Local weightlifter Syuhaidah Aiman recently received international spotlight after being featured by renowned news publication BBC following her rise in the sport from university to representing the country at the global stage.
The 26-year-old received her big break after being selected to represent Brunei Darussalam at the 2022 Commonwealth Games qualifiers despite no prior experience during the start of her university term.
But, Syuhaidah picked up the sport while studying at Loughborough University in Leicestershire.
Syuhaidah told the BBC, “I took up a completely foreign sport in my final year.”
The country’s weightlifting talent studied architectural engineering in 2016 before attending a master’s degree, where she graduated last year.
However, university life proved challenging which eventually led to Syuhaidah taking up weightlifting in her final year. She added, “I was very lost in knowing what I wanted for myself. I was also very fearful of my future and always feeling like I was never good enough.
“I knew I needed some kind of healthy interest or activity.”
Syuhaidah, who had only watched the sport on television, found instant success as she won a spot representing her university in the under-49 kilogrammes (7.7 stone) category.
Most recently, Syuhaidah regularly competes and is trained by Olympic coach Julius Naranjo.