A martial arts contest at the BIMPNT-EAGA Friendship Games. Photo: Youtube.

Athletes from Malaysia’s Sabah province won the subregional BIMPNT-EAGA Friendship Games just completed in Brunei, defeating teams from several neighboring countries.

They beat sportsmen and women from Mindanao in the Philippines, Australia’s Northern Territory, plus rivals from Brunei and South Sulawesi in Indonesia.

The 10th BIMPNT-EAGA event – which stands for Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and  Northern Territory, East ASEAN Growth Area – was held in Brunei from December 6 to 9.

According to a statement released by the Indonesian Foreign Ministry on December 10, South Sulawesi won eight gold medals as well as 18 silver and 15 bronze medals, Xinhua News reported.

South Sulawesi was ranked fifth in the total medal rankings behind Sabah, Mindanao, the Northern Territory and Brunei.

The Indonesian Ambassador to Brunei Sudjatmiko hoped that the performance in Brunei will help prepare athletes for other sporting events such as the South East Asian Games and the Asian Games.

The first ever BIMPNT-EAGA Friendship Games were held in Mindanao, the Philippines in 1996.

The next biennial event will be held in Davao City in the south of the Philippines in 2020.