The national sepak takraw
team that will be competing
at the 26th Southeast Asian
(SEA) Games in Indonesia
.Picture: BT/ Yee Chun Leong
The Sepak Takraw team are in high spirits and ready to compete at the 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Indonesia.
They have good reason to be confident considering that they have been training whole year round in preparation for the Nov 11-22 biennial competition.
The team will take part in both the Regu and Doubles events and is made up of captain Md Shukri Jaineh, Ismail Ang, Nur Alimin Sungoh, Abdul Amin Mahari and Marzuki Munap. The first three athletes will take part in the Doubles event.
"We're definitely ready because training has been all year round. Hopefully we can return with medals," Md Shukri told The Brunei Times during their training session at the Multipurpose Hall of Menglait Sports Complex on Saturday.
"Our confidence level is good and hopefully we can do well enough to win. We understand each other since we have been playing together for a while now," added the skipper, who was part of the team who won bronze at the 2nd Asian Beach Games in Muscat last December.
It will be tougher for the team in the Regu event as they are more teams competing and they have been grouped with region powerhouse Thailand, hosts Indonesia and the Philippines.
There is a better chance with only six teams participating in the Doubles event.
The Sultanate has been drawn with Indonesia and Vietnam. Winning one game would see them advance into the semi-finals.
The team have had a busy September competing in the International Sepak Takraw Federation (Istaf) World Cup Series (second series) from Sept 7-11 followed by the 26th King's Cup Sepak Takraw World Championship 2011 from Sept 12-17 in Thailand.
They remained in Thailand to train with the best for another two weeks resulting in their positive attitude just before the Games.
"We knew we had to train with the giants and we had good sparring partners there in Thailand. We started out with the village teams and district teams before the Asean School Games. The best test was of course against the Thai national team," said Ittiphol Chomchaissak, the national sepak takraw coach.
"They have helped us a lot in improving our game. In addition, we managed to give them a good fight. It showed that we were in touch with them," added the 44-year-old.
"I can see that the confidence level of the players is also different and a lot higher after training in Thailand," concluded the Thai.
The Sultanate will also be sending Hj Abu Bakar Kassim as a jury and Hj Ibrahim Mamun as a referee for the competition in Palembang.
Courtesy from Brunei Times