National swimmer to compete in Tokyo Olympics today

Fadhil Yunus

The Brunei Darussalam national contingent joined the rest of the world in reigniting sporting fever amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan yesterday.

National swimmer Muhammad Isa bin Haji Ahmad was chosen as the country’s flag-bearer during the Parade of Nations.

He will become the second swimmer to represent the country in swimming at the Olympic Games since Anderson Lim in London in 2012.

Muhammad Isa, who was the first athlete to depart the Sultanate last Sunday, will be competing in the 100m breaststroke event at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre today.

His compatriot Mohd Noor Firdaus Ar-Rasyid bin Haji Md Idris will be taking part in the
200m event.

Brunei Darussalam’s Olympic delegation joins the parade at the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. PHOTO: XINHUA
National swimmer Muhammad Isa bin Haji Ahmad. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS

Both athletes were awarded entry to their respective events based on universality places, which are given to individuals who do not meet the qualifying times.

The 23-year-old has been drawn in the same heat as American Samoa competitor Micah Masei and Tonga’s Amini Fonua.

Muhammad Isa will be looking to beat the national record of 29.87 which he sets during the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the New Clarke City Aquatics Center in Capas, Tarlac, Philippines in December 2019.

The national swimmer has also enhanced his preparations ahead of his race at the competition venue.

Great Britain’s world record holder Adam Peaty emerged as the hot favourite to win a second successive gold in breaststroke.

Brunei has been an active competitor in the quadrennial event since sending the first athlete during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA.

The prestigious multi-sport competition was supposed to be held last summer but was pushed back 12 months later due to the outbreak of the virus.