Prince Sufri kicks off Asian Games Fun Run
By James Kon

Some 400 children from 11 schools in Brunei Darussalam made a dash to the finish line at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium early yesterday morning as part of the official Asian Games Fun Run held in conjunction with the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006.

Gracing the event as guest of honour was His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, the President of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council. Also present were Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Major General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Awang Mohammad, and officials from the ministry.

Before the race, HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah and participants took part in an aerobic session. After the warm up, HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah sound the horn to signal the start of the race.

Organised by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council, the run involved children aged between nine and 14, who were divided into three categories - 11 to 12-years-old boys category, 13 to 14-years-old girls category and nine to 10-years-old boys category.

Md Dzul Waqar Qawiem bin Roslan of Sekolah Rendah Amar Pahlawan grabbed first place in the 11 to 12-years-old boys category, while Hendery Anak Nyambony of Sekolah Rendah Mata Mata came in second followed by Nasiruddin bin Nordin also from Sekolah Rendah Mata Mata in third.

In the 13 to 14-years-old girls category, Effie Lim Xin Hui came in first, followed by Nur Basitah Hamzah and Yapp Su Huan. The top three winners are all from Maktab Sains Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan.

In the nine to 10-years-old boys category, Wafiy bin Mesir of Sekolah Rendah Pulaie grabbed the top spot followed by Mohd Azwan bin Hj Tuah also from Sekolah Rendah Pulaie in second and Mohd Waiz Rhsyadidin bin Hj Sharun from Sekolah Rendah Amar Pahlawan in third.

HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah presented medals to the winners and certificates to participating schools.

"We are delighted that our friends at the Sports Federation and Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council have worked with us so successfully in organising the Asian Games Fun Run in Brunei," a message by the President of the OCA, Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al Sabah stated.

"Sport empowers us all to achieve and brings a sense of unity across a breadth of race, ethnicity, religion and gender, and the Asian Games Fun Run epitomises this aim and will help strengthen the OCA's objective of developing understanding and friendship throughout the continent."

The 2km run in Brunei Darussalam was part of a series of official Asian Games Fun Runs, which were held in countries across Asia and the Arab World over the past two years. The runs aim to promote the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006, which will take place from December 1 to 15.

The 15th Asian Games Doha 2006, organised under the auspices of OCA, is the second largest multi-sport event in the world after the Summer Olympics Games with 39 sports and 423 events played throughout the two-week period. - Borneo Bulletin (28th August 2006)