Mohammad Fadilah Sanif (R) in action in yesterday's men's below 60kg kumite final against Indonesia's Jintar Simanjuntak in Jakarta. Picture: BT/ Jason Thomas
The national karatedo team won Brunei their second medal at the 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games here yesterday, though they had a chance at making it three.
So far, it has been the karatedo exponents who have led the way for the Sultanate yesterday's silver and Saturday's bronze are the only two medals Brunei have won here.
Three Bruneians took to the dauntingly raucous Tennis Indoor Senayan Stadium at the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex yesterday, and in each instance, the home-town favourites would halt the country's progress.
Mohammad Fadilah Sanif was no match for Jintar Simanjuntak in the final of the men's below 60kg kumite after the Indonesian romped to an 8-0 win boosted by the crowd.
At the stadium to support Mohammad Fadilah was His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC).
Mohammad Fadilah's younger brother, Muhammad Fida'iy, won his opening men's below 55kg tie against Thailand's Hirannithichatphon Saratham 4-0, but lost his second to Vietnam's Nguyen Quang Phuc 6-1. Going up against Indonesia's Imam Tauhid Ragananda in the repechage, he lost the battle for joint-bronze 10-3.
Mainuddin Hj Mohamad lost both his games in the men's below 75kg category, the first a 4-0 defeat to Vietnam's Nguyen Minh Phung and the second 4-2 to Indonesia's Christo Mondolu.
Mohammad Fadilah's final against Simanjuntak got off to a bad start when the Bruneian found himself trailing 2-0 after just 10 seconds.
Simanjuntak was just too quick for Mohammad Fadilah, who though did connect on some hits, was surprisingly not awarded a single point. Simanjuntak won the match with time to spare, the clock reading 1:33 but the Indonesian winning gold since he had scored eight points in three minutes.
"Of course, I felt the pressure," said Mohammad Fadilah of his early breakdown.
"His timing was too good and the supporters here made it hard. I also feel I should have been awarded points three by my count. But the referees ... ," he trailed off.
Mohammad Fadilah started off with an easy 4-0 win over Myanmar's Tintun Aung and came from behind to beat Laos' Ath Chantabole 9-6 before meeting Simanjuntak.
Making his debut for the country at the 1999 SEA Games which Brunei hosted, the 32-year-old Mohammad Fadilah also won silver in the open kumite at the 2003 SEA Games in Vietnam where he finished with bronze in the men's below 67kg category. .
The last SEA Games in Laos two years ago saw Mohammad Fadilah return with bronze in the men's below 67kg category and the 2007 Asian Karatedo Federation (AKF) Championship in Negri Sembilan, Malaysia, also reaped the same colour in the same weight-class.
Though his brother failed in his attempt to win bronze yesterday, the 22-year-old Muhammad Fida'iy was satisfied with his performance.
"I don't know why I lost, but what I can tell you is that I did my best ... I'm not disappointed at all," he said.
"I did well and that's the most important thing. The rest is up to the judges and referees," he added.
Mainuddin, who was the only Brunei exponent not to pick up a win yesterday, said his opponents were just too good. The atmosphere at the Tennis Indoor Senayan Stadium, which was mostly filled with cheering Indonesians, was also a problem for him.
"The Vietnamese (Minh Phung) won this year's AFK Championship in China in June and the Indonesian (Mondolu) is also very strong and he had home support," said Mainuddin.
"But I am happy I was still able to compete, especially against the Indonesian, who is playing at home," added the 24-year-old Bruneian.
He was guilty of throwing away a 4-0 lead to Thailand's Sanphasit Chonlaph in the semi-finals of the men's above 84kg category on Saturday, but Mohammad Jamil Hj Abd Hamid was still able to finish tied for third with Vietnam's Pham Quang Duy the country's first medal at the Games.
Brunei take to the floor today in the team kumite event, where they face Myanmar in the sport's last day of competition.
The event has been a touchy issue for the team since they only have four exponents. Other countries have brought at least five, with seven including two reserves the norm.
The team kumite is broken up into five individual fights and the first country to win at least three advances to the next round so it looks like the odds are stacked against Brunei. "Our chances are bright but it's a pity there are only four of us," said Mainuddin. "I don't know why the Department of Youth and Sports only sent four of us. We're here to win medals not just gain experience."
Courtesy from Brunei Times