THE country has done all it can for them, now its on the athletes to deliver.
A total of 73 Bruneians departed the Sultanate for Indonesia last night to compete at the 26th Southeast (SEA) Asian Games 2011 that will be hosted in Palembang and Jakarta.
The SEA Games will officially start on Nov 11 and end on Nov 22.
The national contingent comprise a Chef de Mission, an Assistant Chef de Mission, 10 secretariat officials, nine managers, 12 coaches and assistant coaches and 40 athletes.
Hj Abd Malik Hj Mohammad, the Acting Director of Youth and Sports, will be leading the national contingent as the Chef de Mission.
He expressed that the country has done their best to prepare the athletes to empower and arm them through the SEA Games.
In an interview with The Brunei Times, Hj Abd Malik said, "We've been planning and preparing them systematically and extensively in training. Training isn't restricted to Brunei we send them overseas to let them gain the needed exposure to reach the benchmark of their craft."
"Their approach in the sports become refreshed, to learn new skills and techniques from their time overseas."
He shared further that the athletes were sent to countries that would provide them with best experience.
The Wushu team was sent to China, the fencing team was sent to Hungary, the Karate squad to Japan, the Taekwondo team to Korea all to allow the national athletes to gain what they can in the best possible scenario.
The Chef de Mission also emphasised on the mental toughness of the athletes and how essential it is in achieving success.
Hj Md Malik shared that a psychologist was employed to tend to the athletes, to improve them in this area.
Asked on whether the Brunei representatives will bring back gold for the country, he was hesitant to set a goal.
He said, "Even though we have prepared our athletes however we can, other countries have been training hard for the past two years... But what I'm sure of is that they will perform well in the SEA Games."
And perform they will, with just two more days left to the official opening of the Indonesia event, the athletes now face a nerve-wrecking moment before they jump to action.
Words of encouragement were also given by the guest of honour, Datin Hjh Adina Othman, the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports who was present to see the national contingent off.
Also present was Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Hamid Hj Mohd Jaafar and Hj Ismail Pehin Orang Kaya Perkerma Setia Dato Paduka Hj Hasjim, the permanent secretary and the deputy permanent secretary at Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports respectively.
The national contingent will be competing in 11 sports at the Nov 11-22 event cue sports, petanque, sepak takraw, ten-pin bowling, football, fencing, karatedo, pencak silat, shorinji kempo, taekwondo and wushu.
The flag bearer has yet to be chosen but a list has been decided.
They will all be set to return on Nov 23.The Brunei Times