Brunei's wushu exponents
Faustina Woo Wai Sii (top)and
Karyn Ho Chia Yin (above)missed
the podium yesterday.Pictures:
BT/ Jason Thomas
Li hui once again strove to put the country's results in context when both of the Sultanate's exponents were forced to watch yesterday's 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games wushu medal presentation from the sidelines.
Faustina Woo Wai Sii, 19, and Karyn Ho Chia Yin, 16, ended their nangun (southern cudgel) and qiangshu (spear) events at the bottom of the table largely due to their inexperience in the disciplines after all, they have had less than a year's training in the two events.
Both events were the second of a two-part competition where the scores of the first round were added to calculate the final results.
Though yesterday's results at the Tennis Indoor Senayan Stadium, Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex, here, may come as a shock to some considering the success the team have enjoyed ever since the sport was introduced in Brunei four years ago, the fact that most of the other countries have been at it for decades puts the duo's losses in perspective.
"Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar ... They have been doing wushu for a long time," said Li, the national coach.
"We won one medal (Woo claimed bronze in nanquan (southern fist) on Friday) and I am already happy with that.
"The other countries' population is also much bigger than ours so its easier to find athletes. I have maybe about 10 athletes.
"They must also start young ... when they are children.
"They need to improve their jumping movements to be successful. If not their points won't be high. But they have improved very fast so I am happy with them.
"The other countries' coaches are all from China too, but I am not scared! I am sure if we keep training hard we will win a medal (at the SEA Games) in the coming years," insisted the Hebei, China, native.
Woo finished with 18.50 yesterday to finish last in the field of six entries. She scored 9.40 in Saturday's nandao to head into yesterday's nangun on fifth.
Malaysia's Cheau Xuen Tai won gold with 19.35, followed by Indonesia's Dessy Indri Astuti (19.05) and Malaysia's Diana Bong Siong Lin (8.97).
Bong, who has 18 years of experience in the sport, topped the table on Saturday with 9.72 followed by Cheau (9.70) and Astuti (9.60).
Competing in the event for the first time, Ho who was given an injection yesterday to counter the pain from an ankle injury picked up in Brunei ended with 18.13.
Indonesia's Susyana Tjhan (19.44) beat Myanmar's Sandi Oo (19.42) for gold, with Vietnam's Thuy Vi Duong (19.41) having to settle for bronze.
The first part of the event, Friday's jianshu (swordplay), saw Susyana on 9.72, Oo on 9.71, Thuy on 9.70.
Ho, whose ankle injury prevented her from training for three weeks prior to the Games, was on 9.14
While Ho's debut at the Games has ended without a medal, the team and the country at large will have their fingers crossed that Brunei's last event of the biennial meet will finally end with a trip to the top of the podium.
Woo and Lee YingShi, 17, will compete in duilian (duo sparring with broadsword and spear) today, and considering they finished the event with silver at the 2009 Laos SEA Games, they have the potential to secure a better finish this time around.
Lee and Ho combined to win gold in the event during August's 6th Asian Junior Wushu Championships in Shanghai, China where Woo was unable to compete since she was over the age limit.
Though the team appear quietly confident, they know the pressure is on their shoulders to deliver the Sultanate its only gold medal one that might see them finish above Timor Leste in the overall standings and return as heroes.
Courtesy from Brunei Times