His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC), presenting the pin to Jaspar Yu Woon Chai during the ceremony yesterday.
LEFT: His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC), in a group photo with the three Olympians. – PHOTOS: AZROL AZMI
HIS Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC), presented Olympic pins to three Bruneians who participated in the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil last year.
His Royal Highness was greeted upon arrival by Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.
The ceremony began with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah by Pehin Khatib Dato Paduka Haji Emran bin Haji Kunchang followed by the presentation of Olympic pins to athletes Mohd Fakhri bin Ismail and Maizurah binti Abdul Rahim and badminton player Jaspar Yu Woon Chai.
The ceremony concluded with group photo session with the President of BDNOC.
In the previous London Olympic Games 2012, the pins were presented to the athletes in London during the games itself.
This time at the Rio Olympic Games 2016, the participant pins were delivered to BDNOC by the International Olympic Council (IOC) and IOC requested for a simple presentation ceremony to be organised by the BDNOC.
Olympians are thanked for participating in the games and congratulated on their achievements. Competing at the Olympic Games is a unique experience. As Olympians, they are a role model with the capacity to unite and influence people from around the world, the BDNOC said in a statement which was read out during the ceremony.
“Keep that Olympic spirit alive and uphold the Olympic values of Excellence, Respect and Friendship. Every country recognises Olympic participant pins, and athletes are reminded to proudly wear this pin everywhere they go,” the statement added.
In an interview with the Sunday Bulletin, 100-metre sprinter Mohd Fakhri said he felt honoured to receive the pin from His Royal Highness.
“Right now, I am focusing my attention on the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games to be held in Malaysia this year, the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2018 as well as the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. I am satisfied with my performance at the Olympic Games in Rio last year as I managed to go to the next round. It is a good experience to compete with the top athletes around the world,” Mohd Fakhri added.
Meanwhile, 200-metre runner Maizurah said she plans to change her event from 200-metre sprint which she participated in Rio to heptathlon which comprises seven events including jumping, throwing and hurdles.
“I hope to compete in the Philippines Open in April this year before the SEA Games. With the next Olympics in three years’ time, I pray to be able to compete and put up more efforts.
“I am not satisfied with my performance in Rio. But I did my best. My strength was actually in long distance run and I only had nine months to prepare for the 200-metre run prior to the Rio Olympics,” she said.
Badminton player Jaspar Yu Woon Chai said, “It is very nice to get this special pin, but we should not take it for granted but continue to work harder.
“At this moment, I am taking one step at a time and there are a few targets along the year. Now I am working on my skills including for the upcoming SEA Games. But it is still early to say whether I will be going to the SEA Games as we are in the process of selection. At this moment, I am also concentrating on the Commonwealth Games in 2018. After 2018, If I feel good, I will look forward to the Olympic Games in Tokyo which is still too far away.
“I am okay with the recent Olympic Games in Rio but I could have done better. If I am given another chance, I will definitely do better,” he said.
Also in attendance at the pin handing over ceremony were Dato Paduka Dr Haji Affendy bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS); Haji Mohd Noor Jusmin bin Haji Abdul Samad, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the MCYS; members of the BDNOC, the athlete selection and assessment committee and the National Sports Association as well as parents and families of the athletes.