KUALA LUMPUR – The Brunei polo team gave the thumbs up for the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games (KL2017) polo venue after their first training on Malaysian grounds today.
Prince Abdul Mateen Bolkiah, 26, and his sister Princess Azemah Ni’matul Bolkiah, 33, who arrived last week for the upcoming SEA Games (KL2017) had praised the quality of the venue provided for the games.
“The venue is very nice, very traditional. It is different from other venues that we have been to,” he said during a special interview with Bernama at the Royal Selangor Polo Club (RSPC) on 16 August.
His sister, Princess Azemah added that the Brunei polo team sent for the SEA Games was a new team and competing here for their first experience abroad.
“We’re looking forward to the competition as all teams consist professional players. It is our first experience joining the SEA Games and I think other teams are very competitive,” she said.
Both the professional polo players also expressed hope that weather would be fine during the competition and throughout the games.
“If it rains, it is going to cause some hindrance. If it rains heavily, it will be dangerous. If it does not rain, it would be safe to play,” she said.
Prince Abdul Mateen is known to the public as a keen sportsman while his elder sister, Princess Azemah Ni’matul is one of two female polo players in the KL2017 equestrian polo event.
The opening polo match between Malaysia and Brunei on Aug 22, at the Putrajaya Equestrian Park, will see Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin facing off against a number of royalties from Brunei.
On the matter, both Princess Azemah and Prince Mateen said that whoever would be their opponent, a game was still a game.
“If you get out there as a sportsmen, we leave everything off the field,” said Princess Azemah while Prince Mateen added “It does not matter if they were royalties, it is going to be just a polo game.”
During the training at RSPC, also present was Prince Jefri Bolkiah, the brother of current Brunei Sultan, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah who is also a professional polo player.
RSPC will be the alternative venue if the conditions at the Putrajaya Equestrian Park are not conducive due to rain.
On Sunday, the dashing prince caused a stir at the games venue when he emerged from his team’s tent after the Brunei equestrian polo team’s practice match against Singapore on Sunday evening and walked over for an impromptu meet and greet session with members of the public.
As can be seen in the viral video making the rounds on social media, the crowd went wild with female fans heard cheering and screaming as the affable prince shook hands and posed for selfies.