HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah
(3rd L), the president of the
Brunei Darussalam National
Olympic Council, watching
Brunei karatekas warming up
prior to their matches in
yesterday. Picture: Courtesy
of Department of Youth and
Five furious seconds was all it took to send Muhammad Fida'iy Sanif crashing out of the 3rd Islamic Solidarity Games (ISG) in Palembang, Indonesia, yesterday.
Competing in the first round (round-of-16) of the men's Under 60kg kumite event against Malaysia's Senthil Kumaran Silvarajoo, Muhammad Fida'iy looked set to progress to the last-eight until a late barrage by his opponent who won the match 7-6.
His older brother Mohammad Fadilah was dealt a bigger blow at the Sriwijaya Promotion Centre after losing his first match in the round-of-32 to Bahrain's Mohamed Ehmood Humood Alabd Alshaikh 6-0.
HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council, watched both games and also took the time to visit the duo and offer them words of encouragement before the match, according to yesterday's daily report sent by the Department of Youth and Sports.
"I was very unlucky," Muhammad Fida'iy was reported to have said on RTB's 94.1FM.
"I was leading 6-4 and I was very excited and confident that I could get another three points to finish the fight, but he surprised me with five seconds left and he won the game," he added.
Both brothers are seasoned national karatekas and were a part of the four-member team which shared the men's team kumite bronze with Malaysia during the 2011 (Southeast Asian) SEA Games where Mohammad Fadilah won silver in the men's below 60kg kumite category.
Both are also expected to take to the mat at December's SEA Games in Myanmar.
National coach Hj Okhida Simangasing knows exactly what they have to work on over the next three months, saying that time-management and not bad luck was to blame for Fida'iy's loss while Fadilah had to improve his stamina.
"Fida'iy clearly could not manage his time properly when he was in a comfortable position and he needs to work on time management on the court and spar more as he prepares for the SEA Games," said Hj Okhida in the report.
"Fida'iy controlled the game in the first and second minute and was able to pressure his opponent and read his attacks, which led to him leading 6-4.
"But he made a mistake during a kick in the last five seconds saw his opponent kick him back and gain three points to win the game," added the Indonesian.
Mohammad Fadilah's margin of loss, and the fact that Hj Okhida put it down to a lack of stamina, is somewhat of a surprise considering his experience having made his debut for the country at the 1999 SEA Games in Brunei.
Among his achievements include silver (open kumite) and bronze (men's below 67kg category) at the 2003 SEA Games in Vietnam. The 2009 SEA Games in Laos saw Mohammad Fadilah return with bronze in the men's below 67kg category.
He has also proved his pedigree on a bigger stage, the 2007 Asian Karatedo Federation (AKF) Championship in Malaysia, where he won bronze in the same weight-class.
None of that seemed to matter yesterday though.
"Fadilah pressured his opponent a lot in the first minute and worked hard to attack him, but from the second minute on, his opponent started fighting back," said Hj Okhida.
"Fadilah's weakness in this match is that he didn't manage his stamina well, which allowed his opponent to attack until the match ended and he has to improve on stamina training and management so that he is prepared for the SEA Games," he added.
Brunei's campaign at the ISG continues today when 2012 Olympian Ak Hafiy Tajuddin Pg Rositi competes in the men's 400m.
The Sultanate will also be participating in wushu and taekwondo at the Games.
Mohammad Sufi Shayiran Roslan and brother Mohammad Adi Sya'rani are joined by Lee YingShi as the country's three wushu exponents in Palembang while Mohamad Fathullah Mohamad Taib and Nurulain Md Ja'afar will represent Brunei in taekwondo.