National wushu exponent Lee Ying
Shi (2L) was full of praises for
last weekened's 1st Brunei Wushu
Championship. Picture: BT/Chua
The 1st Brunei Wushu Championship has been a source of pride for national team members after they witnessed the Sultanate successfully stage its first ever wushu competition.
Filled with a team of national representatives, Brunei-Muara won the tournament at the Mumong Sports Complex in Belait last weekend after accumulating 13 gold, seven silver and one bronze medal.
The Miri Wushu Association came in second on eight gold, 13 silver and 18 bronze medals while Sarawak Wushu Association's 10 gold, 13 silver and 10 bronze medal haul placed them third in the seven-team tournament.
Brunei-Muara's Lee Ying Shi, who represented Brunei at the 2010 Asian Games and 2009 and 2011 Southeast Asian Games, expressed her satisfaction at finally being able to compete in Brunei's first ever national wushu tournament.
"This has been an opportunity for us to learn from Malaysian counterparts and also allow the younger wushu athletes in Brunei to gain some competition experience," said the 2012 Asian Wushu Championship gold medalist and double SEA Games silver medalist.
On the level of performance among Bruneian athletes in the current tournament, the national team regular commented, "There is still plenty of room for improvement, me included.
"We need to train more."
Another Bruneian national team member representing Brunei-Muara was Mohd Sufi Shayiran Roslan, who took two gold and three silver medals in the tournament.
Sufi said he was pleased that Brunei has finally hosted its own national wushu tournament, saying that, "We need to start somewhere, and slowly expand."
On his own performance, Sufi said he was disappointed to have made a mistake in the sword freestyle event which resulted in him only taking silver though he promised he would learn from the experience.
When asked if there were any areas in where the tournament could be improved, Sufi mentioned the lack of an electronic scoreboard, which be perceived by some as the tournament not being up to the mark compared to other regional events.
Sarawak Wushu Federation's Chew Wui Yung, who won two gold medals in the tournament, said he was happy to be able to learn from Brunei national wushu team members in the competition and commended the Brunei Wushu Association for smoothly running the event.
Chew, though, said the distance between the Games Village at Hassanal Bolkiah Sports Complex in Berakas where they stayed and the competition venue in Mumong was quite far, which could cause fatigue that would affect their performance.
Chew's point of view was echoed by Johor Wushu Association coach Law Lin Le, who suggested that athletes should not be made to make the approximately 100km journey.
Law however, said that apart from the distance factor, the competition was very well managed.
According to the Johor coach, the organising committee told him that the competition was conducted in Belait as Brunei is trying to promote the sport in the district.
With the Belait district team having only one representative, and finishing last in the tournament, it is not difficult to see why the inaugural tournament was held in Mumong to advocate the sport in Belait instead of the capital.
The district's sole athlete did leave her mark on the competition though, Nur Batrisyia Ripin making Belait proud by finishing the two-day event with one gold and one silver medal.