Brunei eyes medals at SEA Games

James Kon

The Brunei Darussalam contingent aims to bring home medals from the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines next month.

This was said by Vice President II of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC) and Chef de Mission for Brunei contingent Haji Muhd Zamri bin Dato Paduka Haji Hamdani during a press conference yesterday.

“Based on our performance in the previous SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Brunei won medals from lawn bowling, pencak silat, netball and polo events. I am hopeful that these sports will contribute medals for Brunei Darussalam,” he said.

“We must not forget other sports as well because we have been preparing for the SEA Games. I would like to congratulate the athletes and associations who conducted training and I feel the athletes will compete well in the SEA Games. The last gold medal Brunei won was in the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games.

“I hope we can produce athletes who can win gold medals for the country,” he added.

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, President of BDNOC attended the conference.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Secretary General of BDNOC Haji Zuraimi bin Haji Abdul Sani and Permanent Secretary (Administration, Finance and Estate) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Pengiran Mohammad Amirrizal bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud were also present.

Eighty-seven athletes representing Brunei Darussalam will compete in 14 sporting events at the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines from November 30 to December 11.

Brunei Darussalam will participate in aquatics (two swimmers), athletics (one athlete), billiards (two cueists), golf (three golfers), fencing (one fencer), football (20 footballers), karate-do (seven athletes), lawn bowl (11 athletes), netball (12 athletes), pencak silat (two athletes), polo (11 athletes), taekwondo (two athletes), tenpin bowling (eight athletes) and wushu (five athletes).

National swimming coach Wu Na aims for one of her swimmers to reach the top eight.

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, President of BDNOC and other senior officials at the press conference. PHOTO: RAHWANI ZAHARI

Athletics coach Isedro Del Prado said, “We have one athlete Md Noor Firdaus who will compete in the 200m dash. We hope he can surpass his fifth position from the previous SEA Games in 2017.”

In billiards, national coach Lim Tat Hwe said, “We just came back from the Sarawak Open where we got into the semifinal. There were Malaysian SEA Games athletes participating as well. Our next target is intensive training in the Philippines. I can see that from the Sarawak Open, our athletes’ mental toughness need to improve. From the training performance, my target for Ahmad Taufiq is to be in the top four. It will be Muhd Azim’s first SEA Games appearance, so my target is for him to win his first match.”

President of Brunei Darussalam Tenpin Bowling Congress Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Abdul Badee’ bin Pengiran Kerma Raja Pengiran Haji Kamarulzaman said, “There will be nine events. We hope to be in the top five for the team’s events. For the individual events, it will be very challenging.”

Fencing coach Poerawinata said, “Hajah Anis Sabrina binti Haji Yahya will compete in the women individual sabre. In the event, eight countries will compete. My target is for her to finish in the top eight.”

Football coach Aminuddin bin Jumat said he wants the national team to improve their performance from the previous edition.

“The national football team competed in the AFC U-23 qualifier. We aim to surpass the performance in the previous SEA Games.”

Golf coach Apinai Wannapairote hoped that two of his golfers will finish in the top 10 and looks forward to train in the venue next week.

“I am confident that they will do well. The training next week will be a good opportunity for us to familiarise with the course.”

Karate-do coach Anggoro Bayu Pratama said, “Seven karate-do athletes will represent Brunei in six events. They are mostly new athletes with only two who competed in previous SEA Games. Insya Allah, we can bring back the glory days of karate-do.”

In lawn bowling, head coach Lokman bin Haji Mohd Salleh hoped for his players to train in Thailand this week to familiarise with the grass lawn bowl which is similar to the venue in the Philippines.

National netball team manager Sabariah binti Haji Kamel Jumat said, “The netball team had four exposure games and we have seen vast improvement from the team. Expedition matches will be held in Brunei for preparation. Our target is bronze medal at this SEA Games.”

Polo coach Martin Maria Zubia is confident one of the polo teams will give a good fight for the gold medal.

“We have two squads competing in the Philippines this year. In the 2017 SEA Games, we won the bronze medal. For the ‘A’ team, there is no reason that they can’t win the gold medal. The ‘B’ team is new, they haven’t played together that much. We aim for medals for both squads.”

Taekwondo Coach Kim Byung Hae said, “We will have two athletes competing in the individual events and mix pair event. This is the first time we are competing in the mix pair event. We will try our best because Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia are top 10 countries in taekwondo. My target for the individual events is to finish in the top eight and to finish in the top six for the mix pair event.”

Wushu coach Li Hui said, “We have five athletes competing in the SEA Games. Our target is to finish in the top three.”