimum 1.90m, then moved onto 1.95m and clearing the 2.00m at the third attempt. However, he could not jump 2.05m at the Wunna Theikdi Stadium, falling short in all three attempts.
With the national record still the 2.04m Demingo Kapal set in 1992, Abdul Haqim - whose personal best is the 2.03m he recorded at the 2011 Sabah Open - always had his back against the wall heading into the competition.
"When I came to the stadium I thought to myself that I had to beat my personal best and get 2.05m," he said.
"I had some really good jumps today and I feel I could have jumped the height.
"My body leaned a bit in the first jump, in the second my hand touched the bar and in the third I couldn't get a good take-off because of my shoe which is worn out," he said.
Malaysia's Nauraj Singh Randhawa won the event with 2.17m, followed by Vietnam's Van Thuy Dao and Thailand's Pramote Pumurai - both with 2.13m.
National jumping coach Joseph Kameni felt Abdul Haqim, Brunei's only entry in the field events at the 27th edition of the Games, showed more promise than in his last event - the Malaysian Open.
Kameni said Abdul Haqim was still in the specific preparation phase during October's Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur and had not peaked yet.
"There was a great difference today," noted Kameni.
"He jumped the same height (at the Malaysian Open) but here he had the potential to jump more than 2.05m.
"What we need now is to join more competitions in February, March and April.
"And if he does, trust me, he can break the national record," added the Cameroonian.
Kameni, who took over the vacant coaching job in July, has more than 20 years of experience coaching and can count compatriots Francoise Mbango Etone and Hugo Mamba-Schlick as two of the more notable names he has helped.
Etone won triple jump gold at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics while Mamba-Schlick won silver in the same event at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
"I've been a national athlete since 2006 but since we have had no coach (since 2007) there were no improvements," said Abdul Haqim.
Abdul Haqim was the last of the three Bruneian entries in athletics to see action at this year's Games.
London 2012 Olympians Maziah Mahusin and Ak Hafiy Tajuddin Pg Rositi were not able to set new personal bests in the 400m on Monday, the duo finishing last in their respective heats.
Maziah clocked 1:02.64 while Ak Hafiy ran 49.94s. Maziah was aiming to beat 59.28s - which is the national record - while Ak Hafiy was looking to run faster than 48.67s, both times set in London.
The national record in the men's 400m is 48.53s which Mohamed Arman Hj Sanip set in 1999. Mohamed Arman also holds the men's 100m and 200m records, the first 10.67s and the second 21.77s - both of which were set in 1997.