Brunei's kempo exponents Muhammad Ali-Rashid Alipah and Muhamad Shamsul Makmun won silver in the kumi embu (artistic) pair yudansha in Jakarta yesterday. Picture: Infofoto
Brunei's chef-de-mission Hj
Abdul Malik Hj Mohammad (R)
presents the medals to the
national kempo duo of Muhammad
Ali-Rashid Alipah and Muhamad
Shamsul Makmun during
yesterday's medal ceremony in
It was a dream debut one that showed size really didn't matter.
Despite having only four exponents in the squad, the national shorinji kempo team made their presence felt at the 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Jakarta yesterday adding a second silver medal to the Sultanate's tally at the Nov 11-22 competition.
The duo of Muhammad Ali-Rashid Alipah and Muhamad Shamsul Makmun, who have been partners since September, scored 258.5 points in the kumi embu (artistic) pair yudansha to finish in second place at the Caricas Sports Hall in the Indonesian capital yesterday.
Hosts Indonesia took the gold with 266 points while Timor Leste bagged the bronze with 256 points.
The national kempo coach Agus Tanimoto is delighted with the result, but at the same time felt that they let the gold slip away.
"We had a good chance of winning the gold, but were penalised for exceeding the time limit. It would have been a lot closer, but it was still a very good result for Brunei," said Agus during a phone interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
The vice-president of the Brunei Darussalam Shorinji Kempo Federation (Perkeb) Major Mohd Talip Hj Mohd Tahir was also happy with the result.
Indonesia were clear favourites to win kempo events having played the sport for over 40 years and also introduced it for the first time in the Games this year.
"It was very good to be able to win a medal. It was always difficult to beat Indonesia, but we showed that we managed to be on top of the rest that started the sport at the same time," said Mohd Talip.
(Brunei were introduced the sport only in February and started their training in April.)
His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council, paid the team a visit on Thursday and gave them some advice.
Asked if that proved to be a factor, Major Talip replied: "We're lucky that His Royal Highness took his time to come and brief us. His commitment to Team Brunei really lifted the spirit of the kempo team.
"It is a great honour to be supported by His Royal Highness and it did give the athletes high hopes," he added.
The country will have another opportunity for a podium finish when Rafidah Hj Rosli and Muhamad Shamsul take to the stage in the second round of the mixed kumi embu (artistic) pair yudansha today.
They finished in fourth place after Thursday's first round with 254 points 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.
Both Agus and Mahor Talip certainly hope that the exponents will be in the right form for another medal.
"Tomorrow (Saturday) we will have to put in another good performance. We should be in a good position to win another medal, but it won't be easy with the strong competition," said Agus yesterday.
"It will be tough tomorrow and the athletes will have to be in the right frame of mind. We will need to score more points compared to the first round, but we're certainly contenders for a podium finish," said Major Talip.
According to Major Talip, the team also felt lucky that it was the Brunei contingent chef-de-mission Hj Abdul Malik Hj Mohammad that presented the medals to the winners during yesterday's medal ceremony.
In the day's other event Rafidah failed to advance into the semi-finals of the women's randori below 45kg class after losing 0-5 to Cambodia's Mimi Yoisaykham.
Courtesy from Brunei Times