The Brunei Darussalam Swimming Association (BDSA) will be sending one team each in the 16th FINA World Swimming Championships in Melbourne, Australia and the 44th Southeast Asia (SEA) Age Group Swimming Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia later this month.
In conjunction with the teams’ imminent participation, a team T-shirt handover ceremony from sponsors Aewon and Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) was held at the swimming pool of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas yesterday.
National swimmer Muhammad Isa Ahmad will be the country’s lone representative meet.
Muhammad Isa, who competed in the Tokyo Olympics, will be aiming to set new national records in the 50 metres (m) and 100m breaststroke events. He will be accompanied by Team Manager Ang Beng Siong and National Head Coach Wu Na.
Seven development youth squad swimmers including four who will be making their international swim debut have been selected to take part in the SEA Age Group Swimming Championships, which is expected to feature the region’s best age group swimmers.
The seven swimmers are Zeke Chan, Ilyas Haziq Mohammad Irwan Hashmann, Dylan Wong, Hayley Wong, Sharmeen binti Mohammad Mharvin, Abby Wong and Awangku Md Kamarul ‘Arif Musawwir Wijaya.
The country’s rising stars Zeke and Hayley will enter the tournament on the back of strong form after accomplishing new open records during the 1st Brunei National Age Group Swimming Championships over the weekend. Another swimmer to watch out for is 13-year-old Sharmeen who made waves in the national scene after being named Best Girl in the 13-and-under category during the 29th Brunei Age Group Swimming Championships last June.
The swim team will be led by Team Manager Melissa Ang and coached by Li Wei and Victor Tan.
The FINA World Swimming Championships, which gathers top swimmers from around the world in various disciplines, will be held from December 13 to 18, while the SEA Age Group Championships will be held on December 17 to 18. The SEA Age Group Swimming Championships will see an increase of three swimmers per country per event, making it one of the biggest sporting meets in the region to date.
The resumption of junior and youth swim meets marked a far cry when the same event was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was originally scheduled in June 2020, but the effects of the pandemic triggered a sudden absence of international competitions on an unprecedented scale.