Mazlan Hj Yahya (R) during an earlier training session while national petanque coach Somsak Juychunprasert looks on at the Petanque Pitch of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas. BT file
The national petanque team are set to go all out in a bid to defend their title at the 4th Sabah Double Open Petanque Championship next month.
"We are aiming to win gold in the tournament this year," said captain Mazlan Hj Yahya in an interview with The Brunei Times at the Petanque Pitch of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas yesterday during their training for the December 6-8 event in Kota Kinabalu.
"Brunei will send ten teams this year for the doubles event. The other national players that will join me in the tournament are Wirna Hj Mohd Yassin, Muhd Abdillah Tamin, while the rest are new players,"
"Last year I partnered Muhd Abdillah in the final, but this year, there might be some changes."
Mazlan and Muhd Abdillah also won gold during the first edition of the tournament in 2010 while Wirna won the singles event back in 2011.
"We are hoping to replicate our performance from last year and at the same time give the new players in the team the exposure they need," added Mazlan.
The last time the national petanque team competed was at last month's Asian Petanque Championship in Bali, Indonesia where both their women and men's team failed to get past the first round in their respective events.
Awg Badarudin Hj Murni, Masli Hj Mohammad Said, Hj Mohammad Sahmedeyn Hj Kahar and Hj Mohd Azlan Hj Awg Jali lost all three of their group matches in the men's triples category.
They started off the campaign with a 13-3 loss to Thailand. They went on to lose their second game 13-7 to Australia before falling 13-6 at the hands of the Philippines.
Meanwhile in the women's triples category, a team comprising of Hjh Syahrinawati Yahya, Muslinah Amran, Nurhafizah Abdul Razak and Norhani Hj Juna managed to notch one win but lost the other two matches in the group.
They defeated Mongolia 13-3 in their first match before losing 13-11 to Malaysia and 13-0 to China.
Three national players, Zunaidi Ali, Hj Hamidon Hj Hamid and Hj Yussof Hj Mohammad with national coach Somsak Juychunprasert will return to the country today following their 37-day training stint in Chiang Mai Thailand.
They left the Sultanate for Thailand last month to prepare for next month's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar.