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Brunei athletes come home to rousing hero’s welcome

Fadhil Yunus

The Brunei Darussalam national contingent that participated in the 11th ASEAN Para Games 2022 in Solo, Indonesia returned to a hero’s welcome at the Brunei International Airport in Berakas yesterday.

Acting Director of Youth and Sports Development Zainab binti Haji Morshidi welcomed the national contingent at the Brunei International Airport.

The national athletes collected an overall medal haul of one gold, one silver and three bronze in the multi-sport showpiece all coming from athletics.

Brunei para-athlete Hirdan bin Haji Abdul Kadir took home the gold in the men’s shot put F56 event and a silver in the javelin F56 event, while compatriot Shari bin Haji Juma’at won two bronze medals in the men’s discus throw F54-F55 and javelin throw F54- F55 events.

The other medallist was Zainul Wardi bin Haji Talip, who clinched a bronze in the men’s discus throw F35-F37 event.

Acting Director of Youth and Sports Development Zainab binti Haji Morshidi slips a sash onto Hirdan bin Haji Abdul Kadir. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS
ABOVE & BELOW: Acting Director of Youth and Sports Development Zainab binti Haji Morshidi places a sash onto Zainul Wardi bin Haji Talip; and Shari bin Haji Juma’at with his medals

Zainab with the national athletes at the Brunei International Airport. PHOTOS: FADHIL YUNUS

Speaking to the Bulletin, Hirdan said, “The results I achieved did not meet my personal best (PB) as training may not have been adequate. We trained only for three months.”

Brunei’s latest para gold medallist recorded a best mark of 8.44 points in the men’s shotput event.

The national athlete expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports for its support – especially in providing coaching, and the Paralympic Council of Brunei Darussalam (PCBD) for managing the sports.

Hirdan, who was also part of the national contingent during the previous edition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2017, made his first competitive appearance in 2005 and has been selected for international events since.

Meanwhile, Shari bin Haji Juma’at, who first made his overseas break in 1990, said, “I am very satisfied with what I achieved even though my target was to get gold. I feel grateful to have won medals in both of my events.”

He added, “Competition from rivals was definitely present, mainly coming from Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines who typically win gold medals in past tournaments.”

Vowing to enhance his performance, Shari spoke of his desires to bag more medals amid strong opposition from overseas.

Chef de Mission Haji Ali Yusri bin Haji Abdul Ghafor led the 22-member strong contingent – comprising 13 athletes and nine officials.

Besides athletics, Brunei Darussalam was also represented in badminton and swimming.


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