Through economy or sports, it’s a given that there are plenty of Bruneians out there that contributes to the country in their own special way. We at Sutera are introducing a new series showcasing those who are worthy to be called as Pahlawan Brunei (Brunei Warriors) that have made a remarkable impact to the country. This time, we will be taking a look at one of our very own Olympian that represented Brunei in the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games 2016. The field of sport is badminton, and if you haven’t guessed it – it’s Jaspar Woon Chai Yu, our Pahlawan Brunei.
For Jaspar, badminton started off as nothing more than a casual backyard sport at the age of four. It was only when his interest on the sport grew that his father sent him to have professional training. His father initially wanted to see how far Jaspar would go with his love of badminton, but never would he have thought that it would eventually lead his son to represent Brunei in the Olympic Games.
“When I first started badminton, I didn’t have any kind of expectations to where I will end up. It was when I went to represent Brunei in a tournament abroad, only then that I started to realize that I have the talent to go further. Ever since then, I have always dreamt of playing in the Olympics,” said Jaspar Yu. It was 2016 in Rio de Janeiro that he finally realized that dream.
Jaspar described the experience as being euphoric, being able to attend the biggest sporting stage ever alongside many other famous athletes from all over the world. The opportunity came after the Badminton World Federation awarded him the Tripartite Commissions Award for men’s singles event. He admitted that he felt very lucky to be able to represent Brunei on the grandest sporting tournament in the world.
“It’s the best feeling ever! How could I explain it? It’s the biggest sporting stage in the world with the best athletes. I’ve seen Neymar; I’ve seen Novak Djokovic; I’ve seen Rafael Nadal – the whole atmosphere there is simply world class. I thought that one Olympic is enough for me but not anymore. I hope to be able to join more in the coming years as well!” said the enthusiastic Jaspar Yu as he recalled his days in the Olympic Games.
As motivation goes, Jaspar only has one thing in mind – to be Brunei’s no.1 in his beloved field.
“If I were to be serious in badminton, I would rather go all out and be Brunei’s no.1. Either that or don’t play at all!” stated Jaspar.
“Badminton is a very fun and popular game in Brunei. We have a lot of young players coming into the sport and are continuously improving every single day. I hope they will train harder to represent the country in the regional and international stage in the very near future and surpass what I did,” said Jaspar as a final message to aspiring badminton players in the Sultanate.