The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi Hj Mohd Yusof (R) handing over the national flag to the country’s chef de mission to the Rio Olympics, Umi Kalthum Hj Abdul Karim, at the Green Room of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas yesterday. Picture: BT/Khaliq Roziman
Brunei will be represented by three athletes at the Rio Olympics; badminton player Jaspar Yu Woon Chai (L) and sprinters Md Fakhri Ismail (2nd L) and Maizurah Abd Rahim (C). The flag handing ceremony took place at the Green Room of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas yesterday with the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi Hj Mohd Yusof presenting the national flag to the contingent’s chef de mission Umi Kalthum Hj Abdul Karim. Picture: BT/Khaliq Roziman
HIS Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah has called on the country’s three athletes competing at the Rio Olympics to uphold the country’s name at the multi-sport extravaganza.
Sprinters Md Fakhri Ismail and Maizurah Abd Rahim will be joined by shuttler Jaspar Yu Woon Chai as they contest in the biggest tournament of their lives at the Aug 5-21 Olympics.
The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi Hj Mohd Yusof delivered the sabda on behalf of the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC) yesterday during a flag handing ceremony at the Green Room of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
“Even though our participation is fully funded by the IOC (International Olympic Council), it is not something to be taken lightly,” said HRH.
“In fact, it is a heavy responsibility because it is not only about focusing on competing in your events but also to be responsible in maintaining the good name of Brunei Darussalam.
“You must always take care of your discipline and avoid any prohibited substances as well as comply with the Anti-Doping act and regulations enforced by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA).
“Stay alert and look after your safety and health.
“Take this opportunity to gain knowledge and exchange ideas in the sport and utilise the Olympic Movement programmes organised by the IOC and hosts during the time of the Games,” continued HRH, who is also the president of the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD).
YB Pehin Dato Hj Halbi then presented the national flag to the contingent’s chef de mission Umi Kalthum Hj Abdul Karim.
This is the second time — in their fifth time competing — that the sultanate is sending more than one athlete to the Olympics.
It is also the second time Brunei will be sending a female athlete.
The runners will be competing under universality places which the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has opened to countries which have no qualified athletes.
Fakhri will contest in the men’s 100m while Maizurah will lace up in the women’s 200m.
Yu created history by becoming the first Bruneian badminton player to get a berth at the Games.
He was awarded one of the three Tripartite Commission Invitation Places by the International Olympic Council (IOC) in May to compete in the men’s singles event.
Yu, who is the lowest ranked player in the event at 407, has been drawn in Group D together with World No 12 Hu Yun of Hong Kong and No 34 Pablo Abian of Spain.
HRH also thanked the government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports for all their support given to the council.
The BDNOC president went on to express his gratitude to both Hashimoto Corporation (Pte) Japan and International Hala Recommended Association for their sponsorship. The contingent departed the sultanate yesterday evening.