BRUNEI closed out their campaign at the 5th Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa on a high with Ashley Chai (pic) swimming to new national open and age group records in the girls' 200m backstroke event yesterday.
The 13-year-old clocked a time of 2:39.40 to better her previous open record of 2:41.12 set at the 38th Southeast Asian (SEA) Age Group Swimming Championships in Singapore in June last year.
The time also beats the Group 2 (14-15 years old) record of 2:44.53 set by Maria Grace Koh in November 2006. Victor Tan, Royal Brunei Recreational Club (RBRC) swim coach, revealed that the split times were 37.35s, 41.15s, 41.31s and 39.59s at the Tuana'imato Sports Facility.
"We got to the pool today (Wednesday) and set sights on just doing more pace work for the 200m backstroke which is a very strategic event requiring good pacing," said Tan in the contingent's report yesterday.
"I set a 50m target time of 39 seconds and she got it right after just four tries. I knew straight away that she is going to crack her record and sure enough the pace work that we did paid off. "I'm very happy with her results as we came here just wanting to give a good fight without making excuses, and we got what we wanted," continued Tan.
It was the third consecutive age group record for Chai in as many days at the Samoan capital. She clocked 1:13.89 in the 100m backstroke on Monday and followed that up with a time of 33.83s in the 50m backstroke the next day. Over at the Apia Park Sports Complex, Ernie Sahrina Abdul Fattah produced a new personal best in the girls' shot put event.
She recorded a new personal best in her first attempt with a distance of 8.02m beating her previous distance of 7.61 from the 1st Asian Youth Athletics Championships in Doha in May. She took one step up as she produced a distance of 8.26m in her third attempt. National jumping coach Joseph Kameni was satisfied with the result but felt there was still more work to be done.
"Even though she was 13th and last in the final standings, it was not at all unworthy," said Kameni. "She has shown great progress in her performance on the combination of strength and speed to run her throws. "This certainly explains the improvement of her personal best in the first and third attempt. A progress of 65cm within few months is really satisfactory," he added.
"Nevertheless, Ernie (pic) needs a lot more effort and a better follow up to improve her throwing technique and her flexibility," concluded the Cameroonian. Muhammad Wafiq Kifli and Muhd Ammar Safwan Hj Zaidin are the other two Bruneian representatives at the Sept 5-11 competition.
The former set a new national age group record (Under-18) in the long jump event with a distance of 5.65m. Muhd Ammar Safwan clocked a time of 52.13s in the 400m event.