Royalty grace swimming championships

Fadhil Yunus

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman attended the final day of the 8th Brunei Open and Masters Long Course Swimming Championships at the Swimming Pool of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex yesterday.

Also in attendance were Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Muda ‘Abdul Muntaqim, Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Anak Muneerah Madhul Bolkiah and Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Anak Faathimah Az-Zahraa’ Raihaanul Bolkiah.

Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Muda ‘Abdul Muntaqim and Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Anak Muneerah Madhul Bolkiah both competed at the event.

Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Muda ‘Abdul Muntaqim, performing under the banner of Peak Performance Swimming Club, recorded two personal bests in the men’s 100m freestyle and 50m backstroke with a time of 1:22.22s and 43.81s, respectively.

Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Anak Muneerah Madhul Bolkiah, also representing Peak Performance Swimming Club, set a new personal best with a time of 52.26s in the women’s 50m backstroke event.

Brunei Darussalam trio of national record holders Christian Nikles, Muhammad Isa bin Ahmad and Ashley Chai claimed victories in their respective events.

Christian spearheaded the Hammerhead Swimming Club assault to the top of the medal tally with a double gold on the final day in the 100m freestyle and the 50m backstroke events.

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman, Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Muda ‘Abdul Muntaqim, Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Anak Muneerah Madhul Bolkiah and Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Anak Faathimah Az-Zahraa’ Raihaanul Bolkiah at the final day of the 8th Brunei Open and Masters Long Course Swimming Championships. PHOTO: INFOFOTO
ABOVE & BELOW: Photos show His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office arriving at the swimming championships yesterday; and Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Muda ‘Abdul Muntaqim and Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Anak Muneerah Madhul Bolkiah in action. PHOTOS: INFOFOTO & BAHYIAH BAKIR

The national swimmer clocked a time of 55.56s in the 100m freestyle and repeated his heroics in the 50m backstroke with a time of 28.99s.

Muhammad Isa, also of Hammerhead, bagged gold in the 100m breaststroke event with a time of 1:06.61, just shy of his national record of 1:06.40s.

Ashley Chai, a national record holder of two events, came close in making it three after her time of 33.01s fell narrowly short of Nur Hamizah Ahmad’s six-year record en route to a gold medal performance in the 50m backstroke.

Brunei only para swimmer Md Danial Hakim Harjimmey of Dolphin Swimming Club also competed in the event in the 100m freestyle.

Leilani Stowers, a multiple gold medallist responsible in Hammerhead’s charge, continued her good form after she took gold in the women’s 100m freestyle with a time of 1:05.26s.

Hammerhead Swimming Club ended Peak Performance Swimming Club’s relay winning streak with a double gold in the men’s 400m freestyle and women’s 400m freestyle relay events.

The quartet of Rynhardt Steyn, Toby Heath, Christian Nikles and Joel Ling clocked a time of 4:00.85s in the men’s event while Leilani Stowers, Francisca Vega, Finn Reekie-Evans and Matilde Vega swam a time of 4:48.05s en route to gold in the women’s event.

Peak Performance had looked on course for a clean sweep in relay events when the quartet of Isha Chen, Anson Tan, Hayley Wong and Desmond Yong struck gold in the mixed 400m medley relay with a time of 4:50.36s.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Joint Riong was named the top Masters swimmer after accumulating six gold medals in the 50m butterfly, 50m freestyle, 50m breaststroke, 50m backstroke, 100m freestyle and 100m breaststroke.

Hammerhead Swimming Club led the medal tally with a haul of 26 gold medals, 16 silver and 16 bronze followed by Peak Performance Swimming Club with 11 gold, 17 silvers and 12 bronze and Blue Shark Swimming Club with 10 gold, seven silver and five bronze, in second and third place respectively.

The competition was organised by the Brunei Amateur Swimming Association (BASA) with the support of the Youth and Sports Department.