Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Brunei can compete on the international level
Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Somsak Juychunprasert believes the national petanque players can challenge for honours at the international level.

The head coach of the national petanque team has been in charge since 2009, and the Thai is impressed by the growth of the sport in the country especially after his charges finished with joint-bronze in the Triple Open category at last weekend's 7th Pan Pacific Petanque Championship.

"I am very happy with the rate of development of petanque over the past few years," said Somsak after the tournament ended on Sunday.

"Bruneians only started playing petanque five to six years ago, and see how far we have come since then.

"We have a good mix of young and experienced players in the team, and I think with a few more years of training, Brunei will be able to compete in the international level.

"We managed to get a bronze medal in the tournament, but the most important thing is how we've progressed over the years.

"Four out of six Bruneians teams made it to the top-eight in this year's tournament.

"Most of the players who competed in the tournament are world-class players and have represented their countries at the World Cup and Asian Championship, so it was a very tough competition," stressed the Thai.

Thailand won both categories on offer in the two-day tournament after their Triple Open category team of Thanakorn Singkaew, Wattanachai Songtung and Kiatkong Thanon defeated Vietnam's Vu Khang Duy, Cao Phu Tinh and Cao Chi Dung 13-2 in Sunday's final.

Phantipha Wongchuvej beat Vietnam's Nguyen Xuan Loc 45-36 in the Shooting Open event on Saturday.

Brunei bagged the Triple Open bronze when Hamidon Hj Hamid, Junaidi Ali and Hj Yussof Mohammad shared third with Indonesia after reaching the semi-finals of the competition.

Hamidon, Junaidi and Hj Yussof defeated compatriots Awg Abdul Wahab Salihin Hj Besar, Marhalim Hj Juni and Azmi Eddy Mohd Harris 13-5 in the quarter-final before losing to eventual silver-medalists Vietnam 13-6 in the semi-final at the Petanque Pitch of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.

They also defeated a team from New Zealand 13-0 and a team from Singapore 13-6 in the qualifying rounds.

Brunei's top team in the tournament, which comprised of national captain Mazlan Hj Yahya, Mohd Abdillah Tamin and Wirna Hj Mohd Yassin, could only manage a last-eight finish after being denied a place in the semi-finals after a 13-3 loss to eventual champions Thailand.

"Mazlan, Mohd Abdillah and Wirna were very unlucky," said Somsak.

"They should have be in the final, but sometimes you are lucky and sometimes you are not," he added.

Meanwhile, Brunei's Pg Hj Asmalina Pg Hj Jaya, Hj Mat Rasil Hj Ahmad and Masli Mohd Said finished second in Sunday's Nation Cup after losing 13-2 to Malaysia's Zani Lisa Mohamed, Shari Hassan and Syed Ali Syed Akil.

The Nation Cup is a tournament for the teams that did not make it to the top eight of the Pan Pacific Petanque Championship.

Joining hosts Brunei in the Pan Pacific Petanque Championship were Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam.

Courtesy from Brunei Times