| Aziz Idris |
NEARLY 1,360 runners yesterday showed up at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas to participate in the National Youth Day Run, held in conjunction with the 9th Youth Day celebration in the Brunei-Muara District.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Hazair bin Hj Abdullah launched the run, before participating in a 4km fun run.
The run, which commenced and finished at the stadium, was split into several categories – 10km Men’s Open (40 years and below) and 10km Women’s Open (40 years and below), the special needs individual (40 years and below) categories of a 3km run for visually impaired, wheelchair-bound, hearing and intellectually disabled men and women; and a non-competitive category of a 4km fun run open to all.
The winner for the Men’s Open was Sefli Ahar, Brunei’s top ranking long-distance runner, while Vanessa Loh emerged as the fastest runner in the Women’s Open category. The winners of the special needs categories were Haji Norhisanuddin Haji Kassim, Amiruddin bin Haji Matzin, Akmal Aqkil bin Radit and Sakeena binti Sikin.
The first place finishers took home $1,000, certificates and medals, while the top 30 runners to finish the race were awarded special, limited edition medals. The top three finishers in each of the special needs individual categories also received cash, medals and certificates.
The National Youth Day Run was organised to promote a healthy lifestyle among the community, particularly youth, by engaging in healthy activities and sports. It also hoped to foster unity, understanding and cooperation among the community to develop sports in the Sultanate.
The National Youth Day 2014 is themed ‘Unity in Confronting the Challenges of the 21st Century’.
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam declared the celebration of Youth Day to be marked every August 1.