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Brunei obstacle race athletes leave for SEA Games
Monday, May 1, 2023
Permanent Secretary (Sports) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Pengiran Mohd Amirrizal bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud with the contingent at the Brunei International Airport. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS

The first batch of the Brunei Darussalam national contingent to the upcoming 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games left for Phnom Penh, Cambodia yesterday.

The contingent comprised five obstacle race athletes – Muhd Hasnal Husna bin Ahmad; Muhammad Adid bin Abdul Kadir; Awangku Muhd Nur’Nazirul Mubin bin Pengiran Roslan; Awangku Muhammad Habibullah bin Pengiran Haji Jufri; and Azizil Anwar bin Mosli.

The team is accompanied by Head Coach Pengiran Muhammad Rafie bin Pengiran Saiful Redzalli and medical official Thiru.

Permanent Secretary (Sports) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Pengiran Mohd Amirrizal bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud bade farewell to the team at the Brunei International Airport.

Also present was 32nd SEA Games Chef de Mission Zainab binti Haji Morsidi and Assistant Chef De Mission Umi Kalthum binti Haji Abdul Karim. The competition will be held at the Chroy Changvar International Convention and Exhibition Center car park on May 3.

Muhd Hasnal Husna and Awangku Muhd Nur’Nazirul Mubin will compete in the men’s individual event while the rest of the team will participate in the men’s relay event.

The athletes underwent the last phase of their preparations in the Philippines ahead of the prestigious regional multi-sport meet.

“We went back to the Philippines after the Ninja World Cup Asia 2023 to continue our training,” National Coach Pengiran Muhammad Rafie told the Bulletin.

He added, “We went to Manila twice; the first time was early April for five days and for the second time we we there for six days.

“We trained mostly on the obstacle race course (OCR) SEA Games setup. We were also invited by the Pilipinas Obstacle Sports Federation (POSF) to join the 3k OCR competition.”

The team managed podium finishes with Awangku Muhammad Habibullah winning first place and Awangku Muhd Nur’Nazirul Mubin clinching second place in the 20 to 29 Age Group category at the Bridgetowne Obstacle Park in Pasig.

The coach said, “We maintained the intensity of the training there the whole time.”

The athletes performed with the same facilities and specifications to the setup which will be used at the SEA Games.

Pengiran Muhammad Rafie said they will find out today who they will be drawn against.

The head coach added that the Philippines are the strongest participants having experience and also introduced the sport at the SEA Games they hosted in 2019.

“But, Malaysia and Indonesia are a close second and third.

“We’ve trained with them when we were in Manila together so we were able to learn more things, tips and tricks from them.”

Asked on the team’s hopes and expectations, “We hope to do our very best. It is our first time joining such an international event and an official event for OCR.”

The national coach also expressed their hopes of securing a top-five finish while a podium finish will be seen as a bonus.

“We hope to get into the top five looking at our track record for the past few weeks in Manila.

“But the most important thing is we hope to get more experience and hope to be part of the team for the 2025 SEA Games.” Besides the main medal contenders, Cambodia and Laos are the underdogs just like Brunei though Pengiran Muhammad Rafie will be wary of their threat.

The newly-assembled team will also be looking to include female athletes in the future.

Meanwhile, the second batch of the national contingent is due to leave the country tomorrow.

Courtesy from Borneo Bulletin