The Brunei contingent for the 2012 London Olympic Games in a group picture prior to their departure to London at the Brunei International Airport in Berakas yesterday. Picture: BT/ Saiful Omar
They are off to the biggest tournament of their lives!
Brunei's six-member contingent departed the country last night for the 2012 London Olympics.
National runners, Maziah Mahusin and Ak Hafiy Tajuddin Pg Rositi, are the two athletes who make up the contingent and they are accompanied by the national athletics coach, Isidrol del Prado, and three officials.
His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BNOC), also left for the London Games yesterday, but on an earlier flight.
National swimmer Anderson Lim Chee Wei, who is based in Florida, the United
States, will be joining the team in London. The swimmer, who travelled to London from the US, also departed the United States yesterday.
The biggest story has been revolving around Maziah, who is set to become the first female athlete to represent the Sultanate at the July 27-Aug 12 Olympics.
She will be competing in the women's 400-metre event and she has been given a confidence boost after setting her best time of 1:00.32 at the 19th Open International Athletics Tournament in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, earlier this month.
"I'm really excited and I can't wait to run at the London Olympics. Whatever happens I hope that everyone will continue to support me," said Maziah during an interview with The Brunei Times before her departure to London at the Brunei International Airport in Berakas.
"I'm really happy to be able to make history, but I will not think about any other things. I just want to concentrate on my run," added the 19-year-old athlete.
For Hafiy, his personal best in the men's 400m event is 49.23 seconds which he set at the 2012 Taiwan Open Athletics Championships in May.
The 21-year-old runner is also feeling the jitters, but is hoping to have a good run in the once in a lifetime opportunity.
"I'm feeling extremely motivated and nervous at the same time at the moment. Training has gone really well and I'm looking forward to the big stage," said Hafiy. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I hope that I can clock a good time. I want to have a good performance for Brunei at the Games," he added.
Their coach feels that they have done their best and are all prepared for the Olympics.
"We have done our best to be prepared for the Olympics and the athletes have shown improvement over time," said Del Prado.
"I hope that Maziah will be able to break into the 60-second barrier and that Hafiy be able to improve on his best time," added the 52-year-old Filipino coach.
Asked what was the best advice he could give his athletes, the Filipino replied: "This is a huge stadium but I hope that they can just focus on their races and keep their concentration.
"There is no need to think about the others ... we should just aim for our personal records," he added.
Meanwhile, Lim's parents Lim Mok Seng (father) and Jessie Lim (mother) will be joining him in London to give the swimmer their full support.
"His training has gone really well. It was tough but the coach also said that he is doing well. I managed to catch his last competition in the US and things are going good," said Jessie.
Brunei's chef de mission to Games, Hj Muhd Zamri DP Hj Hamdani, already departed for London on Saturday.
Present to bid farewell to the contingent was Datin Paduka Hajah Adina Othman, the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.
Courtesy from Brunei Times