Brunei Darussalam junior swimmer Haziq Samil clocked a time of 2:26.08s in the men’s 200m Individual Medley (IM) heats of the 7th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships 2019 at the Duna Arena in Budapest, Hungary recently.
The national junior swimmer expressed his excitement in representing the country at a world meet. “I feel excited after I was entrusted to represent the country at a championship as huge as this (World Championship),” said Haziq in an interview with the Bulletin.
The 18-year-old accepted the fierce competition from the field of swimmers who are far more advanced than the previous competitions he had participated in the Asia- Pacific region.
Haziq is pursuing his swimming education after he became the first full-time FINA scholarship recipient from Brunei under the tutelage of head coach Miguel Lopez.
The junior swimmer shared that his training session typically consists 10 sessions in one week, as he seeks to step up his development in the sport.
Haziq took out key takeaways after performing at a high-level competition which will bode well for future competitions at similar magnitude.
He said, “There is a lot that can be learnt, and the tournament provided me an opportunity to exchange thoughts and views with other advanced and good international swimmers.”
The national junior swimmer stressed the need for specific training and working on his times.
“I need specific-oriented training for the events that I am competing in. I need to learn with more accurate split and final times, focussing during training as well as engaging in discussions with the coach,” said Haziq.
Currently based in Thanyapura, Phuket, Haziq also competed in the 100m backstroke where he posted a time of 1:05.99s, 0.34s off his personal best.
USA’s Carson Foster won gold in the 200m IM event after clocking a competition record of 1:58.46s. Canada’s Finlay Hugh Knox took silver with a time of 1:59.44s while Greece’s Apostolos Papastamos claimed bronze with 1:59.62s.
Meanwhile in the 100m backstroke event, Italian teenage sensation Thomas Ceccon struck gold with a time of 53.46s, smashing the competition record twice in a single tournament in the process.
His time is also a new Italian national junior record, eclipsing his previous mark of 53.60s. Russia’s Nikolay Zuev, who was the fastest qualifier in the semi-final, took silver with a time of 53.59s, the second fastest time in the history of the competition, while Wyatt Davis of USA was awarded bronze with 54.14s.