FOR having a formidable squad, Brunei can be confident of dominating pencak silat in the 3rd Borneo Games which kicks off today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
"Why, Brunei of course!," was the quick reply of Hj Abd Razak Hj Md Dali, the manager of the national pencak silat team, when asked what team will dominate the tournament which the Sultanate is hosting.
"Kalimantan will also provide a challenge but this is the first time pencak silat is being contested at the Borneo Games, and I am sure that we can perform.
"The athletes are feeling good and are all looking forward to the tournament," added Hj Abd Razak.
Organising the Borneo Games for the first time, Brunei is hosting six pencak silat events and Hj Abd Razak is expecting the country to finish on the podium in every category.
"My target is two gold, two silver and two bronze medals," he said confidently.
"I think our boy's triple and girl's triple teams can win gold," he added.
Seeing action in the boys' triple event are Abd Malik Hj Ladi, Hj Junaidi and Md Amin Ali.
The while Norleydiana Hj Raya, sister Norleyharyanti Hj Raya and Nurul Aimi Amalina Zanidi are entered in the girls' triple division.
Eddy Ratno Hj Abu Bakar is competing in the boys' individual and Siti Noradiyatul Amal Roslan is joining the girls' individual.
Muhd Nur Fadzillah Hj Metussin and Muhd Fadzil Afifi Hj Md Hussin will team up in the boys' double event while the pair in the girls' double has yet to be named.
The silat exponents have been honing their skills since August. They moved early this month to the Games Village at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas where all the members of the Brunei delegation are training.
The members of the silat team are all accomplished with the creme of the crop being Norleydiana.
Norleydiana brought honor to the country by winning the gold medal in the girls' triple event during the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam six years ago.
Competing with sister Norleyermah in the 3rd Asian Indoor Games held from October 29 to November 8, Norleyharyanti teamed up with Nurul Aimi Amalina to capture the silver medal in the women's team triple event. It was the country's best finish in the tournament hosted by Vietnam.
Abd Malik and Md Amin are also medal contenders. They captured the bronze medal in the boys' double event during the Singapore Open two years ago.
Siti Noradiyatul Amal was also a medalist of the 2007 Singapore Open, clinching the bronze in the tanding (challenge) event in the junior category.
The rest of the exponents may also pull off some surprises as they have several national achievements to their name.
The team is being trained by Pg Hj Mohd Shahepul Radin Pg Hj Tajudin. He is assisted by Hj Adanan Aha.
Courtesy from Brunei Times