Mohammad Yunos Hj Hamid (L)
practising in Guangzhou, China.
Mohammad Yunos will see action
in the individual sabre category at
the Guangda Gymnasium G today
National fencing coach Rocky Poerawinata insists the country should take it one step at a time at the Guangzhou Asian Games.
The sole fencer representing Brunei in the 16th edition of the Games, Mohammad Yunos Hj Hamid will see action in the individual sabre category at the Guangda Gymnasium G today morning.
Though Mohammad Yunos yesterday said he was targeting a run to the third round, Poerawinata feels it would probably be a good idea if his charge doesn't get too ahead of himself.
"To be honest with you, we are competing against some of the best in the world here. They are all very strong," said the Indonesian.
"We can only do our best and be grateful if we advance to the second or third round. We have to see who we are up against," he added.
Judging from the strong field of entries, Poerawinata has every reason to be cautious.
The one-day competition will see 23 participants divided into four groups, and among two of the more notable names in the entry list are China's Zhong Man and Thailand's Wiradech Kothny.
Zhong won the discipline during the 2008 Beijing Olympics while Wiradech took home gold during the same event at the 2007 Korat Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Thailand.
Mohammad Yunos also finished on the podium in Korat, combining with Ak Mohd Shah Al Musta'in Pg Hj Azahari and Huzaimi Abdul Kassim to win the Sultanate's first ever fencing medal at the SEA Games, a bronze in the sabre team event.
The Chinese is seeded third while the Thai is ranked 11th at the Asian Games.
"They will be the ones to watch out for," warned Mohammad Yunos.
"I have been training for four months ... I think I'm ready," added the 26-year-old.
Seeded 20th in Guangzhou, Mohammad Yunos is the lowest ranked in his pool but can take some heart from the fact that his group is the only one with five competitors. He will be competing against China's Wang Jingzhi (4), Iran's Shormasti Abedini (5), the Philippines' Walbert Mendoza (12) and Kazakhstan's Yevgeniy Frolov (13) in Pool 4.
In a bid to gain more experience and fine-tune his technique Mohammad Yunos went for a two-week training stint in Hungary in October, where he sparred with fencers from two clubs.
A month before that in September he was in Melbourne, Australia, for the Commonwealth Fencing Open Championships.
Held every four years, Mohammad Yunos qualified for the third round of the tournament contested in a knockout format.
Poerawinata added that Mohammad Yunos' training in Guangzhou has been going according to plan and that all the facilities in the Chinese city were excellent.
"I checked out the gymnasium today (Thursday) and it's beautiful," he said.
Hj Zainoren Hj Mohd Yusof, who is in charge of training the national fencers in the epee and foil disciplines, did not follow the pair to Guangzhou.
Courtesy from Brunei Times