BRUNEI Darussalam’s national swimmer Christian Nikles narrowly missed out on improving the national record and personal best by two hundredths of a second after clocking 23.98s in the men’s 50m freestyle in the 13th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Windsor, Canada on Thursday.
The Millfield School- educated swimmer previously set the national record of 23.96s in the ASA South West Regionals UK in November 2015.
The country’s elite swimmer was ranked sixth in his heats 00.88s behind the winner and finished 91st overall out of 138th runners whom started the race.
Three swimmers finished in a dead heat with a shared time of 23.74s involving the trio of Panama’s Jeancarlo Calderon Harper, Kenya’s Issa Abdulla Hemed Mohamed and Andorra’s Eric Fernandez Malvar.
Yemen’s Mokhtar Al-Yamani was declared the winner in Nikles’s heat after posting a time of 23.10s but did not progress to the semi-finals.
Only the top 16 swimmers advanced to the semi-finals with a time of 21.71s set by Finland’s Ari-Pekka Liukkonen considered as the cut-off point.
Russia’s Vladimir Morozov entered the next round as the fastest qualifier with a time of 21.27s and strengthened his bid for gold after recording a time of 21.05s in the semi-finals.
South Africa’s Douglas Erasmus finished last in the semi-finals and 16th overall after a slow time of 21.71s despite comfortably winning his heats with a time of 21.31s.
There will be representation from Brunei Darussalam today with Nikles returning in the men’s 100m freestyle and compatriot Muhammad Isa Ahmad in the men’s 50m breaststroke.
Isa broke two national records in the 50m split and 100m breaststroke after recording a time of 30.81s and 1:04.86 respectively.
The national swimmers are accompanied by national aquatics head coach Eric Landa, team manager Nikles Mulok and physiotherapist Yvette Kortekaas.
The world championship, which concludes on tomorrow, serves as a platform to gain exposure and an opportunity to lower times.