(Top, Top Right) Brunei's BIMP-EAGA Friendship Games' athletes posing with their medals upon arriving at the Brunei International Airport yesterday. (Right) Nurhidayatullah Johari won two gold medals for Brunei in the 100m and 200m dash.Pictures: BT/Saiful Omar
Brunei's athletes for the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Friendship Games were treated to a hero's welcome upon their arrival at the Brunei International Airport yesterday.
Brunei ended the competition with a total medal haul of six gold, five silver and five bronze from General Santos City in the Philippines .
The pencak silat team and athletics team were the biggest winners for Brunei, both events delivering three gold medals each for the Sultanate.
The gold medallists told The Brunei Times that nerves played a major part towards their success.
Nurhidayatullah Johari was in disbelief when she crossed the finish line in first position in both the 100m and 200m dash.
"It was really nerve wrecking especially because I (had to) beat Sabah to win... I just could not believe it," said the 19-year-old.
She explained that she had beaten Sabah during the Sabah Open last year in Kota Kinabalu and that the experience helped her win her medal.
Nurhidayatullah ran a 13.25s in the 100m and 26.04 in the 200m.
Discus winner Mohd Adenin Bolhan who also racked up a bronze in shotput said that a loss at the Sabah Open had served as the motivation he needed to elevate his performance onto the next level.
"Last year's Sabah Open, I won a silver medal for discus so I knew I had to train harder to get better," said Mohd Adenin.
Md Zainul Abidin Abu Zaini who competed in silat's "seni ganda lelaki" (males pairs) with partner Alif Yahya felt that confidence was his key to winning gold.
"It was our first time joining an international event and we did not know what (to expect)," said Md Zainul.
"We did not know whether we could beat the Philippines as they were the only ones we were facing against but we just did our best," said Alif.
Qistina Athirah Zainal who won the "seni regu wanita" (females team of three) category with Nur Azimatunnaemah Samat and Nur Syafiqah Hj Md Seffari noted that their silver medal performance during last year's ASEAN School Games in Surayabaya, Indonesia, pushed them to train harder and ignited their desire for gold.
"It was (a good) experience for us as a team, even though we only had to face the Philippines in the category, we still wanted to perform our best," said Qistina.
Present to welcome the Brunei contingent was Acting Director at the Department of Youth and Sports Hj Muhd Zamri Dato Paduka Hj Hamdani.
Courtesy from Brunei Times