The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Dato Paduka Dr Hj Affendy Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Hj Abidin (C) posing for a group photo with ministry officials and members of the national sepak takraw team before their departure to the Asian Beach Games at the Brunei International Airport yesterday. Picture: BT/Sally Piri
THE national sepak takraw team are targeting to retain their men’s trio gold medal during the 5th Asian Beach Games which kicks off in Da Nang, Vietnam, tomorrow.
Brunei won their first-ever Asian Beach Games gold medal when they beat South Korea 2-1 in the last edition in Phuket, Thailand. “Our target this time is to defend the gold medal we won during the previous edition,” said the team’s manager Hj Brahim Mamun prior to the team’s departure at the Brunei International Airport yesterday.
“Basically, we have no pressure as we are in a group that we can expect to get through (to the next round),” he said. Brunei has been grouped with India and Nepal in group stage play. The six-man team represent Brunei’s sole contestants at the Asian Beach Games, where they will also be competing in the men’s regu event.
Hj Brahim said the team have been practising in Tungku Beach five days a week since February. Another official, Hj Zaman Hj Samat, an International Sepak Takraw Association Federation (Istaf) referee , expressed hope that the referees will be consistent and fully focused on the Asian Beach Games.
“We have to keep up with our quality,” said Hj Zaman when commenting on his hopes and expectations on the Games. Present to bid farewell to nine members of the Brunei contingent was Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture Youth, and Sports, Dato Paduka Dr Hj Affendy Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Hj Abidin.
Leading the contingent as chef de mission is Kifli Hj Jaafar, the Head of the Sports Coaching and Development Unit in the Department of Youth and Sports.
Kifli is also the president of the Brunei Darussalam Athletics Federation.