A Brunei exponent (right) in action
in Guangzhou yesterday. Picture:
Brunei's karate-do exponents failed to live up to their potential at the Guangzhou Asian Games yesterday.
Ever since the Sultanate's debut at the 1990 edition of the Games in Beijing, three of the four bronze medals the country had won had come from the Japanese martial-art and much has been expected from this year' crop of four athletes. But judging from yesterday's pair of early defeats at the Guangdong Gymnasium, the signs do not look promising.
Competing in the men's kumite -60kg division, 21-year-old Muhammad Fida'iy Hj Sanif lost 3-0 to Nepal's Binod Maharjan in his first match which was in the Round of 16.
Though his older brother Mohammad Fadillah got a bye into the second round (quarter-finals) of the men's kumite -67kg category, it was to be of little joy as the 31-year-old Bruneian fell 2-1 to Syria's Karem Othman.
National karate-do coach Hj Okhida Simangasing was understandably less than impressed with his charges.
"Muhammad Fida'iy was too careful. He didn't perform as usual," he told The Brunei Times yesterday.
"His confidence was alright, he was just too ... cautious.
"Mohammad Fadillah was always under a lot of pressure, and after he was attacked his defence was weak," added the Indonesian of the bronze medallist at last year's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Laos.
Fadillah had also won silver at the 1999 SEA Games in Brunei.
Kazakhstan's Darkhan Assadilov beat Jordan's Bashar Al Najjar 3-0 to win gold in the men's kumite -60kg class while Indonesia's Donny Dharmawan and Vietnam's Tran Minh Duc were both awarded the bronze.
Another Kazakhstani, Rinat Sagandykov, took home gold in the men's kumite -67kg division. He beat Kuwait's Abdullah MABS Alotaibi 2-1 to take top honours, with South Korea's Lee Ji Hwan and Saudi Arabia's Fahad Atiah S Alkhathami sharing the bronze.
Brunei's last two standing athletes at the 16th edition of the Games, Mainudin Hj Mohamad (men's kumite -75kg) and Mohammad Jamil Hj Abd Hamid (men's kumite -84kg) are set to do battle today.
Though they both have byes into the second round (quarter-finals) it won't be a walk in the park by any means.
"Mainudin will be facing Japanese world champion Ko Matsuhisa and Mohammad Jamil will be up against a tough competitor in Malaysia's Mohd Hatta Mahamut," said Hj Okhida.
"The first thing they have to do is focus, and that is something that Prince Sufri (Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council president His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah) has always advised all athletes.
"They must also have a strong fighting spirit."
Mainudin will see action at 10am while Mohammad Jamil takes to the floor at 2.30pm.
The four exponents represented the country at last year's SEA Games, where except for Muhamad Fida'iy, all returned with bronze medals.
Except for Mainudin, all the others are two-time Malaysia Games (Sukma) competitors with at least a bronze medal.
Courtesy from Brunei Times