MALAYSIAN athletes and officials at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Laos have been told by their government not to treat the competition as a holiday.BRUNEI made it to the medals table of 25th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games yesterday after scooping three bronze medals in karate-do at the Chao Anouvong Stadium's Budo Centre here.
Mohammad Jamil Hj Abd Hamid stamped his class over Thailand's Santi Ruema 7-2 in the repercharge stage of the men's kumite 84kg and above to deliver the Sultanate's first medal.
"I'm very happy to win the bronze and give my country its first medal in the tournament," said Mohammad Jamil, who lost to the taller Pham Quang Duy of
Vietnam 2-4 in the quarter-finals. Pham displayed his superiority in the first 30 seconds of the match when he surged to a 3-1 lead and a minute later made it 4-1. Mohammad Jamil made several attempts to score but he could only trim the gap to 2-4 with 10 seconds remaining.
Against his Thai opponent, Mohammad Jamil relied on his mental ability.
" I watched his (Santi) semi-final match so I knew how to handle him. I was able to adjust to his style and I used my brain to beat him," said the 23-year-old Mohammad Jamil, who saw action in the team kumite two years ago in Korat, Thailand.
Brunei's second bronze came from SEA Games veteran Mohammad Fadillah Sanif in the men's kumite 67kg and below.
Mohammad Fadilah, silver medallist in the 1999 Brunei SEA Games, lost to Vietnam's Nguyen Ngoc Thanh 2-6 in the quarter-final round but he rebounded in the repercharge stage to beat Cambodia's Sovan Kiri 9-1.
"My Vietnamese opponent was very good. He also beat me the last time we met," said the 30-year-old Mohammad Fadilah, who lost to Nguyen in the 60kg and below final in the 2007 Phuket Open.
Mohammad Fadilah had no trouble dealing with Kiri, who competed in the 55kg and below during the 2003 SEA Games in Vietnam.
"I was confident against the Cambodian. I think that I'm better than him," said Mohammad Fadilah, who allowed Kiri to score at 1-2.
"I'm glad to win a medal again," added Mohammad Fadilah, who won the bronze medal in the 60kg and below and silver in the Open category during the 2003 Vietnam SEA Games. He was a bronze winner in the 60kg and below in the 2001 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
Mainudin Hj Mohammad, one of the newcomers in the national team, grabbed Brunei's third bronze medal when he defeated Cambodia's Eang Kakada 11-3 in the repercharge round of the men's 84kg and below.
In the quarter-finals, Mainudin lost to Indonesia's Hendro Salim 0-4.
Only Dk Nurleha Pg Abd Rahman, who was entered in the women's 55kg and below category, failed in her bid for a podium finish.
But not much was expected from Dk Nurleha, who is also a first-timer in the SEA Games.
Dk Nurleha defeated Myanmar's Thin Thin Thu Zar in the quarter-finals but lost her semi-final match against Marna Pabillore of the Philippines, who beat Indonesia's Nur Hadiyanti Fitrianingsih in the other quarter-final match.
Pabillore was a silver medallist in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. She was also a gold winner in the 2005 Manila SEA Games.
"Dk Nurleha gave a good fight. As a newcomer, she's good. She did her best," said David Lay, the Philippine karate-do team national coach, who admired the Bruneian's fighting spirit.
"Marna is a seasoned fighter. She's more experienced and she's a medallist in the Asian Games and SEA Games," said Lay, a many-time medal winner before shifting to coaching a few years back.
Okhida Simangasing, Brunei's karate-do national team coach, was satisfied with the performances of his athletes.
"Overall, I am happy that we won three medals today (Friday). Hopefully, we can win more tomorrow (Saturday)," said Okhida.
"Dk Nurleha was up against a very good exponent. She's still new and this is her first time to compete in the SEA Games. She did well," he added.
Seeing action today are Mohammad Fadillah in the men's 67kg and below category, Mohd Fida'iy Hj Sanif in th men's 60kg and below category, Hj Eddie Jofriani Hj Johari in the men's 55kg and below category and Masdiana Hj Tengah in the women's 50kg and below category.
Mohd Fathullah Mohd Taib, Brunei's lone entry in taekwondo, is also competing today in the finweight division. He will face Singapore's Tan Junwei Jason in the quarter-finals.
"I'm a little nervous as this is my first time in the SEA Games but I am well-prepared," said the 19-year-old Mohd Fathullah after yesterday's weigh-in at the Booyong Gymnasium at the National University in the Lao capital.
Courtesy from Brunei Times