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COVID-19 Brunei: Waiting game as ASEAN School Games’ fate unknown (2020)

BY Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam’s student-athletes will have to wait for an announcement whether the 12th ASEAN School Games (ASG) will go ahead as planned in Dumaguete City in the Philippines amid growing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

The future of the multi-sport competition remains uncertain as it looks increasingly likely to be the last main multi-sport event in Brunei’s international sporting calendar this year.

However, the status of the competition is yet to be decided if it will follow the same direction of the Summer Olympics, Sukma Games and ASEAN University Games, all delayed, and the ASEAN Para Games cancelled.

The ASEAN School Games was scheduled to be held from November 7-15 this year following an announcement by the Philippines’ Department of Education last December. However, the COVID-19 outbreak has thrown the competition into serious doubt.

Organised under the authority of the ASEAN Schools Sports Council (ASSC), the ASG is an annual game for secondary school athletes from ASEAN member countries, with the objective of promoting ASEAN solidarity in youth through sports.

Brunei’s best performance in the ASG came in 2015 when they were hosts, winning one gold, one silver and three bronze medals.

During the previous edition in Semarang, Indonesia last year, Brunei won a silver medal through pencak silat exponent Mohammad Mahadir @ Danish Naqiuddin bin Mahmud in the men’s artistic singles.

Brunei was one of the original participants during the inaugural competition in Suphan Buri, Thailand in 2009 alongside four ASEAN countries.

Some 2,500 student-athletes were expected to compete in several sporting events including athletics, badminton, basketball, sepak takraw, swimming, table tennis and volleyball.

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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