National petanque captain Mazlan Hj Yahya (R) and national player Wirna Hj Mohd Yassin (2nd L) of Brunei II pose for a group photo with Sarawak Petanque Association president Janudin Abdul Rahman (3rd R) at Sunday’s Bintulu Open Double Petanque Championship.Courtesy of Mazlan Hj Yahya
THE national petanque team finished second at the Bintulu Open Double Petanque Championship in Bintulu, Sarawak on Sunday.
National petanque captain Mazlan Hj Yahya and Wirna Hj Mohd Yassin lost 9-4 to hosts Bintulu in the final to settle for silver at the Bintulu Petanque Pitch. The duo booked a place in the final after defeating Team Seratok 13-3 in the semi-final, reaching the last four after edging Thailand 13-12 in the quarter-final.
Wirna and Rani Saidin represented Brunei in the previous edition of the tournament last year, where they only managed to finish in the top eight. “Last year I was competing at the 9th Pan Pacific Petanque Championship in Laos, so I didn’t compete in Bintulu… It is good to be back and winning something here,” said Mazlan yesterday.
“The match against Thailand was the toughest at the tournament and I think that game brought us far to the final… The team was made up of former Thailand national petanque players, and when we defeated them, that gave us confidence we could win the tournament,” he added.
A total of 89 teams from Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand competed at the annual tournament organised by the Persatuan Sukan Petanque Sarawak (Sarawak Petanque Association). Mazlan and Wirna walked away with a RM1000 cash prize, trophy and certificates at the one-day-tournament. “This tournament is going to be one of many we are going to be involved in this year as we are planning to join some competitions in Miri and Sabah in the coming months,” Mazlan continued.
“The standard of this tournament has improved over the years as now we have seen participation from Thailand, the strongest country in the region. “The competition was tough and it was a very good practice for us… We need more of these kinds of tournaments if we are going to prepare for the Asian Beach Games in Vietnam in September,” added Mazlan.
The Brunei Darussalam Petanque Federation (BDPF) are still waiting for an answer from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports to see whether the country will be participating in the biennial tournament this year. Earlier this month, Brunei competed at the 4th Port Dickson Triple International Open 2016 in Negri Sembilan, Malaysia, where the country’s triples team of Mazlan, Wirna and Hamidun Hj Abdul Hamid finished in the top-16 of the 259-team tournament.
Meanwhile, two national women’s teams finished in the top-32.