Shayiran Roslan (L)
during a training
session under the
watchful eyes of
coach Li Hui.
Picture: BT file
It was a case of so close but yet so far for Mohammad Sufi Shayiran Roslan at the 3rd Islamic Solidarity Games (ISG) yesterday.
The national wushu exponent missed out on a podium finish by just 0.02 points, coming in fourth in the men's nanquan (southern fist) event in Palembang, Indonesia, after accumulating 9.54 points.
Malaysia's Kevan Cheah Peng Heng beat 15-year-old Mohammad Sufi for bronze after tallying 9.56 points at the Jakabaring Gymnastic Hall, where world champion Farshad Arabi of Iran won gold with 9.63 points while Malaysian Bong Teck Fuu took silver on 9.60.
Though national wushu coach Li Hui was pleased with Mohammad Sufi's ability to handle the pressure at such a big tournament, the Chinese coach knows exactly what his pupil who won bronze in the nan gun (southern staff) event during last month's 7th Asian Junior Wushu Championships in Manila has to develop.
"Sufi was able to complete his aerial movement successfully with full difficulty points," said Li in yesterday's daily report sent by the secretariat.
"He was not nervous when he entered the arena and showed mental composure.
"There was a lack of speed because he is still young compared to the athletes from other countries, and he also needs to improve his stamina," he added.
His younger brother Mohammad Adi Sya'rani, 14, is poised to bag a medal after he finished third in the daoshu (sword) event with 9.48 points though he will have to wait until he contests the gunshu (long staff) event tomorrow to see whether he can take a trip to the podium.
Indonesia's Achmad Hulaefi was the best performer with 9.67 points, followed by Khaw Jun Lim of Malaysia with 9.64 points.
Unlike the nanquan event, medals in the weapon events such as daoshu and gunshu are only awarded after points from the two categories are combined.
"Mohammad Adi entered the arena with confidence and was able to complete his aerial movements without difficulty," said Li.
"He also needs to improve his speed and stamina in months to come. He is still of young age and is making progress slowly," added the national coach.
Nonetheless, Li is proud of his athletes and knows that they will grow further with more tournaments.
"More exposure for the athletes in competition will improve their confidence, psychology, skill and technique," said Li, "and all this can only be achieved by participating in (more) competitions," he added.
"I'm very happy with their performance and they have expressed their true potential in the arena," praised the Chinese national.
Sufi will compete in the nandao (southern broad sword) event today followed by the nangun (southern staff) event tomorrow.
Adi will take to the arena for the changquan (long first) event before teaming up with his brother for the duilian (duo sparring with broadsword and spear) event on Tuesday.
The only other wushu athlete, Lee Yingshi, will contest in the women's changquan today.
The duo of Mohamad Fathullah Mohamad Taib and Nurulain Md Ja'afar will see action in taekwondo at the Sriwijaya Promotion Center tomorrow.
Fathullah is set to face an opponent from Bahrain in the kyorugi 73kg below knock-out stage on Monday while Nurulain will go head-to-head with an opponent from Bangladesh in the kyorugi 73kg below.
Brunei's three other athletes at the Games have all failed to impress.
National sprinter and 2012 London Olympian, Ak Hafiy Tajuddin Pg Rositi didn't advance from his 400m heats as he crossed the line in fifth after clocking 49.94 seconds on Wednesday.
The Sultanate had started off their campaign after brothers Muhammad Fida'iy and Mohammad Fadilah Sanif crashed out during the first hurdle in the karate competition on Tuesday.
Muhammad Fida'iy was unfortunate to lose 7-6 after a quick comeback from Malaysia's Senthil Kumaran Silvarajoo in the first round (round-of-16) of the men's under 60kg kumite event.
Mohammad Fadilah was handed a 6-0 beating by Bahrain's Mohamed Ehmood Humood Alabd Alshaikh in his first match up in the round-of-32.