BRUNEI collected their first gold medal in the 3rd Borneo Games yesterdy following the victory of Ahmad Taufiq M Murni and Ak Mohd Saiful Azri Pg Roslee in the nine-balls doubles event at the Billiards & Snooker Hall of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
The Bruneian pair defeated Wong Tang Yong and Jeremy Ku Yung Han from Sarawak 9-3 in their first match at 9am before beating Larry Hiew and Nealson Low from Sabah 9-5 in their next match to win the medal.
"I thought that we played better than usual," said a delighted Ahmad Taufiq in an interview with The Brunei Times after the victory.
"We were quite nervous for the first game but as we put in more racks, we just started picking up," added Ahmad Taufiq, who competed in the 2007 Southeast Asian Games.
"Sabah and Sarawak put up strong challenges for us but it's good that we managed to win it," continued Ahmad Taufiq, who made history in July when he became the first foreign player to reach the second round of the 119th Taiwan Elite Tour Tournament and the 227th Taiwan Professional Tour Tournament.
Ahmad Taufiq has set his sights on winning medals in both the eight-ball and nine-ball events.
Ak Mohd Saiful Azri said their initial victory in the first match boosted their confidence heading into their second match.
"We played well today (Monday). We sort of expected that we could win this event but we didn't feel overconfident knowing that the other competitors are tough as well," said Ak Mohd Saiful Azri.
"We'll just need to put up the same kind of performance and maintain it and hope that we can grab more medals from the singles events as well," added the 26-year-old Ak Mohd Saiful Azri.
The national cue sports coach, Lim Tat Hwe, was delighted with the performance of his players.
What made the gold victory sweeter was that this is the first event for cue sports after being introduced for the first time to the Games.
"They made some mistakes in their first game but picked up midway through the match to win allowing them to gain the confidence. In addition, they watched the game where Sarawak defeated Sabah and it gave them the boost needed to win," said Lim Tat Hwe.
Sabah settled for the silver medal after pulling off a 9-6 victory over Sarawak 9-6. They won the other match of the round-robin event at 12pm.
"Despite having only three teams for the event, it was not easy to win as the other teams put up a good fight to make things tough for us," added Lim.
When asked on what he thought of his players chances of winning more medals in the eight-ball and nine-ball singles events, Lim replied: "If they can keep it up at this pace, I believe that they stand a very good chance of grabbing more medals."
Today's matches will see Ak Saiful Azri take on Giam Ann Chai of Sarawak in table four for the eight-ball event at 9am. Ahmad Taufiq will go up against Lee Hee Sin of Sabah in table two also at 9am.
The Bruneians will then have their second matches of the day with Ak Saiful Azri taking on Sabah's Rashid Mambalusan in table four while Ahmad Taufiq will play David Tan Thiam Hua from Sabah in table two. Both matches will start at 3pm.
Courtesy from Brunei Times