(From left) Wushu coach Li Hui,
silver medalists Mohammad Adi
Sya'rani Roslan and Md Sufi
Shayiran Roslan and Chef de
Mission Pg Anak Mohd Sofian
Pg Anak Haji Ibrahim posing
for a photo upon returning
from the 3rd Islamic
Solidarity Games yesterday.
Picture: BT/ Md Asdeny Yakub
It was a hero's welcome for the Brunei contingent who competed at the 3rd Islamic Solidarity Games (ISG) yesterday.
The Sultanate exceeded expectations and returned home with a silver medal from Palembang, Indonesia.
The result placed Brunei 23rd overall out of the 46 Muslim-populated countries at the Sept 22 - Oct 1 competition.
Wushu exponents, brothers Md Sufi Shayiran and Mohammad Adi Sya'rani Roslan, delivered the country's only medal after they finished second in the duilian (duo sparring with broadsword and spear) event after registering 9.30 points at the Jakabaring Gymnastic Hall on Tuesday.
Iran claimed the gold with 9.40 points while Yemen completed the podium with 9.25 points.
Present to welcome the contingent back to home soil at the Brunei International Airport in Berakas was Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Hamid Hj Mohd Jaafar, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, who presented the congratulatory hashes to the medalists.
Md Sufi, 15, and Mohammad Adi, 14, were delighted with the result as they never expected to get on the podium.
"We never thought about winning a medal. All we thought about was to do our very best," said Md Sufi in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
"I thought the score we managed was good for a first time competing in the event," he said.
"We had only started training for the event in April or May and this includes having to work on other disciplines as well," he added.
"It was difficult when we started training for the event together. But I think being brothers helped us to understand each other faster," continued the older brother.
National wushu coach Li Hui is proud of his boys and believes that they can only get better provided that they get more competition.
"The boys need to compete in more tournaments because that is the only way for them to improve from the experience that cannot be obtained any other way," said Li.
"They were the youngest athletes in the sport. They lost out to Iran on experience and they will need to work on improving their stamina and speed further," he added.
The Chinese national also went on to thank His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BNOC), for being there to support them during their training because it provided them with motivation.
Pg Anak Mohd Sofian Pg Anak Haji Ibrahim, the Chef de Mission, was pleased with the overall performance of the Bruneians at the tournament considering the huge number of athletes present.
"I'm satisfied with the performance of all the athletes. Most importantly is that they all tried their best during the competition," said Pg Anak Mohd Sofian.
"We never expected to return with any medals because there were over 40 countries competing and some were really strong," he said.
Brunei also competed in athletics, karate and taekwando.
Lee Yingshi was the other exponent representing the Sultanate in wushu.
Ak Hafiy Tajuddin Pg Rositi took to the tracks in the 400-metre event while siblings Mohammad Fadlah and Muhammad Fida'iy Sanif participated in karate.
Mohamad Fathullah Mohamad Taib and Nurulain Md Ja'afar competed in taekwando.