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Minister sees off SEA Games contingent

James Kon

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin gave 22 members of the Brunei Darussalam contingent flying off to Hanoi, Vietnam for the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games a personal send-off yesterday.

The contingent included wushu and e-sport athletes along with six coaches and six secretariat members.

Speaking at the Brunei International Airport, the minister gave advice and words of encouragement to the national athletes.

Mohd Firdausi Asyura bin Haji Muntil, one of the e-sports athletes headed to Vietnam, said he felt “honoured to be able to represent the country”.

“This will be a new experience for us as this is the first time that we will be representing Brunei Darussalam in e-sports at the SEA Games,” the 29-year-old said.

He added, “Athletes from other countries have much more experience in major tournaments like the PUGB Pro League.

“However, we competed in the Razer SEA Invitational 2022 and managed to be placed in the top three, so we still have a good chance of winning.”

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin in a group picture with the Brunei contingent flying off to the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games yesterday. PHOTOS: JAMES KON
The minister gives advice and words of encouragement to the national athletes
ABOVE & BELOW: National wushu athlete Mohammad Adi Salihin bin Roslan with his brother Mohammad Safiee Shayferan, who is also competing in the 31st SEA Games, and their parents; and e-sport athlete Mohd Firdausi Asyura bin Haji Muntil

He also said that the COVID-19 pandemic has not had much of an impact on their training.

“We did our training online from our homes. We only started our centralised training in the Games Village in April, for a month,” he explained.

Meanwhile, national wushu athlete Mohammad Adi Salihin bin Roslan said his training was affected by the pandemic.

Even with the disruptions, he said, “I am ready for this year’s SEA Games, despite having only three months of training due to COVID-19 restrictions.”

Mohammad Adi Salihin also felt excited to finally be able to compete again after missing three years of competition due to the health crisis.

”Just like the 2019 SEA Games, I don’t really have a target for this year’s competition. I just want to do my best,” he said.

Aiming for a repeat of 2019 is understandable as Mohammad Adi Salihin won the gold medal in the combined Men’s Nandao and Nangun events at the 30th SEA Games at the World Trade Center in Pasay, the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary (Administration, Finance and Estate) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Pengiran Mohd Amirrizal bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud, along with officers from the Youth and Sports Department, were also present to see the athletes off.

For the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam will be competing in four sporting events – e-sports, karatedo, pencak silat and wushu.

The 39-member Bruneian contingent comprises 23 athletes.

Brunei Darussalam began competing in the SEA Games in 1977, so far winning 14 gold medals, 56 silver medals and 184 bronze medals.

The Sultanate’s high point in the competition was in 1999 as the host country, collecting four gold medals, 12 silver medals and 32 bronze medals that year.

The country last competed in the SEA Games in the Philippines in 2019 and earned two gold medals, five silver medals and six bronze medals.

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