Dk Nurul Nabilah Pg Hj Mohd Salleh Chuchu with her silver medal in the women’s singles. Picture: BT/Ridhwan Kamarulzaman
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, YB Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awg Halbi Hj Mohd Yusof (R) presenting the national women’s fours team with their trophy after winning their event. Picture: BT/Ridhwan Kamarulzaman
BRUNEI finished third at the 11th Asian Lawn Bowls Championships after the men’s fours team lost to India in yesterday’s final to finish with one gold, two silver and two bronze medals.
Malaysia finished as overall champions after winning five gold, one silver, and one bronze medals followed by Hong Kong with one gold, two silver and three bronze medals.
Despite Pg Hj Mohd Salleh Chuchu Pg Hj Tuah, Mohd Huzaimi Mohd Salleh, Mohd Israt Amiruddin Hj Abd Ghani and Mohd Ali Hj Bujang’s 20-12 defeat at the Lawn Bowls Arena of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas, the country can take some consolation in the fact that this year’s display at the 11-team tournament was their best-ever at the competition.
The country’s previous best achievement came in 2007 when Brunei hosted the event and won one gold in the men’s pairs through Hj Naim Brahim and Abdul Rahman Hj Omar. The sultanate won its first-ever gold medal in the women’s fours event on Wednesday when the team of Hjh Amalia Hj Matali, Nur Uzma Khadijah Ibrahim, Suhana Hj Md Daud and Hjh Ajijah Muntol edged powerhouses Malaysia 15-14.
Dk Nurul Nabilah Pg Hj Mohd Salleh Chuchu won Brunei’s other silver medal when she fell 21-18 to Malaysia’s two-time Commonwealth Games champion Siti Zalina Ahmad. The duo of Hj Naim and Mohd Israt Amiruddin Hj Abdul Ghani then claimed third in the men’s pairs event while the trio of Abdul Rahman, Ampuan Ahad Ampuan Hj Kassim and Pg Hj Tengah Pg Hj Tajuddin also finished with bronze in the men’s triples event on Thursday.
Nur Uzma Khadijah felt that their campaign gave them a boost of confidence for their next tournament. “We won the only gold medal for the country, and that has definitely given us a boost as we are aiming for another gold in our next tournament,” said Nur Uzma in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday. “As what Hjh Amalia said before when we beat Malaysia, we never gave up despite trailing 8-1 in the fifth set and we marched on," she added.
“We have waited for 15 years to beat them (Malaysia) and winning this final was definitely the highlight of our tournament,” she said. Nur Uzma also praised Dk Nurul Nabilah’s valiant effort after securing silver. “Dk Nurul Nabilah was up against a heavy weight opponent from Malaysia and she gave her a strong challenge and it was a very close game,” she said.
“We can definitely expect Dk Nurul Nabilah to improve, and one day she will have her name in the top too, InsyaAllah,” she added. Present as the guest of honour at the closing ceremony to present the medals to the winners was the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awang Halbi Hj Mohd Yusof.
The Vice President of Asia Lawn Bowls Association cum President of Brunei Darussalam National Lawn Bowls Association (BDNLBA) Dato Paduka Malai Hj Ali Malai Hj Othman along with officials from the ministry also attended the closing ceremony.
The ceremony ended with the handover of the Asian Lawn Bowls Championships’ flag to its next host country, India.