(Top) The Queen's Baton
journeying through Kampong Ayer
on a traditional boat. The actual
turnout of people taking part in the
Brunei event for the Baton Relay
exceeded expectations. (Above)
His Royal Highness Prince Haji
Sufri Bolkiah, President of the
Brunei Darussalam National
Olympic Council (BNOC), leads
the Queen's Baton Relay Delhi
2010 in front of the Yayasan
Shopping Complex in Bandar
Seri Begawan yesterday.
Pictures: BT/Rudolf Portillo
The Queen's Baton Relay Delhi 2010 was a huge success at spreading the message of goodwill on its way to the "Friendly Games" as it was a sight to behold for the thousands of people who took part in the Brunei leg of the journey yesterday.
Prior to the event, about 900 people were expected to take part in the relay but yesterday the number of participants went over the 2,000 mark.
"It was a really successful event. It was great to know that so many people were aware of the relay. They have shown good spirit and I believe that they are looking forward to seeing the Games," said Hj Rosli Hj Mohidin, the vice-president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BNOC), in an interview with The Brunei Times, yesterday.
"It will definitely be etched into their memory on being able to see and hold the baton by joining in the relay," added Hj Rosli, who is also the co-chairman of the relay.
Despite the positive response from the public, Hj Rosli couldn't confirm on whether Brunei will be going to India to compete in the 19th Commonwealth Games in October just yet.
"I can't say that we're definitely going yet but it's definitely in our planning to go there," said Hj Rosli.
The 15-kilometre relay was launched by His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the president of the BNOC, at the Yayasan Sultan Hj Hassanal Bolkiah Complex in the capital at around 6.45am.
HRH then made his round at the complex, passing the Sultan Omar 'Ali Saifuddien mosque, to pass on the baton to the second bearer at the complex's jetty just a few metres away before it was taken for a 10-minute boat ride around Kg Ayer which is dubbed the 'Venice of the East'.
With a total of 16 checkpoints in the nation's capital, it managed to showcase some other Brunei historical landmarks - Bumbungan Dua Belas (House of Twelve Roofs), Kg Ayer Cultural and Tourism Gallery.
With the baton bearers made up of national or ex-national athletes that have tasted glory in the international area, top junior athletes, leaders of national sports associations, high commissions and special needs, the relay lasted more than two hours.
Abd Rahman Hj Omar, who won gold in the men's pairs and silver in the men's singles at the 7th Asia Lawn Bowls Championships in China in 2008, was the final baton bearer as he made his way through the penultimate stop, the Budiman Walk.
He returned the baton to HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
HRH then passed on the baton to Dato' Ku Jaafar Ku Shaari, the Malaysian High Commissioner to Brunei, who received the baton on behalf of his country that will play host for the next Queen's Baton Relay.
For those who missed out on the Queen's Baton Relay, they can still attend the Queen's Baton Exhibition to be held at The Mall in Gadong today from 10am to noon and from 2pm to 4pm.
The exhibition is aimed at giving the public the opportunity to take a closer look at the baton and at the same time allow them to see and recognise Brunei's cultural costumes that will be worn during the exhibition.
The Queen's Baton will be taken to Malaysia, the 66th of 71 Commonwealth countries, tomorrow.
Courtesy from Brunei Times