HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah (L), the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council, being given fond farewell by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Paduka Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah (R), Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Datin Paduka Hjh Adina, (2nd R) and Permanent Secretary Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Hamid Hj Mohd Jaafar (3rd R). His Royal Highness left for the Isle of Man, United Kingdom. Picture: Infofoto
The Brunei contingent for the
Commonwealth Youth Games,
(From L) Rozmacynthia Simbilan,
Anderson Lim Chee Wei and
Florence Sea Wern Lyn, prior to
their departure at the Brunei
International Airport. Picture:
Raup Tassim believes Rozmacynthia Simbilan has it in her to be a national athlete and she has the Commonwealth Youth Games to prove him right.
The country yesterday sent two swimmers and one athlete Rozmacynthia to the Sept 7-13 event at the Isle of Man, United Kingdom, and Raup feels the Sultanate made the right choice to send its brightest pupil to compete in the 400m and 400m hurdles.
Also leaving for the Isle of Man was His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC).
"She has potential to be a national athlete and I'm sure she can improve on her times," said Raup, her coach at the Sports School.
"I am looking for her to break her personal bests in the two events.
"If I'm not mistaken her current best is 67.54s in the 400m and 74.02 in the 400m hurdles," added Raup at the Brunei International Airport yesterday.
The 16-year-old Rozmacynthia only made her international debut during the 6th Southeast Asian (SEA) Junior Athletics Championships in Jakarta in June, where she was one of the half-dozen athletes representing Brunei.
None of them won medals in the Indonesian capital and Raup admitted the others were gutted not to have scored a ticket to the Isle of Man.
"We were supposed to bring Wafi but he had to forgo the meet because of exams," said Raup, referring to Abdul Wafi Zaidin, a budding junior athlete who ran the 400m in Jakarta.
"Of course, the rest were disappointed they could not go but the level is going to be very tough," added Raup, who has been based at the Sports School full-time since 2006.
Anderson Lim Chee Wei will be swimming in the 100m free and 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly events while Florence Sea Wern Lyn is set to compete in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle.
The contingent's chef de mission Pg Anak Sofian Pg Anak Hj Ibrahim explained why the country decided to send the trio.
"We are sending these young athletes to expose them to these kind of events and for them to try their best," he said.
"They are being sent because they are each the best at their respective sports. We are only bringing athletes in these two sports because they are the ones who have been training continuously.
"They have also met the benchmark," he added.
The athlete's selection was made by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports' national selection and evaluation committee, a panel which decides which athletes represent Brunei in any contingent the country sends to regional and international tournaments and receives input from various sources. Currently in its fourth edition, an estimated 1,000 athletes are expected to compete in seven sports at the Isle of Man, where badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics and rugby 7s complete the list of sports.
Seventy-one nations were slated to take part but the number is now at 67 following the decision of Lesotho, Montserrat, the Norfolk Islands and Vanuatu to drop out.
The first Commonwealth Youth Games was held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2000, with the second in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, in 2004. This year's edition was pushed forward a year in view of the 2012 London Olympics.
This year marks the second time the Sultanate is joining the Games, with the country's inaugural participation at the last edition in Pune, India, in 2008 also involving three athletes in two sports.
Mohd Aiman Abdullah and Asher Jeremiah Khan flew the flag in the tennis competition while Maria Grace Koh was the country's lone representative in swimming.
Aiman and Khan made it to the quarter-finals of the doubles competition and reached the second round of the singles event while Koh who at 15 was already a five-year veteran of the team was unable to qualify for the finals in any of the seven events she took part.
Courtesy from Brunei Times