Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Para athletes Game for London 2012
Tuesday, 21st December 2010

The Brunei contingent to the Asian Para Games in Guangzhou China get a warm welcome upon their arrival at Brunei International Airport yesterday. It was a medal-winning journey, with their haul of two silver and two bronze medals. Their medal haul in the Chinese metropolis only serves as a warm-up, as they are now setting their sights on winning more during the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. Picture: BT/Saifulizam

The Brunei contingent to the Asian
Para Games in Guangzhou, China,
show off their medals upon their
arrival at the Brunei International
Airport, in Berakas, yesterday.
Picture: BT/ Saifulizam

The Sultanate's Guangzhou Asian Para Games contingent have had a rosy start to a medal-winning journey after their recent haul of two silver and two bronze medals in China and are now setting their sights on winning more during the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

The medal haul in the Chinese metropolis only serves as a warm-up as the Sultanate prepares for the grandest stage in England.

Supporters thronged to the Brunei International Airport to celebrate the Sultanate's Asian Para Games athletes upon their return yesterday.

Dato Paduka Hj Jemat Hj Ampal, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, was in attendance to welcome medal winners Shari Hj Juma'at, An Nur Haiyyu Yusof, Hirdan Hj Abd Kadir and Norhensan Hj Mataha.

An Nur Haiyyu bagged Brunei's first medal at the Aoti Main Stadium in Guangzhou, China. The 25-year-old athlete clocked 15.03 seconds to grab silver and erase her former personal best of 15.22s on Wednesday.

On Friday, Norhensan Hj Mataha picked up the second medal in the F12 women's discus throw. Her throw of 18.3 metres, which erased her personal best of 18.05m, clinched Team Brunei's first bronze in the Chinese metropolis. She also improved her personal best in the F12 shot put from 7.6m to 6.97m.

Shari and Hirdan concluded the medal haul on the final day of the seven-day tournament on Saturday.

The former threw a distance of 26.28m in the F44/55/56 men's javelin throw to grab silver. His personal best of 25.17m is the current Asean Para Games record notched in Kuala Lumpur last year.

He also recorded personal bests in the F54/55/56 men's discus throw (20.71m) and the F54/55/56 men's shot put (7.83m).

Meanwhile Hirdan took a spot on the podium after he captured bronze with a throw of 24.78m in the F44/55/56 men's javelin throw, also erasing his personal best of 24.63m which captured the bronze in Malaysia last year.

"Speaking as the chef-de-mission, I'm really satisfied with all the athlete's performance. They managed to clinch the medals and for those who didn't, broke their personal best. Should this be the Asean Para Games, I believe that they would all have been able to clinch a medal in their respective disciplines," said Hj Rosmadee Hj Md Daud yesterday.

"It was a good outing when taking into account the external factors that could have affected their performance like the uncertain weather. The athletes trained in temperatures around 28 degrees Celsius in Brunei. Yet during the competition, the temperature went as low as two and five degrees Celsius which the athletes found hard to get used to. Despite the setback, however, the high commitment the athletes put into their respective discipline enabled them to break their personal best," he added.

Nonetheless, having the experience of competing in the cold weather will be beneficial for the athletes when London comes calling.

However, next in line for the para athletes are the 2011 Arafura Games in Darwin to be held in May, and the 2011 Asean Para Games in November at Surakarta, Indonesia.

"I hope they will continue to train hard. I also hope that we will be able to get a coach that can further boost their performance," said the chef-de-mission.

The outing in the Chinese metropolis surpassed expectations, with the contingent initially aiming for two medals at the start.

Even silver-medallist Shari was surprised at his achievements.

"It was unexpected especially when taking into account the number of athletes I was up against, whom had previously competed at the Paralympics," said the 43-year-old.

Courtesy from Brunei Times