- Published on Wednesday, 01 August 2012 06:55
- Category: Culture
Chosen as Brunei's flag bearer at the London Olympics opening ceremony, whilst making history by becoming the first Bruneian female to participate in the 2012 games, nineteen-year-old Maziah Mahusin was chosen to compete in the 400 meter hurdles. Brunei, along with Qatar and Saudi Arabia, have sent women to compete in the Olympics for the first time ever. The event also marks the first time that all participating nations will feature women athletes.
With just two days left for Mahusin to compete, many of her fans and supporters of the Bruneian team have posted well wishes and messages of support via Brunei’s Olympic Committee’s official site and on social media, hoping that Mahusin or her team members will return to Brunei with a Gold medal.
Last week Aslan Media's Eman Jueid had the opportunity to speak to Mahusin in between her training sessions.
Aslan Media (AM): As the first Bruneian female to participate in the Olympics how does this make you feel?
Maziah Mahusin (MM): Well, I feel really honored. I did not expect this at all. I could not have imagined that I would participate in the Olympics this early but by far this is a dream come true. I am really happy and I really can't wait to run.
AM: How will your participation in the London games influence Bruneian women's interest in sports?
MM: So far they have really shown an interest in participating in sports in Brunei. I have received many calls and messages from women in Brunei that have mentioned that I really inspire them and that they want to be like me and one day also participate in the Olympics. This for me is a really big deal. I am really happy to hear that. This is a great success as I am really aiming to inspire the Bruneian women.
AM: Tell us a little bit about what inspired you to get involved in sports?
MM: Nobody inspired me to get into sports. I have always loved running — it has always been my passion. I really want to show Brunei and the rest of the world that Brunei also has potential athletes and for this reason I train hard daily.
AM: What do you aim to achieve at the Olympics? What do you want to take back from your experience?
MM: I don't aim for any medals. For me, I don't want to think about what will happen during the competition. I only want to focus on my training and focus on myself until that day.
For me, the Olympics are the beginning for my career as an athlete. My participation at the London games will help me improve myself to become a better athlete and I believe this opportunity can open many doors in the near future.
AM: How have you managed to deal with being the only female among your male colleagues?
MM: It is really lonely and really difficult for me especially during our training sessions as the men have different stamina than me. So I find it really difficult to train with them. However, I do manage to stay patient and go with the flow, working by their side. But I do feel that I need some female athletes to work with.
AM: What challenges do women athletes face in Brunei?
MM: The issue is that Brunei lacks female athletes. Sometimes females are discouraged by their parents to take part in sports as they would much rather them focus more on their education and another problem in Brunei is lack of motivation and support.
AM: The Olympics happens to be taking place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, How do you plan to balance the two?
MM: Well, I feel I can personally manage fasting throughout the day even though I am training and competing in the games. However, for the days I am unable to fast I can repay them back after Ramadan.By Eman Jueid, Aslan Media Content Manager
*Photo Credit: Courtesy of Maziah Mahusin
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