The Brunei team at the 4th
Borneo Inter-Club Petanque
Championship, and the 3rd
Borneo Cup Petanque
Championship held in
Bintulu, Sarawak. Picture:
Courtesy of Mazlan Hj Yahya
Brunei failed to defend their titles at 4th Borneo Inter-Club Petanque Championship and the 3rd Borneo Cup Petanque Championship held in Bintulu, Sarawak recently.
Expectations were high that the team would be able to retain both titles, but the lack of regulars such as captain Mazlan Hj Yahya, Wirna Hj Mohd Yassin, Pg Hj Asmalina Pg Hj Jaya and Wedy Nurol Suzana Luon who sat out to compete at a Southeast Asian (SEA) Games petanque competition in Myanmar proved the difference.
A win in the Borneo Inter-Club Petanque Championship would have been their fourth in a row after claiming the previous three editions in 2010, 2011 and 2012 while victory in the Borneo Cup Petanque Championship would have made it a hat-trick.
The 80-team 4th Borneo Inter-Club Petanque Championship which kicked-off on Sept 14 saw all three Bruneian representatives finish in the top-16.
Mohd Abdillah Tamin and Zunaidi Hj Ali lost 13-9 to a team from Sibu Sarawak while Hj Mohd Azlan Hj Jali and Masli Hj Mohd Said fell 13-8 to Bintulu A.
The duo of Abdul Wahab Shahrin Besar and Hail Adly Mohd Said lost 13-12 to Bintulu B.
The other Bruneian teams at the 3rd Borneo Cup Petanque Championship managed five silver medals and one bronze on the following day, finishing second behind champions Sarawak who stormed to gold in all categories offered.
"We are disappointed we couldn't defend the titles this year," admitted manager Hj Karim Hj Ahmad, "but there are a number of positive things that can be taken out of this."
"We were without our stronger players in the competition such as Mazlan, Wirna and the others, but it was a good experience for the other new athletes.
"For some of them, it was their first time competing outside the country and I hope that the experience will help them improve," he added when met during the team's training session at the Petanque Pitch at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas yesterday.
This year's edition of the tournaments was the first time they were held outside Brunei after the country hosted it for three consecutive years from 2010 to 2012, and enjoyed glory in each instance.