The year 2011 was a memorable one for Neptunes’ swimmer Neil Muscat. Be it rain or shine, this young boy managed to break a record during each time trial and swim meet.
Neil, brother of national swimmer Nikki Muscat, broke every record possible in his B Age Group for 12/13-year-olds, making him the first ever Maltese swimmer to have all records in his name in a particular age bracket.
It all started in October 2010. When he had just turned 12, he broke his first B Age Group record – the 50m backstroke.
In November he broke the 200m freestyle and the 200m individual medley. The following month he broke another two records, the 100m and 200m backstroke. Later in the month, he participated in the swimming meet held in the UK by Plymouth Leander Swimming Club at Millfield swimming pool. There he broke two age group records where he clocked 1:11.55, and 2:31.33 in the 100m and 200m backstroke to erase his previous timings. He also won two silver medals, the 100m freestyle and 200m backstoke and two bronze medals, the 200m freestyle and 100m backstroke.
In 2011, during the 18th International Easter Meet held at Tal-Qroqq, Neil was again in good form, setting no fewer than six B Age Group Records.
However, his uniqueness was clearly evident on the last day. Despite, fatigue and bad weather conditions he broke yet another three age group records, the 100m freestyle in a time of 1:01.49, the 200m individual medley in a time of 2:31.15. Within less than ten minutes he was again in the water, swimming the 200m freestyle where he set a new age group mark of 2:14.96, improving his own record by 2.05 seconds.
The 200m freestyle and the 100m backstroke were set in 1989 by renowned swimmer Christian Gialanze and the 100m freestyle and the 200m IM were set by Kenneth D’Ugo 16 years ago.
At only 12 years, he was chosen to participate in the FISEC games held in Portugal where he was a finalist in 50, 100 and 200m backstroke. He also set new marks in all the three mentioned races.
During the Welsh Capital Open Meet held in Cardiff in November, Neil Muscat continued to re-write the Maltese swimming record books by breaking another six B Age Group records in two days. The meet was heavily attended by over 700 athletes from the U.K. and Ireland
Even though Neil was competing in the 13/14yr age group and so was racing boys nearly two years older, he also managed to bring home a medal in the 50m freestyle.
During the last Time Trial of the year held at Tal-Qroqq, Neil broke the 50m breaststroke record with a time of 34.33, this being the only remaining group B record that had eluded him out of the 13 events. During the same meet he also set new marks in the 100m breaststroke and in the 200 IM with a new time of 1.14.38 and 2.22.78 respectively.
Neil finished off the year in great style. In Berlin he took part in 10 races, won ten medals, 5 silver and 5 bronze and set 8 new age group limits. These were in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle (27.32; 59.88 and 2:09.54), 50 and 100 butterfly (29.22 and 1:07.03), 50 and 200 breaststroke (34.31 and 2:45.56), and 100 backstroke (1:06.51).
The year 2011 was an astonishing one for this prodigious swimmer who managed a massive total of 47 new B marks, almost a record in each race he took part in!
50m Freestyle 27.32; 100m Freestyle 59.88; 200m Freestyle 2:09.54; 100m Backstroke 1:06.51; 50m Breaststroke 34.31; 200m Breaststroke 2:45.56; 50m Butterfly 29.22; 10050m Freestyle 27.32; 100m Freestyle 59.88; 50m Freestyle 27.32; 100m Freestyle 59.88; 200m Freestyle 2:09.54; 100m Backstroke 1:06.51; 50m Breaststroke 34.31; 200m Breaststroke 2:45.56; 50m Butterfly 29.22; 100m Butterfly 1:07.03.200m Freestyle 2:09.54; 100m Backstroke 1:06.51; 50m Breaststroke 34.31; 200m Breaststroke 2:45.56; 50m Butterfly 29.22; 100m Butterfly 1:07.03.m Butterfly 1:07.03. 50m Freestyle 27.32; 100m Freestyle 59.88; 200m Freestyle 2:09.54; 100m Backstroke 1:06.51; 50m Breaststroke 34.31; 200m Breaststroke 2:45.56; 50m Butterfly 29.22; 100m Butterfly 1:07.03.