(Top)Minister of Culture, Youth and
Sports Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma
Laila Diraja Dato Paduka Hj Hazair
Hj Abdullah (L) hands over the
national flag to the chef de mission
of the Malaysia Games Hj
Rosmadee HjMd Daud yesterday.
(Above) National wushu exponents
Faustina Woo Wai Shii (R) and
Lee Ying Shi in action during the
SEA Games in Vientiane last year.
Pictures: Courtesy of the
Department ofYouth and Sports,
Injuries have cut short Faustina Woo Wai Sii and Lee Ying Shi's Malaysia Games (Sukma) dreams.
A total of 67 Bruneian athletes will be competing in 13 sports during the June 10-19 tournament in Melaka, but the Sultanate's most dominant wushu pair will not be among them.
The number of athletes was set at 69 last month, but when the final list was made available during the flag handing over ceremony yesterday, Woo and Lee's names were notable because of their absence.
"I can't do anything," lamented Woo of her injury yesterday.
"I can't jump, and in our events, we need to jump," added Woo, who was to compete in the Southern Fist (Nan Quan) and Southern Sword (Nan Dao) events.
Woo partnered Lee to silver in the women's Duilian (doubles broadsword and spear) event during last year's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Laos. The duo also won bronze in the women's single weapon vs weapon during last year's 3rd Indoor Asian Games in Vietnam.
"I quit (the Sukma squad) because I am injured and I know I can't give it my all," explained Lee.
"I injured my right ankle and left knee, and when the coach (national wushu coach Li Hui) suggested we pull out last week, we agreed,"she added.
Lee was set to participate in the Broad Sword (Dao Shu) and Long Fist (Chang Quan) events in Melaka, but like Woo, the lack of wushu carpets to train on cost them their ticket to the 13th edition of the biennial tournament.
The team received the carpets last month but it was too late.
"We have a carpet now but it is useless," said Woo.
"I am not sure when will I recover but I hope it will be soon since I go for treatment everyday," Woo said.
Their absence is a big blow to the Brunei squad for the girls are genuine medal prospects in their events.
The pair's exclusion means that Harris Adli Perancis and Abdul Rahim Johari will be leading the charge for the Sultanate in the sport, competing in the Southern Fist (Nanquan) and Southern Staff (Nangun) events respectively.
The flag was handed over to the contingent's chef de mission Hj Rosmadee Hj Md Daud by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Paduka Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah.
The country will send a contingent of 105, with 16 coaches, six managers, 14 officials and two technical officers joining the 67 athletes on the flight to Malaysia on Monday.
One of the 15 participating States, Brunei will be competing in athletics, aquatics, badminton, bowling, cycling, fencing, karate, petanque, sepak takraw, silat, squash, tennis and wushu.
Long seen as a stepping stone for bigger tournaments, Brunei first competed during the 1996 edition of Sukma in Pahang. Participating as an invitational team, this year will mark the seventh time the Sultanate will be represented.
However, the minister insisted that the time was ripe for the country to realign its goals when it comes to talking about Sukma.
"Our participation must not only be seen as practice or to increase our experience," he said during the ceremony at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in Berakas.
"It shouldn't only be seen as good will participation. We have passed that time. Our participation is to really test our abilities and to compete with strong athletes from our neighbouring country.
"We must show a spirited and determined performance to give the other athletes challenge. We must have a strong, competitive and fearless attitude when competing, and shouldn't give up easily and admit defeat before the event is over," added the minister.
The 10-day tournament will see 9,000 athletes in action.
Courtesy from Brunei Times