Brunei see better medal count at Laos Games.
THANK YOU Temburong. The nation to some extent owes the eastern-most district in Brunei for the sole gold medal won by the Sultanate at the just-concluded 25th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Laos.
In November the head coach of the national pencak silat team Indonesia's Suhartono decided to 'station' his athletes in Temburong to help them fully focus on their preparation for the Laos Games.
The only one of the seven national teams that competed in Laos to take such a measure, the pencak silat team trained in Temburong for about a month, far away from the madding crowd and the distractions of town.
"They can't concentrate if they are in Bandar Seri Begawan, if they want to go back they will need to take a boat," Suhartono told The Brunei Times late last month. "If they are in Bandar, even though they are in the Games Village it is hard to control (their movement) so I requested permission from the Department of Youth and Sports to carry out our training in Temburong," added the 52-year-old Jakarta native.
The result a SEA Games gold medal.
Silat exponent Hj Md Khairul Bahrin Hj Duraman delivered the Sultanate's only gold when he topped the men's tunggal event last Saturday.
Hj Md Khairul scored 473 points while Thailand's Sarawut Comepoon earned 447 points to grab the silver. Youthiisinh Phout Thalaksa of Laos won the bronze with 432 points.
"I was expecting to win the gold medal because the two other competitors are newcomers," the 25-year-old Hj Md Khairul, who won the bronze in the 2003 Vietnam SEA Games, said last Saturday.
It took Hj Md Khairul 10 years as a member of the national team to finally achieve his dream.
"I'm so happy to win my first gold medal and I'm also proud to win Brunei's first gold here at the SEA Games," said Hj Md Khairul, whose best achievement in international tournaments were bronze finishes at the 2008 Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam and 2009 Asian Beach Games in Bali, Indonesia.
"I've been waiting so long for this moment and I hope I can win more medals and bring more honour to my country."
The pencak silat team too collected three bronze medals in Laos, making them Brunei's best performers at the Dec 9-18 regional meet.
The bronze winners were Amirul Ahat in the men's Class A 45kg-50kg division, Freddy Ashrul Choo in the men's Class G 75kg-80kg division and Khuzaiman Ahmad in the men's Class D 60kg-65kg division.
Suhartono, who has been training the Brunei silat team for two years, is naturally proud of his athletes.
"I commend everyone in the team for giving their best in this tournament. I'm proud of them and hopefully, they can bring more honour to Brunei," said Suhartono, who guided the Thai national team to four gold, one silver and five bronze medals during the 2007 SEA Games in Korat, Thailand.
Wushu gave Brunei their lone silver, coming from Faustina Woo Wai Sii and Lee Ying Shi in the women's Duilian (doubles broadsword and spear) event.
Woo and Lee, bronze medallists in the 3rd Asian Indoor Games, garnered 9.45 points in the women's Duilian (doubles broadsword and spear) event to share the silver medal with Vietnam's Vu Tra My and Vu Thuy Linh, who also got the same score from the panel of judges.
Singapore's Khor Poh Chin, Tao Yi Jun and Tay Yu Juan scored 9.46 points to clinch the gold.
Wushu also got one bronze in the men's Duilian (spear and wrestling cudgel) event after twins Isa and Ismi Bismi scored 9.20 points to finish in a tie with Malaysia's Ng Say Yoke and Yeap Wai Kin for third place.
Anousonne Sasabo, Bountang Song and Siamphone Kongmary of Laos earned 9.50 points to take the gold medal while Indonesia's Aldy Lukman and Johannes Sie scored 9.40 points to clinch the silver.
The karate-do squad turned in four bronze medals to the delight of head coach Okhida Simangasing and team manager Hj Sayed Mohammed Hj Sayed Othman.
The bronze medallists were Md Jamil Hj Abd Hamid (men's 84kg and above), Mainuddin Hj Mohammad (men's 84kg and below), Mohammad Fadillah Hj Sanif (men's 67kg and below) and Masdiana Hj Tengah (women's 50kg and below).
Masdiana's medal was inspiring as she had to fight with a rib injury.
"My biggest motivation was to win a medal," said the 28-year-old Masdiana after duplicating her effort in the 2007 edition held in Korat, Thailand. "I tried not to think about the pain, my focus is to win."
Hj Eddie Jofriani Hj Johari did not make it to the podium but his fighting spirit was also commendable. He suffered a deep cut above his right eye going into the final 10 seconds of his match against Vietnam's Pham Hoai Long, a silver medallist in the 2007 SEA Games, and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
"I'm happy with our performance here," said Okhida. "I'm proud of my athletes. All of them gave their best and that's the most important thing. They fought well."
In cue sports, His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, and Teo Chee Soon lost in the preliminary round of the men's nine-ball doubles event. They both lost their preliminary round assignments in the singles event.
In athletics, Md Yazid Yatimi Yusof finished sixth among seven entries in the men's discus throw but he was able to improve on his personal best.
Md Yazid registered 43.29 metres to better the 41.82m he posted to win the bronze at the 2007 Korat SEA Games.
"I'm sad for not winning a medal, but I was able to improve on my own record and that is something I can be happy about," said Md Yazid, who finished fifth among seven entries in the shot put registering a throw of 13.25m. The 22-year-old Md Yazid's personal best in the event is 14.28m which he recorded in 2007 in Korat, Thailand.
In taekwondo, newcomer Mohd Fathullah Mohd Taib was eliminated by Singapore's Jason Tan in the quarter-finals of the men's finweight category.
The national sepak takraw team, meanwhile, went down fighting at the group stage losing 2-1 to the Philippines in their final must win Group B match. The loss ended Ismail Ang, Mohd Shukri Hainen and Nur Alimin Sunggoh's hopes of making it to the semi-finals of the men's doubles.
Thailand still reigned supreme this year with 86 gold, 83 silver and 97 bronze medals. But the battle for the second and third spots were hotly contested among Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. Vietnam eventually emerged second with 83:75:57, edging Indonesia, to the third spot with 43:53:74.
The Brunei contingent, who are expected to arrive home at midnight tomorrow, finished 10th with 10 medals overall (one gold, one silver and eight bronze medals).
Chef de mission Hj Muhd Zamri Dato Paduka Hj Hamdani has described Brunei's achievement as a big success.
"I can say that this is a big success because we were able to surpass our medal output in the last SEA Games in Thailand," said Hj Muhd Zamri on Tuesday. Brunei won one gold, one silver and four bronze medals in Korat two years ago.
And for this achievement the athletes all of them and their coaches deserve a big round of applause. Juli Suharni Jaafar
Courtesy from Brunei Times