SINGAPORE: Maziah Mahusin’s anxious wait is over and her dreams are about to be realised, the 400m hurdler has been granted a universality place at the London Games and will proudly become Brunei’s first female Olympian.
The tiny Southeast Asian country, nestled on the north coast of Borneo in the South China Sea, had said in March they wanted to send Maziah to the Games and break away from a trio of countries yet to take a female athlete to an Olympics.
However, with Maziah’s personal best clocked at more than 10 seconds outside the global athletics governing body’s ‘A’ standard qualifying time, she endured an agonising wait to see if the IAAF would grant her an invite to compete.
Last week the news came through... she was heading to London.
“I feel deeply honoured, it’s a dream come true, even though it’s under the concept of universality. I am happy to see the flag of Brunei Darussalam being hoisted in London,” Maziah said in an interview.
“I was very nervous and at the same time anxious to find out who will be the first female athlete to represent Brunei. I’m even more nervous now because the Olympics are less than 21 days away.”
Zuraimi Abdul Sani, secretary general of the Brunei Olympic Council (BOC), said that they planned to have Maziah carry the country’s flag at the opening ceremony in London on July 27.
“Of course we are proud,” Zuraimi said. “The members of the public are happy to hear that Brunei is taking part in the Olympic Games, especially with the sending of a woman to represent the country.”
Maziah’s inclusion in the three-person team leaves Saudi Arabia as the only country yet to send a female athlete to the Games or committed to sending one to London.
Gulf neighbours Qatar will take three female athletes to London, the first time they will have competitors of both sexes at the Olympics. — Reuters