Awangku Hafiy Tajuddin Pengiran
Rositi (R) and Maziah Mahusin
after returning from the London
Olympics at the Brunei
International Airport yesterday.
Brunei's Olympians returned home yesterday to deserved celebration after achieving their personal targets.
In London for what has been 23 of the most unforgettable days in their young sporting careers, Maziah Mahusin and Ak Hafiy Tajuddin Pg Rositi had a lot to be proud of despite not reaching the final.
Brunei's first female Olympian, Maziah, 19, set a new national record of 59.28 seconds in the women's 400-metre while Ak Hafiy, 21, ran the men's 400m with a new personal best of 48.67s. Anderson Lim Chee Wei, the country's first swimmer to compete at the Olympics, set a new national record in the 200-metre freestyle when he broke the old record of 2:05.19 by nearly three seconds (2:02.26). The 16-year-old, though, returned to his training base in Florida, America, after the Olympics came to a close on Sunday.
Considering the circumstances, national athletics coach Isidro del Prado said he couldn't have asked for more from his athletes.
"The sudden weather changes made it hard for them to adjust, but in spite of that, they performed well," he said at the Brunei International Airport.
"Based on their training ... I expected them to do well," he said.
With one Olympics under their belt, they seem the natural choice to compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Del Prado, though, said it was too early to make any promises.
"That's up to the (national) officials," said del Prado.
"If they keep on training and keep on improving ... But of course, I am encouraged by what I saw in London," enthused the coach.
Maziah's record-breaking performance was probably the most notable of the three after all, she was sick for four days leading up to her 400m heats and it would have been forgivable if she felt she was unable to take to the Olympic Stadium.
But soldering on, Maziah would run the race of her lifetime, and along the way, earn global plaudits as Brunei's first female Olympian.
"I didn't train for four days so I was afraid my performance would drop," she said.
"All I did was keep visualising (the run) and keep positive. I prayed (and) kept on praying. And I just ran until the finish line and broke the national record.
"I was pretty unbelievable," she grinned.
Her happiest moment?
"It was when I met Usain Bolt ... And broke the national record," she replied instantly.
"There was a massive crowd of 80,000 and I'll never forget that moment."
Courtesy from Brunei Times