It was mission accomplished for the national swim team at the 2nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Swimming Championships in Singapore.
Represented by the trio of Christian Nikles (pic), Muhammad Isa Ahmad and Tiara Shahril Anwar, they all finished in the top-eight or better in one or more events at the tournament held at the Singapore Sports Hub.
Nikles was the best performer at the June 17-24 competition with four new national records - two open and two age group. He finished sixth in the 50m backstroke with a time of 28.86 seconds on Wednesday, beating his old time of 29.26s from November last year.
The Bruneian then finished seventh in the 50m butterfly on Saturday with a time of 27.02s, shaving off 0.01 from his previous best from June last year. Muhammad Isa placed seventh in both the 50m and 200m breaststroke events while Tiara finished seventh in the 50m freestyle yesterday to set a new personal best of 28.52s.
In a previous email, national aquatics coach Eric Landa had stated that the goal was to compete at next year's 28th SEA Games in Singapore. The Dutchman expected his charges to finish in the top-eight meaning that they qualify for the finals in the region and that was achieved.
Tiara was hampered by sickness during the meet while the other two had exams prior to the competition. Landa was still happy with the results but believes that it could have been better.
"Probably they would have gone a bit faster but none of us likes to use any excuses for anything," said Landa in an email sent to The Brunei Times yesterday. "It is what it is... You do with what you've got, you swim as fast as you can and at the finish line you see if it was enough or not," he added.
"We are satisfied with the placings, although we would have liked to go a bit faster for certain events," continued the former national coach of Egypt. This is the third competition in three weeks for the trio after competing at the SEA Age Group Swimming Championships in Singapore from June 6-8 and the Brunei Inter-Club Swimming Championships from June 13-15.