PENCAK SILAT exponent Norleyermah Hj Raya has earned the honour of carrying the Brunei flag during the opening ceremony of the 25th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games today at the Main Stadium of the National Sports Complex here.
Norleyermah is a consistent medal winner in international competitions. She was a member of the women's trio who won silver at the 3rd Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam last month. She also won the silver medal at the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand.
Chef de mission Hj Muhd Zamri Dato Paduka Hj Hamdani will lead the Sultanate's delegation during the traditional parade of athletes and officials from competing countries.
The opening ceremony will start at 6pm (local time) with a simple but colourful presentation of songs and dances depicting Laos's rich history and tradition.
Thailand, the overall champions when they hosted the last edition two years ago, have the largest contingent with 482 athletes.
The opening ceremony may only be held today, but the Games had begun as early as Monday, with Singapore winning the first gold medal coming from water polo after beating Thailand 8-5 in round-robin play. The Philippines took silver after beating Indonesia 13-8. The bronze medal went to the Indonesians.
Laos, hosting the Games for the first time, started their bid on a bright note when their football team upended the Indonesians, 2-0, also on Monday.
Brunei are competing in cue sports, karatedo, pencak silat, athletics, sepak takraw, taekwondo and wushu.
His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, will team up with Teo Chee Soon in the nine-ball doubles event which starts tomorrow. The Crown Prince and Teo will face Do Hoang Quan and Luong Chi Dung of Vietnam in the quarter-final round at 10am.
The other quarter-final match will pit Francisco Django Bustamante and Efren Bata Reyes of the Philippines against Nitiwat Kanjanasri and Surathep Phoochalam of Thailand.
"We have to hurdle our first match, that is our goal," said national cue sports coach Lim Tat Hwe after the managers' meeting yesterday at the Donchan Palace Hotel, also the tournament venue.
"We just have to be optimistic. Hopefully, we can beat Vietnam," added Lim, who has been coaching Teo for many years.
Teo, 32, is making his first appearance in the SEA Games although he has been with the national team for the past three years.
The lower part of the draw has Malaysians Ibrahim Amir and Lee Poh Soon going up against Indonesia's Muhammad Bewi Simanjunt and Ricky Yang.
Hongsavade Kongsaise and Phopadid Vongsombun of Laos will meet Chan Kenh Kwang and Toh Lian Han of Singapore in the other quarter-final match
Aside from Norleyermah, also competing in pencak silat are Amirul Ahat (Class A, 45-50kg), Mohd Amali Hj Malek (Class B, 50-55kg), Khuzaiman Ahmad (Class D, 60-65kg), Mohd Kifli Hamzah (Class E, 65-70kg), Pg Khairul Bahri Pg Ali Umar (Class F, 70-75kg), Freddy Ashrul Choo (Class G, 75-80kg), Siti Zuliza Omar (Class B, 50-55kg) and Pg Khairul Bahri Pg Ali Umar (men's tunggal).
Seeing action in karatedo are Mohammad Fadillah Hj Sanif, Masdiana Hj Tengah, Hj Eddie Jofriani Hj Johari, Mohammad Fazil Rewandie Mohd Faizal, Mohd Fida'iy Hj Sanif, Mainudin Hj Mohamad, Mohd Jamil Hj Abd Hamid and Dk Nurleha Pg Abd Rahman.
Masdiana won bronze in the women's under 48kg division two years ago in Korat, Thailand while Mohammad Fadillah was a silver medallist in the men's team under 65kg category of the 2003 edition in Vietnam.
The country's lone representative in athletics is Md Yazid Yatimi Yusof, who is seeking to duplicate his bronze finish in the discus throw event in Korat. He is also competing in the shot put.
Ismail Ang, Mohd Shukri Hainen and Bur Alimin Sunggoh are competing in sepak takraw while taekwondo's Mohd Fathullah Mohd Taib is entered in the finweight division.
The duo of Faustina Woo Wai Sii and Lee Ying Shi, who won bronze at the 3rd Asian Indoor Games, will be competing in the double sword and spear (Dui Lian) event.
Twins Isa and Ismi Bismi will participate in the double sword and spear (Dui Lian) event, Southern Fist (Nanquan), Southern Staff (Nangun) and Southern cudgel (Nandao) events.
Harris Adli Perancis is competing in Southern Fist (Nanquan) and Southern Staff (Nangun) events.
Brunei won one gold, one silver and four bronze medals during the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand. Their best finish was in 1999, where the Sultanate pocketed four gold, 12 silver and 31 bronze medals when they hosted the tournament for the first time.
Courtesy from Brunei Times