A Brunei national lawn bowler in
action in a competition recently.
Brunei hunting for 1st Games medal
The time is ripe for Brunei to finally break their jinx at the Commonwealth Games.
Since their debut in the 1990 Games in Auckland, New Zealand, the Sultanate have competed in every edition of the Games but have never made it to the podium yet.
In this year's edition which kicked off on Sunday in New Delhi, the lawn bowls team are once again the only side representing the country.
With their proven track record when it comes to regional and international meets, they have every right to do so.
After a rigorous selection process handled by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports' national selection and evaluation committee, athletes from the lawn bowls team surprised noone by emerging as the only ones deemed worthy to carry the flag for the nation in what is its fifth appearance at the Games.
The 11 athletes six men and five women will shoulder the responsibility of repeating their success in other events onto the Commonwealth stage.
The men will be competing in singles, pairs and triples events while the women who were missing from the last edition in Melbourne, Australia, in 2006 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.
The list of multi-titled athletes is all too familiar, and at the very least, they can be expected to put up a fight against powerhouses such as Australia, England and New Zealand.
Even the country's sole para-athlete Alihan Muda has proven his calibre time and time again.
Though it will be his first time participating in the Games, Alihan who will see action in the men's shot put F34 event is no stranger to the field of para-sports, returning from last year's 5th Asean Para Games in Kuala Lumpur with one gold and two silver medals.
More than half the lawn bowls team six players competed in the last edition of the Games in Melbourne, Australia, so experience will not be a problem.
The lawn bowlers have the quality to challenge the big guns, of that there is no doubt.
That was never more evident than during the Encouraging Success Sports Scheme rewarding ceremony in April when Abd Rahman won top honours.
Abd Rahman was rewarded with $7,000 for his silver medal in the men's singles of the 8th Asian Lawn Bowls Championships in Bangkok in December and $4,000 for his gold in the men's doubles of the same tournament.
The 7th Asia Lawn Bowls Championships in China in 2008 was also a productive outing for the 43-year-old bowler, winning gold in the men's pairs and silver in the men's singles.
Abd Rahman who was given the honour of being the final baton bearer for June's Queen's Baton Relay 2010 Delhi also finished on top of the podium in the men's pairs event during the 6th Asian Lawn Bowls Championship held in Kuala Lumpur in 2007.
Competing in Melbourne four years ago, Abd Rahman and Pg Md Salleh Chuchu Pg Hj Tuah placed 17th in a field of 21 competitors in the men's pairs.
Overall, the Brunei Darussalam Lawn Bowls Association, its coach Hj Abd Ghafar POKLD Hj Md Taha and the five athletes that competed at the 13th Asia Pacific Bowling Championships in August in Kuala Lumpur and the 8th Asia Bowls in Shenzen, China, were awarded $25,800.
Teaming up with one of the country's most consistent and lauded athlete in the sport in 2007 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medallist Hj Naim, it is in the men's pairs that Brunei have the best chance of finishing with a medal.
Hj Naim was Brunei's best athlete in Melbourne, where he finished 16th out of 22 competitors in the men's singles event.
Just like this year, the lawn bowlers were the only ones representing Brunei during the 2006 edition of the Games.
They competed in three events in Melbourne: men's singles, men's pairs and men's triples.
Abd Rahman and Pg Md Salleh Chuchu Pg Hj Tuah placed 17th in a field of 21 competitors in the men's pairs, while in the men's triples Ampuan Ahad , Hj Osman Hj Yahya and Lokman Hj Md Salleh finished last in the field of 21 entries.
Prior to leaving for India, national lawn bowls coach Eric Johannes said he was optimistic about the team producing good results, adding that they have been preparing for the competition for about seven weeks.
Hopefully their training stint at the Warilla Bowls & Recreation Club in Australia hosts of the last five World Cup Singles combined with the knowledge and know-how that Johannes a bronze medallist in Melbourne will be just the right combination Brunei need to end the wait.
Courtesy from Brunei Times