Muhammad Isa bin Ahmad (2nd left) and Christian Nazario Nikles (2nd right) are currently competing in the 13th FINA World Championships (25m) in Windsor. – BASA
MUHAMMAD Isa Ahmad broke two new national and age group records after clocking a time of 1:04.86 in the men’s 100m breaststroke and a split time of 30.81s in the 50m in the 13th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, Canada on Tuesday.
The elite swimmer finished second in his heats only behind Peter Stevens of Slovenia but was among the slowest groups and therefore failed to meet the qualifying mark for the semi-finals.
The top five swimmers from the final three heats all progressed to the semi-finals and were accompanied by Heat 6 winner Carlos Claverie of Venezuela.
Muhammad Isa was ranked 76th in the overall classification out of 100 entrants, 07.85s behind the fastest qualifier Germany’s Marco Koch.
The most high-profiled casualty in the championship was the premature exit of 2010 world champion and 2012 Olympics gold medallist South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh who missed out on a place in the final by two hundredths of a second.
Brunei Darussalam’s national aquatics coach Eric Landa was visibly pleased with the start they made on the global stage.
“It is a great start to this World Championships for Team Brunei. The results had spoken for itself,” said Landa.
“I look forward to see more records being broken by the two swimmers”, continued the head coach.
The other swimmer who will be competing in this year’s championship is Christian Nazario Nikles, a FINA 2016 Scholarship holder, in the men’s 50m freestyle today.
Nikles, who represented his country in the World Championships in Doha, Qatar in 2014, is also scheduled to race in the 100m freestyle on Saturday.
The pair will be hoping that their performances in the world championships could be the start of their preparations towards the ultimate quest of selection for the 2019 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur next year.
Team manager’s Nikles Mulok said that the competition serves as a good exposure for the swimmers.
“It is a good exposure and the atmosphere at the WFCU Centre in Windsor is electrifying,” said Nikles.
“Our swimmers are competing among the world’s elite swimmers and both are gunning for their personal best times. It is a start for their preparation and they are both setting their sights for the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur next year,” he said.
The team is also accompanied by physiotherapist Yvette Kortekaas, who is also attending the FINA Medical Congress.