Tiara Shahril Anwar (R) and Christian Nikles pose for a photo at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia. Picture: Courtesy of Eric Landa
THE national swim team completed their campaign at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia on a high with another new national record yesterday.
Tiara Shahril Anwar beat the cold and finished the 50m freestyle heats with a time of 28.10s to break the old national record of 28.23s set by Amanda Liew back on August 1, 2009 at the FINA World Championships in Rome.
The time bettered her previous best of 28.66s and put her in 74th position from the field of 115 competitors and was 3.70s behind the fastest qualifier Cate Campbell of Australia, who clocked 24.20s. With the result, Tiara is now holding all Brunei records in the freestyle events (50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m) for both the open and age group (16-18 years old) categories.
National aquatics coach Eric Landa was delighted with the performance of his athlete especially having to deal with a cold since Thursday.
"I'm happy with Tiara's performance today (Saturday). She swam well, didn't force her stroke and had a strong finish," said Landa. "As an athlete you're not allowed to just take any medication as you have to adhere to the anti-doping rules. So her swim today was good considering how she feels," he added.
"Hopefully during the next few days her health will improve since we have a long flight ahead of us," continued the Dutchman. Tiara had competed in the 100m freestyle event on Thursday and was 0.13s shy of her own record with a time of 1:01.03.
Christian Nikles is the other Bruneian at the competition and he managed new national records in both the 50m and 100m freestyle events. He broke the 100m freestyle record on Wednesday with a time of 54.75s. The 17-year-old followed that up with a 24.55s in the 50m freestyle two days later.
Landa also highlighted the importance of competing at such high level events despite not getting on the podium. "There are 190 countries with altogether 2400 athletes at this competition but so far only 27 countries have achieved one or more medals... this includes swimming, diving, water polo and synchronised swimming," said Landa.
"That means 163 countries are here and walk away empty handed with no medals. Yet all are here to compete and try to better their times or maybe even swim for the national and continental record. That's what this sport is all about," he concluded.