Lawn bowlers up for Commonwealth Games challenge

|     Lyna Mohamad     |

BRUNEI Darussalam on April 1 will send a contingent comprising eight athletes and four officials to participate in the XXI Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

The Commonwealth Games will be held from April 4-15.

The group, led by Major (Rtd) Md Talip bin Md Tahir, the delegation’s Chef de Mission, will compete in lawn bowling events.

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council, presented the national flag to the contingent in a ceremony at the Bilik Hijau of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium yesterday.

The ceremony began with a recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah led by Begawan Pehin Khatib Dato Paduka Awang Haji Suhaili bin Haji Metali Al-Hafiz followed by a welcoming address from 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.

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council in a group photo. – BAHYIAH BAKIR

Chef de Mission Major (Rtd) Md Talip expressed hope for the national lawn bowling team to fare better compared to previous competitions.

“Although the Commonwealth Games is one of the world’s prestigious sports competitions and participated by countries that are much more experienced, I am confident our athletes will work hard to compete and achieve their best results to bring glory to the country and raise the nation’s profile in the international arena,” said Major (Rtd) Md Talip. “I also believe that with the training and determination displayed in addition to their experience and skills, god willing our athletes will surprise their opponents by giving their best if not gain success for the country.”

Major (Rtd) Md Talip, who is also Assistant Secretary General of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council, added that the Brunei team has improved recently and was close to qualifying for the semifinals of the 2014 Games in Glasgow – the best performance shown by the Brunei lawn bowling team.

“The Commonwealth Games requires strong determination and hard work to gain success. Because of this I hope both our male and female athletes will increase their level of performance and stay focused,” he added. “The athletes have undergone intensive training and psychology sessions in preparation for the game.

“As Chef de Mission of the Brunei contingent, I hope to see the athletes show willpower, determination, focus and self-motivation. I encourage them not to be mentally and physically defeated, and demonstrate mental toughness and not be shaken by their opponents.”