BDNOC President HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah (R) talking to national athletes and Rio 2016 Olympics scholarship recipients Md Fakhri Ismail (2nd R), Maizurah Abdul Rahim (2nd L) and a representative of Tiara Shahril Anwar (L) after a signing ceremony for the scholarships between BDNOC, the athletes and their respective associations at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas yesterday. BT/Yusri Adanan
BDNOC President HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah (2nd L) in a group photo with Rio 2016 Olympics scholarship recipients Md Fakhri Ismail (2nd R), Maizurah Abdul Rahim (L) and a representative of Tiara Shahril Anwar (R) after a signing ceremony between BDNOC, the athletes and their respective associations at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas yesterday. BT/Yusri Adanan
THREE top Bruneian athletes were awarded Rio 2016 Olympics scholarships by Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC) yesterday.
Md Fakhri Ismail and Maizurah Abdul Rahim were chosen for athletics while Tiara Shahril Anwar was chosen for swimming.
A signing ceremony between BDNOC, the athletes and their respective associations - the Brunei Darussalam Athletics Federation (BDAF) and the Brunei Amateur Swimming Association (BASA) - took place yesterday at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, with BDNOC President His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah signing on behalf of BDNOC.
Kifli Hj Jaafar, who is also the head of the Sports Coaching and Development Unit (SCDU), signed on behalf of BDAF while BASA president Aziz Latip signed on behalf of the swimming association.
Also at the ceremony were the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awang Halbi Hj Mohd Yusof and Permanent Secretary I Dato Paduka Dr Hj Affendy Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Hj Abidin.
The scholarships are awarded by the International Olympic Council (IOC) through the Olympic Solidarity Programme, and according to BDNOC secretary-general Hj Zuraimi Hj Abdul Sani, the athletes will receive US$1,000 each month to help with their training from November 2015 to July 2016.
During the event, HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah stated that the athletes should not waste the opportunity given to them and need to show improvement every month until the 2016 Rio Olympics which will run from Aug 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, next year.
Talking to The Brunei Times yesterday, national 100m record holder Md Fakhri said that the scholarship will motivate him to strive harder in the sport.
"Alhamdulillah, I'm really happy to be chosen as I know it is not easy, and I'm sure this will motivate me to gain more success," he said.
"Hopefully this scholarship will help me with all my necessities such as training equipment and training and competing overseas.
"I'm looking to improve myself more and hopefully I can make another new national record there (at the 2016 Olympics)," said Fakhri, who set the current national 100m record of 10.58s at June's SEA Games in Singapore.
Fakhri is also first Bruneian to qualify for the heats at the IAAF World Championships - in which he competed with Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt in the same race - after he finished third with a time of 10.73s in the preliminary round at the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing last August.
Maizurah was also delighted to be included amongst the three athletes.
"I am very happy and grateful to be selected," she said.
"I will keep on training every day and hopefully I can break the national record in the future," added the 16-year-old.
The only athlete chosen from BASA, Tiara is currently the national record holder of the 50m freestyle after she recorded a time of 28.10s in the FINA World Championship in Kazan, Russia last August.