Brunei bags 38 medals at WCOPA

National 2 minutes, 14 seconds


TEAM Brunei bagged a total of 38 medals at the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) 2014 in Los Angeles.

The nine Bruneians in the team collectively accumulated 12 gold medals, 13 silver medals and 13 bronze medals between them in Hollywood yesterday.

Fifteen-year-old violinist Shian Li Esther Chiam had the biggest medal haul for Brunei with five gold medals in the 13 to 15-year-old Junior Instrumentalist category, outperforming her competition in the Classical, Contemporary, Original, Jazz and Open categories.

Chiam also won the Junior Grand World Champion Instrumentalist award on Saturday.

Meanwhile, three of the Bruneians – Joanna Kwan, Eden Chiam and Ruby Chong – received Industry Awards from WCOPA.

Besides receiving a USD$10,000 (about $12,400) scholarship from the New York Film Academy, Joanna also walked away with four silver medals and one bronze medal in various senior acting categories.

Eden, who is the sister of Shian, collected one gold medal, two silver medals and two bronze medals in the Junior Vocals category, while Chong received two bronze medals in the Senior Vocals category.

Two-time WCOPA performer Maria Grace Koh was deemed the overall senior winner for the Contemporary, Original, RnB and Rock categories in the Senior Vocals category, receiving four gold medals for her efforts.

She also received a silver medal in the Pop category and a bronze medal in the Broadway category. Koh performed her own songs in this year's competition.

Meanwhile, WCOPA Senior Acting category competitor Elizabeth Sim achieved two gold medals and three bronze medals. She was also named the overall senior winner for the Drama category within the Senior Acting category.

Senior Vocals category performers Norhidayat Hj Ahim, Bridget Ang and Adi Daini rounded up Team Brunei's total medal count with Norhidayat winning three silver medals and two bronze medals, Bridget winning two silver medals, and Adi winning one silver medal and two bronze medals, respectively.

Last year, three Bruneians went home with 14 medals, including seven gold from the championships.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, National Director of WCOPA in Brunei Jeffrey Cadayong said Team Brunei's wins proved that the talents in the country are overflowing, and that “we are on a par with the rest of the world”.

“We just have to continually develop (the talents of Bruneians) with the support of the government and the private sectors to flourish in the industry,” he said.

Cadayong of Prismworks Events Management also shared that the the nine Bruneians would be showcasing their talents in a public performance at the Jerudong Park Amphitheatre next month.

According to Cadayong, the Bruneian delegates will be returning to Brunei on July 25.

Thousands of applicants from over 40 countries auditioned for a spot to compete in the competition, stated the WCOPA website.

The Brunei Times