Brunei Darussalam’s junior swimmer Haziq Samil posted a time of 1:05.99s in the men’s 100m backstroke heats of the FINA World Junior Championships at the Duna Arena in Budapest, Hungary yesterday.
The national swimmer, who had his sights on setting records in both of his events including the 200m Individual Medley (IM) today, missed out on a personal best by 0.34s.
Italy teenage sensation Thomas Ceccon led the overall classification following the end of the heats in style with a new competition record of 54.07s.
He eclipsed the gold medal-winning time of 54.27s set by Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez in the finals of the 2017 edition at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana in the United States (US).
The 18-year-old is one of the swimmers to watch having bagged numerous medals in Europe and beyond including double gold in the 2018
European Junior Championships and 50m freestyle gold in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Such was his phenomenal form heading to Budapest, remarkably, Thomas’ new competition record fell somewhat short of his seed time of 53.60s, a national junior record, which he set during the Italian Nationals in Riccione.
The US pair of Will Grant and Wyatt Davis took the second and third spots with a time of 54.39s and 54.56s.
Russia’s Nikolay Zuev and Canada’s Tyler Wall completed the top five with a time of 54.80s and 54.89s.
A total of 16 swimmers qualified for the semi-finals and the eight best times in the subsequent round will then battle it out for gold or at least a podium finish.
Meanwhile, Brunei Amateur Swimming Association (BASA) has constantly made efforts towards developing the sport in Brunei Darussalam and ensuring the growth and progress of national swimmers.
BASA has been playing an active role in sending the country’s top swimmers to compete at major competitions especially at world level with Haziq’s participation coming
less than a month after Muhammad Isa bin Ahmad and Christian Nikles took part in the 18th FINA (Long Course) World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.
Haziq, who has an opportunity to break the 200m IM records today, is also the first full-time FINA scholarship recipient from Brunei and is currently furthering his swimming education in Thanyapura, Thailand.