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Thursday, February 22, 2001

General - More media support needed: Ministry

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports has called for more media support on sport events in the nation. Its Director of Youth and Sports Dato Paduka Haji Talib Haji Berudin said there were insufficient coverage by the media on local sport activities.

"The ministry's non-stop sport programmes and activities to encourage Bruneians to join sport activities and develop their talents may be made more effective with more local media publicity.

"The print and electronic media are powerful avenues to motivate our aspiring sportsmen and sportswomen to excel in their respective fields. Media coverage on their activities will help to show public interest on them and in return will rekindle their passion to shine in their respective sport standard," Dato Paduka Haji Talib said.

Dato Paduka Haji Talib also said sport development takes time but it is not impossible for us to win more medals. However, it needs a concerted effort by various sectors especially the media.

The ministry's sports secretary Rosmadee Mohd Daud also said the media should not stir up any news that could harm sport development in Brunei and urged the media to be more responsible in their reporting especially on sensitive matters.

RTB International Relation Head, Haji Hussain Abdul Rahman agreed that the media has not done enough in covering local sport activities and development.

He also said the media could play a bigger role in promoting sports in Brunei.

"Sports like silat should be given more attention and coverage since it has the potential to win gold medals in the coming SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur."

Meanwhile, the ministry will soon distribute colourful leaflets for each sport in Brunei free to the public in line with its desire to gain more participation.

(By Azaraimy H. Hasib)

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Tennis - Searching for Brunei tennis stars

Following a lack of emerging talent in the last few years, the Brunei Tennis Association (BTA) has highlighted the problem areas that have hindered their search for the stars of the next generation.

Brunei's excellent tennis facilities have produced an increasing interest in the game and wide acceptance of the sport. Thousands of locals play tennis now as compared to the not-so distant past. However, the nation is yet to produce a player of international standard.

Many experts believe that there seems to be an air of complacency among the local associations and their top officials, their attitude being that as long as there is someone representing Brunei that will be good enough.

Unlike Malaysian sports federations which offer all their potential players a paid career and systematic years of programmes from childhood and provide every means necessary to establish the sport, the BTA does not seem willing to go the distance beyond the provision of courts and coaches. Hj Zuraimi, the BTA Secretary-General, pointed out the road-bumps that the association has faced in trying to produce international calibre players.

"We want to promote tennis and assure our players that it may not be just a hobby but a career for them," said Hj Zuraimi.

"We know scholastic education is important, so without disrupting their education, we love to sponsor their education in sports academically overseas and promote tennis at the same time, so the youngsters may come back and bring something for the nation.

"The problem is, of course, finance. The administration people will have no problems sponsoring them, however our players must attempt to achieve a good seed in the world ranking."

Billy Wong is the name that comes to mind when talking of emerging talent, a player that Hj Zuraimi holds in high regard and hopes can make his mark not only here but also abroad.

"Billy is in the standard, a quality player we have been looking for in years. He has fought against world number two and never met anyone lower than ranking number 10 in the international competitions," added Hj Zuraimi.

"Unfortunately his frequent matching with world's top ranking head to head may not do any good for his ranking position as he has a thick and wide wall to break through and difficult to prove his capabilities."

Billy will be leading the latest batch of Brunei junior players in next week's ITF Junior circuit group 4 tournament, a batch that includes Abang Adli, Ian Chok, Jason Tay and Tina Osman.

(By Azaraimy H. Hasib)

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Karate - SKA gearing up for success

Kota Kinabalu: In its efforts to prepare for Sukma 2002 and to enhance development in the state, the Sabah Karate Association (SKA) has lined up several tournaments, seminars and clinics in its calendar.

The first event is the Hong Kong Invitation Karate Championship on Mar. 2-5 and this will be followed by the Dutch Karate Open in Rotterdam on Mar. 9-11.

SKA vice-president Loh Beng Hooi said yesterday that the competitions would be participated by the Sukma trainees and the senior state squad.

"The competitions are vital for the development of karate because they serve as a venue for the exponents to accumulate as much experience and exposure as they can," said Loh. A senior karate championship will be held here on Mar. 17-18.

Loh said the Sukma squad had not been finalise yet and thus the trial selection on Apr. 7-8, followed by a Makaf Youth Karate Championship in Apr. 19-22, will see the selected trainees go through their paces to enable selectors to gauge their progress.

On May 8-9, Sensei Hayashi will conduct a kata seminar in Kuala Lumpur and this will be followed by a National Refereeing Course on May 10-11, in Kajang, Selangor.

Loh said he would be attending the Makaf Supreme Council meeting on May 11.

"The senior team will be taking part in the Pre-Sea Games National Senior Karate Championship starting May 12-13 at the same venue," he said.

He said only the best would be selected for the Australian Karate Open on May 19-20 but added it would depend on the association's budget.

"The most important event in our calendar will be the Kobe-Osaka International (KOI) World Cup in June 4-10 where Sabah is host to the prestigious event," Loh said.

He said more than 40 foreign countries, including Japan, are expected to take part in the event. The KOI has also been listed in the State's tourism calendar of events.

In the same month, three other events are listed: a self-defence camp in Keningau; SM La Salle Closed Karate Championship and the Sandakan Karate Open.

In July, the junior exponents will be taking part in the State Primary School Karate Championship (14-15) and the Kota Kinabalu District Primary School Karate Championship (27-29).

The most outstanding female exponents will be selected to represent the state in the Women's Karate World Cup in Tokyo, July 27-29.

He said the junior exponents are vital to ensure that karate in the state are developed continuously and thus the two championships – District Primary Schools Karate Championship in September (date to be announce later) and the 2nd World Karate Federation Junior Karate Championship in Greece in October.

In November, the seniors will have one more competition to participate before the year ends – the Asia Karate Federation Senior Karate Championship on Nov. 2-4 which will be held in Genting Highland, Pahang.

Source: Daily Express

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SAFA - Osman Jamal not standing

Kota Kinabalu: Osman Jamal reiterated his decision to withdraw from contesting the vice-president's post or to hold any position with the Sabah Football Association (Safa) here Tuesday.

"I will not defend the vice president post" he said when contacted yesterday.

For the best interest of Safa, I have also decided not to contest for the top post, " he said citing unity as his main reason.

Osman is among the three vice-presidents apart from Ansari Abdullah and Tony Voon who declined to contest or defend their posts.

If contest for the presidency post is allowed it would certainly create a division within the association and I would rather withdraw, he said.

Asked of his decision last year to contest for the top post, he said at one time Datuk Anifah Aman had indicated he would not seek re-election due to work commitments as the Primary Industries Deputy Minister in Kuala Lumpur.

"Because of that I decided to have a go so that someone could continue, especially at that time when the Rhinos are at its lowest," he said.

Osman received two nominations for the president's post during the association's AGM November last year but the meeting was aborted.

Asked if he regrets leaving Safa, he said he had given his best to nurture the state squad to be on par with other high ranking teams in the M-League last season.

In order to overcome the weaknesses he also helped the association in convincing some high profile and calibre players from West Malaysia such as Sharin Majid and K. Sambagamaran to come and play for Sabah.

In the supreme council meeting held over the weekend, Osman was quoted by a local newspaper (not Daily Express) as saying that he wanted to have a complete rest from football.

He said he would not only decline to defend his team manager's post but the vice-president's post as well.

On Monday, Ansari made a similar stand, saying unity was vital for the team to gain back its footing into the Premier One this season.

But at the same time, he also questioned the suggestion that while the top two posts should not be contested, this did not apply to the vice-president's post.

Alfred Lojitan, Murtaza Amirzad and Datuk Majin Haji Ajing are among those believed eyeing for the vice president's posts.

A suggestion was made that the posts of president and deputy president should not be contested.

Source: Daily Express

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Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Badminton - Brunei GP top seeds
Danish pair Peter Gade Christensen and Camilla Martin are the top seeds in their respective categories at the Brunei World Grand Prix Finals in Bandar Seri Begawan from March 28 to April 1.

The GP finals offer a prize fund of US$250,000 as well as seeding for the Seville World Championships in June.

In his bid to defend the title, Peter Gade has been drawn in Group A along with the 1999 runner-up Marleve Mainaky from Indonesia, Richard Vaughn from Wales and Luo Yigang from China.

With Taufik Hidayat noticeably absent from the tournament, Peter Gade's strongest challenge is likely to come from Indonesia's Hendrawan and the Chinese duo of Xia Xuanze and Ji Xinpeng.

Camilla, who has been unable to overcome the consistently strong Chinese field, is the top seed in the women's draw and will take on Zhou Mi in her group match along with Sweden's Marina Andrievskaya.

European champions Michael Sogaard and Rikke Olsen make it three top spots for Denmark, as they are the number one seeds in the mixed doubles event.

Lee Dong Soo and Yoo Yong Sung of Korea and Huang Nanyan and Yang Wei of China are the favourites in the men's and women's doubles respectively.

This is the third time that Brunei has hosted the prestigious tournament but along with Taufik's withdrawal, the field has also taken a major blow with the retirements of six-time champions Ge Fei and Gu Jun, the legendary Chinese women's doubles pairing.

The GP finals will take on a round-robin format in the first round with the players drawn into four groups, or two groups of four in the doubles. In the singles event, the group winners then progress to contest the semifinals.

(By Benny Ang)

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Darts - Holiday Lodge Darts Challenge

In conjunction with Brunei's 17th National Day celebrations, the Holiday Lodge will be organising its first Open Darts 'Double Masters' Challenge Cup tournament.

The tournament will be held from February 23 - 25 and will feature 40 of the top teams from Sabah, Labuan, Sarawak and Brunei.

Registration of players will be conducted at 7.00pm on February 23 at the Dewan Shahbandar, Holiday Lodge where preliminary rounds will take place.

The grand final will be on February 25 at 8pm at the All Star Sports Café and the winning team stands to win cash prizes as well as trophies.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Bowling - Bowling bonanza

Kota Kinabalu: Former state bowling coach Frederick Yap Lee Fui won RM50,000 when he bowled a perfect game during the Monday Nite Singles Bowling Tournament held Jan. 15 this year.

CPS assistant manager (Administrative) William Chung presented the cheque for the amount to Yap yesterday.

Frederick, 34, was instrumental in leading the state bowling team to win the bronze in the 1998 Sukma, in Selangor.

He said the National Sports Council would hold a selection trial for youth bowlers on Feb. 25.

Twelve youngsters, six boys and six girls, will be selected soon to form the Sukma bowling team.

Source: Daily Express

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Biking - New race date is July 28

Kota Kinabalu: Mountain bikers who have been training and practising for the 4th Mt Kinabalu Mountain Bike Race scheduled for March 18 now have another five months to prepare themselves physically and mentally because the event has been postponed to July 28 due to time factor and event clashes.

Sabah Mountain Biking Association's (Samba) Dr Fiona Lim disclosed this Monday after receiving confirmation that another event, Adventure Challenge 2001 is being organised by Tasman Lawrie in March.

"The association has decided to change the date to July 28 to give everybody more time," she said.

She said the time frame to organise such an important event was too short adding that Samba was keen on attracting more international participants for the event.

"Moreover, we have just appointed Tay Wee Let as the new organising chairman," she explained.

Race course director Tham Yau Kong who established the route in October last year has altered the course with more obstacles on the trail as suggested by foreign participants.

Tham said many participants, particularly foreigners, informed him that there should be more obstacles on the trail to make the race more challenging and interesting.

He said the 20km trail starts at Kg. Kiau junction, passing through a 13km bitumen track, six kilometre offroad track and one kilometre of obstacle track where bikers need to carry shoulder their equipment instead of riding it.

There are four categories for the race – men's open, women's open and junior boys' and veteran category. The distance for men, women and veteran is 20km while the junior boys will complete half that distance.

Apart from the excitement of the race, the race course also offers one of the best views of the Mount Kinabalu if the weather is clear.

The champions last year was Nor Effandy Rosli (men), Noor Asrina (women), Jali Lukas (junior boys) and Tasman Lawrie in the veteran category.

Meanwhile, two bikers have been identified by the Sabah Cycling Association as medal contenders for the Sukma; Jali Lukas, downhill cycling specialist who is making his second appearance in the Games and Stephanie Chok, who is currently training in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur in preparation for the Sea Games in September.

The final selection for the Sukma bikers is tentatively going to be held either end of March or early April.

Source: Daily Express

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Football - Case of double standard?

Kota Kinabalu: Safa vice-president Ansari Abdullah has declined nominations for the post at the coming annual general meeting on Feb. 24, citing unity.

He said unity in the association is paramount for the development of the state squad in its bid to return to the Premier One.

"I share the view of fellow vice-president Osman Jamal that unity in the association is vital in our efforts to return to Premier One this season," he said in a statement.

"I thank the West Coast and Tawau Zone for nominating me to retain the vice-president post," he said when contacted later.

Osman, when contacted, gave similar response as for not contesting the post.

It was reported that Osman, who received two nominations, was supposed to challenge Safa president Datuk Anifah Aman during the AGM in November last year. The meeting was aborted.

It was believed that a suggestion was made that the posts of president and deputy president should not be contested for the sake of unity.

However, it was understood vice-president and supreme council posts were open for contest.

Ansari questioned why the top two posts should not be contested in the name of unity but as the same time did not apply to the vice-president's post.

Among those believed eyeing for the vice-president posts are Alfred Lojitan, Murtaza Amirzad and Datuk Majin Haji Ajing.

Ansari, who has been with Safa since October 1994, said he deliberated over the matter after carefully taking into consideration factors from different angles before announcing his decision.

"I had given my best to Sabah football for more than six years and I think it is time that I make way for others to have the opportunity to serve the association," he said.

He had served Safa in various capacities including legal advisor, council member, secretary general and vice-president.

He said apart from Osman Jamal, Johnny Goh has also indicated he might not contest for the vice-president post. Tony Voon's stand is unknown, as he could not be contacted yesterday.

Meanwhile, Safa secretary Harry Baking said the three Rhinos players who failed the fitness test last Saturday (Feb. 17) will be given another go at the test to qualify them for the FAM licence to play. They are Suharmin Yusof, Mohd Jaya Kassim and Rezuan Aman Khan.

It was noticed last season that a few players were hardly fit and had to be replaced at half time.

Coach Ken Worden had he would do his best to guide the team back into the Premier One this season.

Source: Daily Express

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Tuesday, February 20, 2001

Torch run to be known as SEA Games Run  

KUALA LUMPUR -- The torch run for the 21st SEA Games here on Sept 8-17 will be now known as the SEA Games Run, said Youth and Sports Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Mahamad Zabri Min.

He said for greater impact, the torch would be flown across the South China Sea on board the Rakan Muda Experimental Aircraft after the run was completed in Sabah and Sarawak.

This would be another page of the nation's history in solo flight on board the Rakan Muda aircraft built under the ministry's Air Recreation Development Programme, he said after chairing the run's coordinating committee here Monday.


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