Brunei swimmers to wait until 2022 for next World Championships

Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam faces an extended wait to make an appearance in the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan after the International Swimming Federation (FINA) announced new dates from May 13-29, 2022.

The world swimming meet, originally scheduled from July 16 to August 1 next year, was pushed back following the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, which was delayed for more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision to postpone the event came as the new dates for the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, clashes with the original dates of the World Aquatics Championships.

“After liaising with the relevant stakeholders and receiving feedback from them, we have no doubt that the decision taken will provide the best possible conditions for all participants at the Championships,” said FINA President Julio Maglione.

The president added, “At a time of unprecedented uncertainty, FINA hopes the announcement of these dates will allow for some clarity in planning for all concerned.”

Brunei has been an active member in the global swimming community with national athletes representing the country on the world stage in past editions.

During last year’s World Championships in Gwangju, the country’s elite swimmers Muhammad Isa bin Ahmad and Christian Nikles competed in the breaststroke and freestyle events.

Brunei’s last appearance in a major competition was at the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines last December with Muhammad Isa and Nur Haziq Samil representing the country.

Muhammad Isa became the first swimmer in the country to break the 30-second barrier en route to a new national record with a time of 29.87s at the New Clarke City Aquatics Center in Capas, Tarlac, the Philippines.

He was ranked 10th out of 16 entries, earning him a spot in the reserves for the final.

The country ended an 18-year wait in swimming in the regional multi-sport showpiece after Muhammad Isa and Nur Haziq marked their SEA Games debut.