Brunei kempo exponents in
action during yesterday's mixed
dantai embu (artistic) group
yudansha event at the Ciracas
Sports Hall in Jakarta yesterday.
Picture: BT/ Jason Thomas
Small squad, but nat'l kempo team on target to deliver big for Brunei
The country's lack of players is a constant talking point at the 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games here.
The 10-pin bowling, karate and pencak silat teams have all voiced their displeasure at their small squad, with the national shorinji kempo team joining them yesterday.
Brunei is only represented by four shorinji kempo exponents in the Indonesian capital, a far cry from other countries who have increased their chances of finishing on the podium with their numerous athletes.
According to national coach Agus Tanimoto, Malaysia have sent 19, Timor Leste 18, Vietnam 17, Cambodia 12 and Laos 13. Needless to say, hosts Indonesia lead the pack with 34.
The Sultanate took to the Ciracas Sports Hall here for two events yesterday, with the mixed dantai embu (artistic) group yudansha event a dazzling showcase of the quartet's ability.
They completed the first round in prime position to finish with a medal, and with 258, are second on points to Indonesia who collected a perfect 270. Vietnam are third on 257, trailed by Laos (255), Timor Leste (253) and Malaysia (247). The second round is set for Sunday and a silver medal looks to be on the cards.
Indonesia and Vietnam fielded eight exponents in the event, Laos and Malaysia had six while Brunei and Timor Leste had four.
One of the quartet, Muhammad Ali-Rashid Mohd Alipah explained why having more athletes in the event was better.
"Other teams have a lot more members. The feel, the atmosphere, the spirit ... It's different," said the national exponent.
"So we had to adjust and make up with louder shouts ... Higher spirit. The spirit of four people is harder to compete with the spirit of eight, but we were still able to cope.
"Of course, with more members it becomes more technical and it is harder to move, but there are benefits as a team. If we are only four, the mistakes we make are more obvious. Rafidah (Hj Rosli) competed in three events today (Thursday). I hope in the future we can get more Bruneians to represent kempo so we can have a bigger team," he said.
Tanimoto shared his pupil's view and admitted that since the team were cut from 12 to five one later dropped out due to injury the side had been through a dip in morale. However, he was grateful for the chance the team had been given to gain some valuable experience at the SEA Games, which is the first time the sport has been contested at a multi-sport event according to Major Mohd Talib Hj Mohd Tahir.
With 254 points, Rafidah and Muhamad Shamsul Makmun also have a shot at finishing on the podium after ending yesterday's first round of the mixed kumi embu (artistic) pair yudansha just one point off third-placed Nguyen Tam Thanh Tinh and Tran Thi My Duyen of Vietnam (255).
Timor Leste's Domingo Savio and Fidelia da Costa lead the seven-team standings with 262, followed by Indonesia's Dwi Afriyanti and I Made Indrawan on 261.
The second round is set for tomorrow.
Though Rafidah lost her women's randori below 45kg class opener to Vietnam's Do Hong Ngoc 10-0 yesterday, she still has a chance at making tomorrow's semi-finals if she beats Cambodia's Mimi Yoisaykham today.
Yesterday's other result was a 5-0 loss to Cambodia's Phat Saren for Dzulhusmie Hj Kahan in the below 50kg class of the men's randori (sparring) event. His second loss in the three-team pool stage after a 10-0 defeat to Vietnam's Nguyen Ba Tan 10-0 the previous day, Dzulhusmie will not be repeating his successful trip to the same venue in September, where he won gold in the same event during a SEA Games trial run.
Muhammad Ali-Rashid and Muhamad Shamsul, who were second to Indonesia after Wednesday's kumi embu (artistic) pair yudansha first round, compete in the second round today.
Indonesia led the six-team standings with 264 while Brunei are on 255 and Thailand 253. Vietnam are on 250, Laos 249 and Malaysia 244.
Courtesy from Brunei Times