BRUNEI'S cue sports team will be aiming for a medal finish at the 25th SEA Games in Laos in December but will not be hasty by taking it one game at a time at the biennial tournament.
HRH Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, and Teo Chee Soon are competing in the nine-ball doubles event.
National cue sports coach, Lim Tat Hwe, who has been coaching Teo for the past eight years believes that they stand a chance at making it into the finals if they make it past the first round.
"Progress in training has been very good so far. We will have to target one game at a time and we should be in the semi-finals if we make it through the first round. From there, I believe that we stand a very good chance in getting a medal this time around," said Lim during an interview with The Brunei Times at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
Lim believes Teo is ready for his first outing at the Games. But the coach stressed that the most important thing before going to the Games is to improve on Teo's mental strength.
"His (Teo) skills are good but the importance is whether he will be able to handle the pressure and mentality. This is the part that needs improvement," explained Lim.
"Today was sort of a final test for Teo as he played with the presence of HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah in the room watching him. This is a test to strengthen his mentality towards the Games as they are played in front of a huge crowd," added Lim.
Teo agreed with his coach. "I will have to overcome the pressure and nervousness while competing in a big competition like the SEA Games," said Teo.
"What I have to do is to do my best. I believe we stand a good chance going through the first round," added Teo.
His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BNOC), has been checking on the training of the athletes going to the SEA Games.
"He wants to know the progress of the training and asked some information regarding the pool cues that we are using and their differences. Most importantly he is very supportive of us," said Lim.
Also present at the training were Ak Mohd Saiful Azri Pg Roslee and Ahmad Taufiq M Murni who will be flying the flag for the country in the Borneo Games.
The BNOC president was welcomed at the venue by the contingent's chef de mission, Hj Muhd Zamri DP Hj Hamdani starting with the cue sports before heading over to the athletics team. HRH ended his visit by checking on the progress of the Taekwando team.
The national athletes have only less than two weeks to prepare for the SEA Games which will be hosted by Vientiane.
The BNOC president began his three-day visit to all Laos-bound athletes on Monday when he went to the Menglait Sports Complex where the sepak takraw, taekwondo and wushu teams are training.He also visited the karatedo and pencak silat teams at the national stadium.
HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah was accompanied by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Ahmad Hj Jumat.
Brunei won one gold, one silver and four bronzes two years ago in Thailand.
The Sultanate pocketed four golds, 12 silvers and 31 bronze medals when it hosted the tournament for the first time in 1999.
Courtesy from Brunei Times