Brunei Darussalam will be sending a 12-member contingent to compete in lawn bowling and weight-lifting events at the upcoming Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, England.
His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, the President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC) presented the national flag to the Brunei Darussalam contingent comprising seven athletes and five officials at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium yesterday.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Nazmi bin Haji Mohamad in his welcoming remarks reminded the athletes that “they bear a responsibility that requires commitment and passion to be fully inculcated as the country’s representative that will wave our national flag in Birmingham.”
Despite being a small contingent, he said, “the Sultanate’s continuous participation has shown our commitment to the Commonwealth and its Games at the international stage.”
“It is also important that this participation will provide a platform for them to compete with elite athletes,” he added.
“This is a golden opportunity for us to further strengthen our physical and mental strength.”
Participants are also advised to “intensify their efforts in each competition and always be high-spirited, determined and persevering. This is needed for an athlete to fight in a team, ‘One thought and One goal’: to achieve the best for the country”.
He also reminded the athletes representing the country to maintain good discipline, image and reputation as Bruneian with high values during the duration of the games.
The minister also expressed appreciation to the Commonwealth Secretariat, the British High Commission and the Birmingham Organising Committee for the consistent support towards Brunei Darussalam’s participation in the Commonwealth Games 2022.
Although the country is still facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitment of the organising committee to ensure the success of these games in the new norm reflects the main strength of the Commonwealth Games as a source of friendship and mutual respect, unifying the diverse cultures of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Following a sabda, His Royal Highness handed over the national flag to Pengiran Siti Amal Jariah binti Pengiran Matjinen as the Chef de Mission of Brunei Darussalam’s contingent.
Led by Coach Lokman Mohd Salleh, the Brunei Darussalam’s lawn bowl team comprises Bahren bin Abdul Rahman, Mohd Hazmi bin Haji Idris, Haji Osman bin Haji Yahya, and Haji Amli bin Haji Gafar who will compete in the Men’s Four category, while Esmawandy binti Brahim and Norafizah binti Matossen are in theWomen’s Pair category.
Coach Lokman said, “Although we have limited time for training, we made sure to train effectively among ourselves and in the gym twice a week.”
He expressed gratitude to the government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports as well as BDNOC and Brunei Lawn Bowls Association for the opportunity.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Nashrul bin Haji Abu Bakar is the first national weightlifter to compete in the 61 kilogramme (kg) category at the Commonwealth Games.
He said, “I have trained for two years straight. I think mental preparation is equally important in weightlifting. I need to train my body to recover quickly to be able to train more. Lately, I have also increased my training from six times a week to eight times a week, therefore nutrition is very crucial in this journey.”
He added, “Having a strong support system is also helpful. I am very lucky to have a training partner who is also my wife to help put my training in check.
“I would like to break my personal record of 212kg to 230kg. Anything more will be a bonus.
“I am very happy to be able to represent Brunei in the Commonwealth Games, as this is my first time joining an international event. I thanked my family, my wife, my friend as well as the Government of Brunei Darussalam.”
Brunei Darussalam began sending athletes to compete in the Commonwealth Games in 1990, and last competed in 2018 at Gold Coast, Australia.
The Brunei contingent is expected to leave for Birmingham, England on July 24.