His Royal Highness Prince Hj
Sufri Bolkiah (L), the President
of the Brunei Darussalam National
Olympic Council talking to national
fencer Huzaimi Abd Kassim (R)
and national coach Rocky
Poerawinata (C) during the SEA
Games at the University of
The national fencing team only have the team sabre event to look forward to after both the country's fencers failed to reach the final of yesterday's individual sabre event here at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Huzaimi Abd Kassim advanced to the round of 16 after picking up three wins from six matches, though Mohammad Yunos Hj Hamid only had one win and saw his tournament end in the pool stage at the University of Indonesia yesterday.
Fighting for a place in the quarter-finals, Huzaimi would lose 15-8 to Thailand's Ruangrit Haekerd.
The third member of the team, Ak Mohamad Shah Al'Musta'in Billah, will only see action during Friday's team sabre event since each country is only allowed two entries in the individual sabre.
Ak Mohamad Shah Al'Musta'in or not, national coach Rocky Poerawinata felt his charges could have done better.
"Their performance was good but they can improve in skill and experience especially in skill," he said yesterday.
"Their mental preparation also has to be stronger. Look at Huzaimi, he lost to Vietnam's To Van Hop in the pool stage by just one point (5-4).
"The countries here are all at the same level, it's just that the country with more preparation wins.
"Ruangrit was the champion at the 2007 SEA Games and won bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but he lost the quarters," added the Indonesian.
The Philippines' Walbert Mendoze edged Vietnam's Vu Thanh An 15-14 to take gold, the Filipino also victorious in the same event at the 2005 Manila SEA Games.
Huzaimi beat Indonesia's Ruli Mauliadhani 5-3, the Philippines' Gian Carlo Nocom 5-4 and Singapore's Ernest Chua We Kun 5-3 to book his berth in the round of 16 from the pool stage.
Brunei won bronze in the team sabre event the last time fencing was contested at the Games back in 2007 in Korat, Thailand with the same trio representing the country.
The Sultanate did not send any entries in epee and foil this year since they did not meet the selection criteria set by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports so Poerawinata has to make sure his pupils are focused for their only other task at hand.
"I have already analysed their performance with them and told them what they can do to improve in the team sabre I just hope they can absorb it all," he added.
The first country to win two matches in the team sabre advances to the next round. Brunei will only know its opponents during tomorrow's draw.
Courtesy from Brunei Times