National petanque coach
Somsak Juychunpresert at the
Petanque Pitch at the Hassanal
Bolkiah National Sports Complex
in Berakas yesterday. The Thai
believes that the national team
have what it takes to reach the last
four of Saturday's 7th Pan Pacific
Petanque Championship 2013
which Brunei will host. Picture:
BT/Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
National petanque coach Somsak Juychunpresert is expecting a strong showing from the country at Saturday's 7th Pan Pacific Petanque Championship 2013 which will be hosted by the Brunei Darussalam Petanque Federation (BDPF).
The Sultanate will welcome 25 teams from 11 countries at the Petanque Pitch at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas, and Somsak has set some realistic targets for his charges.
Competing in two categories, Shooting Open Competition Triples and Open Competition, the Thai coach believes his teams have what it takes to reach the last four in both events.
Brunei will be joined by Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar, Japan, New Zealand, Nepal and Mongolia at the June 1-2 tournament.
Brunei will be sending a total of six teams to Saturday's tournament.
Japan will send three teams and Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, New Zealand and Mongolia will each send two teams while Nepal and Vietnam will only send one.
"There will be a lot of world class players competing in the tournament so it will be very tough, but I think we have chance of making it to the top four," said Somsak yesterday.
"Teams from Thailand and Vietnam will be fielding strong and experienced players.
"Thailand will be represented by the Junior World Cup players, while Vietnam will be sending the winners of the last year's Asian Petanque Championship.
"I wished we had more time in Thailand to train as it would have helped the team more.
"But I do think the players have improved a lot after coming back from there," added the Thai.
The national team held a 20-day training stint in Chiang Mai, Thailand, earlier this month to prepare for this week's tournament.
During their stay in Thailand, the team also competed at the Port Authority Invitational Tournament in Bangkok on May 5.
Hj Yussof Mohammad and Hj Mat Rasil Hj Ahmad won bronze after defeating Thailand Airport Team 13-7 in the Masters Category.
Brunei also entered the Triples Open Category but were denied a last-eight spot by the Thailand national team, who beat them 13-11.
As hosts, Brunei will be allowed to field two players in the Shooting Open Competition this week, and Mazlan said that he and another Bruneian player in the event, Mohammad Abdillah Tamin are looking forward to taking part.
"We will have the advantage in Shooting Open Competition," said Mazlan.
"As the host, we are allowed to field two players, while other countries can only field one player," said Mazlan.
"We are ready... We have been practicing very hard for this tournament and we have had three training sessions a day since early May.
"Most of the training has been focused on technique and skill and in the evening we spar with the other team members," he added.
Supported by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), the tournament is also aimed at giving exposure to the country's young players.