The 11-member lawn bowling team that will compete at the 19th Commonwealth Games (CWG) in New Delhi from Oct 3-14 at the Brunei International Airport in Berakas yesterday. Picture: BT/ Amir Amin
Eleven athletes took the first step towards what could be a historical moment for the Sultanate, when they departed from the Brunei International Airport in Berakas yesterday for the 19th Commonwealth Games (CWG) in New Delhi from Oct 3-14.
Lawn bowls is the sport of choice for Brunei and the athletes are on a tall order.
This will be the fifth time the Sultanate will be participating and President of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BNOC) His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, has high hopes for a much sought-after medal.
Present to bid the contingent farewell was the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Paduka Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah.
The 11 athletes six men and five women will be headed by Chef de Mission of the national contingent, Pg Anak Md Sofian Pg Anak Hj Ibrahim.
The men will be competing in single, pairs and triples events while the women will lace up for the pairs and triples.
Ampuan Ahad Ampuan Kassim will be taking part in the men's singles while Hj Naim Brahim and Abd Rahman Hj Omar will team up for the men's pairs. The trio of Yakup Amit, Md Ali Bujang and Hj Rosli Hj Ibrahim will compete in the men's triples.
The duo of Siti Ervi Fedarussanti and Esmawandy Ibrahim are taking part in the women's pairs while the team of Hjh Ajijah Muntol, Hjh Fatmah Hj Ibrahim and Hjh Lilimaryani Ampuan Salleh will play in the women's triples.
In an interview with The Brunei Times during the flag handing over ceremony on Saturday, national lawn bowls coach Eric Johannes, said he was optimistic about the team producing good results at the CWG.
"We have been preparing for the competition for about seven weeks now and the only problem we had was during Ramadhan but we did get training done from 9pm-12am, five days a week," said Johannes, who won a bronze medal in the sport for South Africa at the previous edition of the CWG in Melbourne, Australia in 2006.
"Six of the players have competed in Melbourne so I can say we have got the experience and we just have to put our act together. We need to believe that we can beat teams such as England or Ireland," he added.
"So I've been working on mental preparations and we should let our opponents worry about us instead of the other way round. I know we can do it," continued the 48-year-old.
"It would be a privilege and honour to be able to win a medal but finishing in the top 10 would also be a very good achievement against the best in the world," concluded Johannes.
Also present yesterday were MCYS permanent secretaries, Dato Paduka Hj Jemat Ampal and Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Hamid Hj Mohd Jaafar, MCYS deputy permanent secretary Hj Ismail Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Setia Dato Paduka Hj Hashim and director of youth and sports Hj Mohamad Panglima Asgar Dato Paduka Hj Abdullah.
The Commonwealth Games will see the participation of 71 contingents from the countries, states and territories of the Commonwealth.
Courtesy from Brunei Times