The 3rd Brunei Darussalam Track and Field Open Championship is set to kick off tomorrow afternoon.
The tournament will run over two days, with a full day of action on Saturday at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
Brunei will be accommodating the Malaysian national team as well as teams from Sabah and Limbang in the Open category.
Malaysia will be sending their Southeast Asian Games (SEA) squad, which will give both 400m runners Ak Hafiy Tajuddin Pg Rositi and Maziah Mahusin a solid warm up before next month's Myanmar Games from Dec 11-22.
Sri Lanka, which confirmed their spot back in September, pulled out after the original dates of October 25-27 were moved to the present dates.
Despite Sri Lanka's absence, national athletics assistant coach Azmize Abdul Rahman feels having the other foreign participants will be good for the local athletes' motivation.
"It will spark fighting spirit to take on athletes from other countries," Azmize told The Brunei Times.
"It will be a big challenge for the Brunei athletes but it will be good sparing for them.
"It's another level of competition for the athletes because they will not only be competing amongst themselves - where everyone knows each other's capabilities.
"They have prepared well this time and I know they can do well, but things may be harder for them depending on the schedule.
"Most athletes who do both 100m and 200m may face a tough challenge as they are on the same day. We've been there before and if we are tired we can't perform well," he said.
Speaking on 2012 London Olympians Ak Hafiy Tajuddin and Maziah, Azmize said that the team will have to manage their star athletes' time on the track.
"It will definitely be useful for them and I am looking forward to it, but if they feel tired we will only let them run once," said Azmize.
"The SEA Games are coming up really fast and we don't want them to get injured," added Azmize.
Four other teams joining the Open category are Brunei-Muara, Belait, Tutong and Santa Monica Club.
The Open category will host 18 events for men and 17 for women, making for a total of 37 gold medals.
Each athlete is allowed to take part in three individual events; two track and one field or vice versa.
The championship will also see the Junior category (1997-2001) athletes step up to the starting blocks.
They will be joined by Brunei-Muara, Belait, Tutong, Sports School, Jerudong International School, Lambak Kiri Secondary School and Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien College.
The Junior category will see both male and female contestants compete in 11 events.