SEA Games gold medallists Faustina Woo Wai Sii (R) nd Lee Ying Shi during yesterday's appreciation ceremony. Picture: BT/ Yusri Adanan
South East Asian (SEA) Games women's duilian (duo sparing with broadsword and spear) gold medallists Faustina Woo Wai Sii and Lee Ying Shi were awarded $5,000 each at an appreciation ceremony yesterday, a fitting reward for winning the country's only gold medal in Myanmar last month.
The duo were each presented with a mock check for $1,500 from Butra Heidelberg Cement Sdn Bhd, who have been sponsoring the Wushu Federation of Brunei Darussalam (WFBD) since 2009.
The WFBD also recognised the two athletes' achievement by awarding them $3,500 each at a dinner held at the Tarindak D'Polo Restaurant in Jerudong.
After two editions of coming in second to Singapore at the 2009 Laos SEA Games and 2011 Indonesia SEA Games - and losing out by 0.01 points each time - Woo and Lee finally reached the top of the podium at the regional meet when they recorded 9.67 points in Myanmar and beating rivals Singapore by 0.01 points in the process.
Butra Heidelberg Cement's Corporate Department manager Stuart Lee noted that the sport has been doing very well since their tie-up five years ago and was happy the duo have finally seen all their hard work come to fruition.
"They definitely deserve to win gold. I've known them for the past four or five years and they've worked endlessly for it," Stuart told The Brunei Times.
"In the last two editions (of the SEA Games) they lost out on gold only by 0.01 points, but they didn't give up and trained very hard - and we are glad they won gold this time.
"What we are doing today is possibly the least of the many things we can do to say thank you and encourage them to push even further.
"I can say that we are happy and we will continue to support them and promote the sport," said Stuart.
Stuart hopes to attract more public to wushu in the next year or two through road shows and giving talks in schools to expose the sport.
"If I'm not mistaken there are about 100 athletes right now in their clubs," Stuart said.
"The more we get the better, so we can pick the best out of that," he added.
The Roslan brothers, Md Sufi Shayiran and Md Adi Sya'rani, were both awarded with a mock check for $500 from Butra Heidelberg Cement Sdn Bhd for bringing home a silver medal in the men's duilian event during the Sept 22 - Oct 1 3rd Islamic Solidarity Games in Indonesia. The WFBD topped up their prize money by giving the pair another $700 each.
Sufi was awarded another $300 for his bronze medal in the nangun (southern staff) during the August 8-11 7th Asian Junior Wushu Championship in Philippines.
Ang Gut Lian also received the same amount for her bronze medal in the Taijiquan (taiji fist) at the same tournament.
WFBD secretary general Calvin Ang Ju Ming expressed his thanks to Butra Heidelberg Cement Sdn Bhd for their generosity over the last few years.
"Their investment with us has actually been since the start of our federation," said Ang.
"Corporate sponsorship comes from them in a form of allowance for athletes when they go abroad as well as uniforms.
"It helps the athletes in the sense that they don't have to worry about financial problems," added Ang.