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Royalty attend swimming championship

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 during the 8th Brunei Open & Masters Long Course Swimming Championships at the Swimming Pool of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex yesterday


BY 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 attended the first 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 present at the three-day long championship was Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman.

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 recorded a new personal best with a time of 42.72s in the men’s 6-24 years 50m butterfly, eclipsing his seed time of 44.37s.



Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Anak Muneerah Madhul Bolkiah also set a new personal best with a time of 55.75s in the women’s 6-24 years 50m butterfly, surpassing her previous time of 1:03.12s.

Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Muda ‘Abdul Muntaqim will also be competing in the 50m backstroke, 50m breaststroke, 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle while Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Anak Muneerah Madhul Bolkiah will take part in the 50m backstroke, 50m breaststroke and 50m freestyle.

Meanwhile, two national records were beaten by elite swimmers Muhammad Isa Ahmad and Ashley Chai in the morning session in the men’s 200m breaststroke and women’s 400m Individual Medley (IM) events respectively.

Muhammad Isa clocked a time of 2:28.12s, besting his previous mark of 2:30.70s while Ashley recorded a time of 5:42.55s, in the process breaking an 11-year old record set by Maria Grace Koh with a time of 5:46.28s in June 2008.

In the afternoon session, Muhammad Isa repeated the trick and sets a new national record in the men’s 200m IM with a time of 2:17.86s, lowering his old time of 2:18.43s which he recorded in the previous edition of the tournament last year.

Brunei swimmer Christian Nikles also set a new national record in the men’s 200m backstroke with a time of 2:18.98s, eclipsing Nur Haziq Samil’s time of 2:22.95s which he recorded at the PRAM Malaysia Championships in March. The national swimmer also won the men’s 50m butterfly with a time of 26.93s.

Ashley Chai, who was bidding for a second national record, also emerged victorious in the afternoon session after she topped the field in the women’s 200m IM with a time of 2:39.84s.

In the relay events, Peak Performance Swimming Club took home gold for both the men’s and women’s 400m medley.

The quartet of Zeke Chan, Anson Tan, Jordan Tang and Ryan Tang clocked in a time of 4:39.39s in the men’s event while Isha Chen, Hayley Wong, Ashley Chai and Zoe Chan finished first with a time of 5:07.01s in the women’s event.

Organised by the Brunei Amateur Swimming Association (BASA) with the support of the Department of Youth and Sports, a total of nine local clubs are competing in the event as well as one overseas from Labuan.

The participating clubs are Blue Shark Swimming Club, Brunei Speed Swimming Club, Dolphin Swimming Club, Hammerhead Swimming Club, Jerudong Swimming Club, Kbpiranha Swimming Team, Marlin Lis, Peak Performance Swimming Club and Psi Swimming Club.

A total of 139 swimmers including 83 male and 56 female have been registered for the event with the oldest competitor aged 66 years old, all vying for the 264 medals on offer.

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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