The 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games isn't even half-way through but Hj Abdul Malik Hj Mohammad (pic right, foreground) admits there are already some lessons Brunei can learn from it.
After hearing the national karate team lost their men's team kumite semi-final to the Philippines because of a lack of players, the contingent's chef de mission said that looking into the country's selection process for future tournaments might be a good idea.
"Speaking personally, I suggest that we review the selection process (of athletes) so that we are on the same platform with the other teams," said Hj Abdul Malik, who is also the Acting Director of the Department of Youth and Sports.
"We should see that in the future, we have enough athletes for each event," he added.
Other countries in the karate competition which ended yesterday at the Tennis Indoor Senayan Stadium, Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex, all had at least five karatekas for the team kumite an event divided into five individual fights in different weight classes, where the first country to win three fights advances to the next round.
Some countries even registered seven for the team kumite which included two reserves.
Brunei recorded a 3-1 win over Myanmar in the first round (quarter-finals) but lost the semis 5-0 to the Philippines. They only lost their first two games through Mohammad Fadilah Sanif (men's below 67kg) and his younger brother Muhammad Fida'iy (men's below 55kg) but were unable to continue since the tournament rules state that each team of four who lose two matches automatically lose the tie.
Brunei would go on to beat Laos 3-1 to share joint bronze with Malaysia.
With one silver and two bronze medals, Hj Okhida Simangasing's men have secured three of the four medals Brunei have won so far one every day of competition.
The other bronze came from taekwondo's Mohammad Saifullah Hj Mohtar, who was able to finish joint-third in the welterweight (74-80kg) category on Sunday despite losing 9-2 to Thailand's Nattapat Tantramar since he was handed a bye into the semi-finals.
Brunei have a shot at four medals from pencak silat today via the men's seni tunggal (artistic single), women's seni tunggal, men's seni regu (artistic trio) and women's seni regu, and the chef de mission said the exponents must take advantage of the opportunity handed to them.
"Their achievement is something to be proud of!," said Hj Abdul Malik when asked to comment on the karate team's haul. "We sent a small team but they have all won medals. As for taekwondo, luck played a part. It's a gift (rezeki).
"I hope the pencak silat exponents can perform to the best of their abilities since this is our chance to show the other Asean nations that we can perform at the same level as them."
Courtesy from Brunei Times