Mazlan Hj Yahya (C) and Wedy
Nurol Suzana Luon (R) with
their medals from the
pre-SEA Games trial pose for
a photo with the national
coach Somsak Juychunprasert.
Picture: BT file
Brunei's chances of bringing home medals from the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in December took a big hit yesterday after national petanque captain Mazlan Hj Yahya revealed he has been left out of the country's squad to Myanmar.
Despite efforts that saw the captain win a shiny silver medal in the men's singles event at a pre-SEA Games trial on Sept 18, he won't be at the tournament proper.
Returning from the Bintagor Petanque Open Championship in Sarawak on Sunday with gold after defeating Bintulu Club 13-8 in the doubles event final with Wirna Hj Mohd Yassin, the duo were let down when they found out their names were not in the list of athletes who will be flying the Sultanate's flag in the biennial competition from Dec 11-22.
Mazlan returned from the pre-SEA Games petanque competition in Napyidaw, Myanmar with Wedy Nurol Suzana Luon, who is also being left out of December's team despite winning bronze in the women's singles.
But it is the decision to leave out arguably the best and most consistent player in the sport that is truly baffling, with the multi-titled Mazlan who made his international debut at the last SEA Games in 2011 expressing his amazement as well.
"They have already announced the team for the SEA Games and Wirna and I will not be travelling to Myanmar," said Mazlan in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
"I am very upset and frustrated, but there is nothing I can do as it has been finalised.
"I am not sure what happened and I am surprised... But I am accepting the decision.
"Maybe this year is not my year. I've got to move on and continue to work hard for future tournaments," added the three-time Bintulu Open defending champion.
According to Mazlan, the country will only be represented by the trio of Zunaidi Ali, Hj Hamidon Hj Hamid and Hj Yussof Hj Mohammad in the triples event at the 27th edition of the tournament.
Despite the blow, the 39-year-old petanque veteran insists he is behind the team all the way.
"We are all like a family and I will be supporting our three players in the tournament," he said. "We will always be ready to help them out in terms of sharing experiences, knowledge and to act as sparring partners during training," continued Mazlan.