Mubal Azzam Ibrahim, on Monday, broke his own 200m freestyle national record, with a timing of 2 minutes and 9.06 seconds, trimming the previous record by 2.2 seconds, at the 18th FINA World Championships, held in Gwangju, South Korea.
Awarded the 'Most Promising Athlete' by 'Mihaaru Awards' in 2017, Mubal's previous national record in the category stood at 2 minutes and 11.26 seconds, at the 18th Asian Games in 2018.
Swimmers are currently representing Maldives in two coinciding international sporting events by the two squads competing for the FINA World Championships and the Indian Ocean Island Games, held at Mauritius.
Alongside national team head coach Ibrahim Moosa and Mubal, Maldives is represented by Aishath Sajina, Aishath Sausan and Ali Imaan in South Korea.
The establishment of a swimming pool is something many swimmers have been looking forward to, ever since official tournaments started being held in the country. Currently, all practices and tournaments take place at the swimming track in capital city Male's south-side lagoon.
For decades now, professional and recreational swimmers alike have complained of having to practise in a blocked off part of the lagoon known as 'the track', which often becomes heavily polluted due to oil spills, sewage dumping and littered waste.
Further, the density of saltwater along with the presence of varying ocean currents though requiring significant athletic ability does not make for ideal training location as the athletes will eventually have to compete primarily in freshwater pools, a different environment entirely.
Swimming is a sport in which Maldivians compete at a high level despite not having proper training facilities including the provision of public pool facilities. Therefore, many sports enthusiasts have been calling for the establishment of proper facilities, fuelled by promising performances displayed by local swimmers in recent history.