Maziah Mahusin (pic) will embark on the first step to fulfilling her dream of catapulting Brunei to the top of the athletics world as she prepares to compete in the Girls 400m hurdles at Singapore's Bishan Stadium tomorrow.
Despite at the young age of only 17, Maziah has expressed her wishes of showing the entire world, the capabilities of Bruneian female athletes.
"I want to compete in international tournaments, like the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and the Olympics, to show that we have strong women athletes too and make Brunei proud," she said on the sidelines during one of her daily training sessions at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
One of the most prolific athletics athlete in the Sultanate, Maziah had always given her best in every one of her two hours per day, five-day-a-week training, and her dedication to the sport is paying off.
While it may not be as prestigious or as glamourous as the actual Olympic Games, Maziah is one of three chosen athletes to represent Brunei at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Singapore.
Even though she has yet to compete in the Games, she has already carved her name into the history books by being the flagbearer for the national flag.
The most remarkable thing, however, is that Maziah had only taken up track and field competitions seriously approximately two years ago.
"It was during a Sports Day at Balapan (Track and Field in Berakas). National athletics coach Dario (de Rosas) approached me after he saw me run and encouraged me to join the national scheme. That time it wasn't the hurdles but the 800-metre," said Maziah.
From there on, she realised that the 400m hurdles was her strongest sport, a sport which she came to love during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
"After I saw her run, my motivation to perform at my best just grew," she said of American Dawn Harper, who won gold in the 100m hurdle in the Games with a time of 12.54 seconds.
While Maziah agrees that she is still quite a ways behind, compared to the level of international competitions, she has already tasted many successes in national competitions and meets.
In this year's edition of the National Sports Festival (PSK), she grabbed seven gold medals for Brunei-Muara 100m, 100m hurdles, 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles, 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay.
She also holds three junior national records 400m hurdles (68.32s), 100m hurdles (18.05s) and 800m (2 minutes 37s).
Maziah notched the 400m hurdles national record in the trials for the YOG in March.
Despite such accomplishments, Maziah revealed that her most memorable run was during her performance in the 13th Malaysian Games (Sukma) back in June.
"Though I didn't manage to break a record, I was very satisfied with my run. My technique, the way I ran, it was all good," she said with a smile.
The country's only representative in athletics during Sukma, Maziah placed sixth in a field of eight contestants in the women's 400m hurdles with a time of 70.55s. She qualified for the final with a time of 69.34s.
Lets all wish her the best towards creating another run to remember as she takes on the world tomorrow.
Courtesy from Brunei Times