Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth
and Sports Datin Hjh Adina Othman
(Centre Front) with the national
contingent for the 2nd Asian Beach
Games at the Brunei International
Airport in Berakas last night.
Picture: BT/Amir Amin
The Sultanate's sole representative for the 2nd Asian Beach Games, the national sepak takraw team, is ready to show its high-flying skills in Muscat.
Departing from the Brunei International Airport in Berakas last night, team manager Hj Mohd Noor Hj Hamid said the intensive preparation his young charges had gone through will be enough to put up a fight in Oman.
"To prepare for the Games, we have been intensively training since September at the beach to improve our performance and stamina. Since we did not feature in the Asian Games, it allowed us to fully focus on our preparation," said the team manager.
"Last month, we spent 15 days in Pattaya, Thailand, for intensive training. I have to say it was very fruitful as we were able to learn the Thai's techniques and tactics. The way they played was fast-paced and best described as 'acrobatic', so we were able to take in new skills," added Hj Mohd Noor.
"I hope that the players will pull off a high quality performance as these players have been chosen for their experience. Though they are still young, the players have been exposed to competitions in the region, such as Sukma (Sukan Malaysia), Asean Schools, Arafura Games, SEA (Southeast Asian) Games, King's Cup and others," said the Brunei Darussalam Sepak Takraw Association (Pestabaru) secretary-general.
Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Datin Hjh Adina Othman, who was present to bid the contingent farewell, expressed hope that they will be able to match their previous achievement.
"I hope that you will be able to defend your previous record, if not surpass it as that is better," said Datin Hjh Adina.
Led by chef de mission Kifli Hj Jaafar, the sepak takraw team that will fly the national flag are Azri Tahir, Hadi Ariffin Matali, Ismail Ang, Mohd Amin Mahari, Nur Alimin Sungguh and Shukor Jaineh.
They will compete in the inter-regu category at the Dec 8-16 tournament, the same discipline which they finished at joint-third in the Games' first edition in 2008.
Held in Bali, Indonesia, Brunei finished joint-third alongside Malaysia after both countries were knocked out in the semi-finals.
The team's trip to Bali was a fruitful one after finishing with two silver and three bronze medals, with the other medals coming from pencak silat which, unfortunately for Brunei, will not be contested this year.
The medal haul placed the Sultanate 22nd on the list of 27 countries that bagged medals two years ago.
Courtesy from Brunei Times