A Bruneian competing
during the 2nd
and the 1st Borneo
the country hosted
earlier this year.
Picture: BT file
The national petanque team will be participating in the pre-SEA (Southeast Asian) Games petanque competition in Napyidaw, Myanmar this month.
The national team are looking at the competition as an opportunity to be selected for the SEA Game in December, which will also be held in Myanmar.
Captain Mazlan Hj Yahya, Wirna Hj Mohd Yassin, Pg Hj Asmalina Pg Hj Jaya and Wedy Nurol Suzana Luon were given the chance by national coach Somsak Juychunprasert to prove their worth at the September 12-18 tournament.
"This will be our chance to prove that we are capable of winning medals for Brunei and at the same time confirm our place with the rest of Bruneian athletes to compete in the SEA Games," said Mazlan in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
Brunei will be competing in men's singles, women's singles and mixed double events in the tournament.
"We have been preparing and training very hard for this (SEA Games) so we will give our best to win and earn our ticket to the tournament," Mazlan insisted.
"Coach Somsak will also be travelling with us to Myanmar. He has been very helpful in helping us to get ready for the tournament," he added.
The national coach has been hoping that the team's good run of form over the past two years will earn them a call-up to the SEA Games team, like they did in 2011 when they competed in Indonesia though they were not able to finish on the podium.
"We are still waiting for an answer from the management regarding this," said Somsak last month, referring to a ticket to Myanmar in December.
"I hope that we can sort this thing out... There is not much time left the neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Vetnam have prepared for this tournaments for many months," added the experienced Thai coach.
Not all of the team will be in Myanmar for the pre-SEA Games trial though.
"The rest of the team will also be competing in important tournaments (Borneo Inter-Club Petanque Championship and Borneo Cup Petanque Championship) this month as Brunei are the defending champions," said Mazlan.
The rest of the team are Hamidon Hj Hamid, Hj Mat Rasil Hj Ahmad, Hj Yussof Mohammad, Junaidi Ali, Muhd Abdillah Tamin and some other junior players.
The first event, the 4th edition of the Borneo Inter-Club Petanque Championship, will kick off on September 14 while the second, the 3rd Borneo Cup Petanque Championship, will commence the next day.
The tournaments this year will be held in Bintulu, Sarawak, and will mark the first time it will be held outside Brunei after the country hosted it for three consecutive years from 2010 to 2013 and enjoyed glory in each instance.
Brunei were crowned champions of the 1st Borneo Inter-Club Petanque Championship and the Sultanate went on to sweep the second edition of the tournament and the additional Borneo Cup Petanque Championship the following year in 2011.
The national team also won last year's edition of the Borneo Cup Petanque Championship and the Borneo Inter-Club Petanque Championship.
The national team would go on to defend the 2nd Borneo Cup Petanque Championship last year after raking in four gold and three silver in all the seven categories.
Sarawak finished second with two gold, three silver and two bronze medals while Sabah were third with one gold, one silver and five bronze.