New Zealand petanque team
posing for a group photo at the
International Airport in Berakas
yesterday. The team is excited to
be in Brunei and are hoping to test
their skills against the best.
Picture: BT/Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
The New Zealand petanque team are set to test their skill and ability at Saturday's 7th Pan Pacific Petanque Championship.
The team touched down in Brunei for the two-day competition yesterday, the six-athlete, two-official contingent welcomed at the Brunei International Airport at Berakas by Brunei Darussalam Petanque Federation (BDPF) president Lt Col (R) Pg Md Noor Pg Hj Muhidi.
"Our target is to play well in the tournament and to test our skill at the highest level," said New Zealand team captain Richard Turfrey in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
"This is our first time in Brunei and it is going to be very exciting," he added.
Despite sharing third place with Brunei in the previous edition of the tournament in Sydney, Australia, last year, the skipper is not aiming for any specific target at this year's edition.
"We are here to play petanque, to see our level among the teams in the region and at the same time to enjoy ourselves," said Turfrey
"New Zealand finished third in this tournament last year, but that was a different team.
"This is the first international tournament for most of the players in the team, and each year we have a selection process where all the teams will spar to earn a place to compete in tournaments such as the Asian Championship, World Cup and Pan Pacific Petanque Championship," he explained.
Asked about the team to beat in the tournament, the captain replied: "I understand that Vietnam and Thailand will be sending strong teams in the competition. We heard that Brunei also trained in Chiang Mai, Thailand, for this tournament so it will be interesting to see."
"One of the strengths that we have is that we can adapt to various terrain and weather. We've played in high, low, wet and dry grounds. We have not tried the ground here in Brunei yet, but we will have a few days to do that before the tournament starts on Saturday," he added.
New Zealand will be joined by Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam at the two-day-tournament.
The tournament will be divided into two categories; Shooting Open Competition Triples and Open Competition.
All the matches will be contested at the Petanque Pitch at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
Earlier at the Multipurpose Hall of the Sports Village at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas yesterday, BDPF president Lt Col (R) Pg Md Noor handed over the team jerseys for the Brunei national team.
Brunei will be sending a total of six teams in the 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.
Supported by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), the tournament is also aimed at giving exposure to the country's young players.