(Top) Faustina Woo Wai Sii (L)
and Lee Yingshi posing with
national wushu coach Li Hui
after winning gold in the
duilian event during the
2011 ASEAN-China Wushu
Festival in Nanning, China
(Right) Md Sufi Shayiran
Roslan during a training
session last year. Pictures:
The national wushu team will make their debut at the 12th World Wushu Championships in Kuala Lumpur at the end of the month.
They have opted out of the pre-Southeast Asian (SEA) Games tournament in Myanmar, which runs from Oct 6-11, to continue training and be better prepared for the largest stage in the sport.
Three Bruneians Md Sufi Shayiran Roslan, Lee Yingshi and Faustina Woo Wai Sii will fly the flag for the country at the Oct 28-Nov 6 biennial tournament in the Malaysian capital.
The pair of Lee and Woo will compete in the duilian (duo sparring with broadsword and spear) event while Sufi is set to participate in nangun (southern staff), nandao (southern sword) and nanquan (southern fist) events.
Sufi won bronze in nangun during August's 7th Asian Junior Wushu Championships in Manila.
Lee and Woo are also no strangers to the duilian event after having won silver in the discipline during the past two editions of the SEA Games, as well as last year's
National wushu coach Li Hui felt that the invitation for this year's 8th Asian Wushu Championships in Vietnam - which ranks as the country's best result to date. pre-SEA Games tournament came too late and that omission from the competition was necessary.
"We received the invitation (to compete at the pre-SEA Games tournament) while we were still in Indonesia (for the 3rd Islamic Solidarity Games)," said Li in an interview with The Brunei Times when met during a training session on Saturday.
"It is just too close and we decided not to go.
"The athletes require some recovery time as well.
"Currently, they are focused and working hard in training to increase their stamina and speed," he added.
The Chinese national knows what to expect at the world meet and hasn't set targets on winning medals.
"This is the highest level of competition for the sport and we are a very young team considering that we have only been in the sport for five years," said Li.
"The competitors are more experienced but we are improving and looking to catch up to them.
"We know how tough it will be and we don't have any expectations.
"I know the athletes will go with their best effort (so) I'm hoping that we can finish in the top-six in the duilian event," added the 40-year-old.
Li also wants his charges to get the best out of the competition and hopes to put Brunei on the map in the sport as well.
"This is also a good opportunity for the athletes to learn from the best.
They can gain more experience and exposure from what they can witness from the competition," said Li.
"We are hoping to showcase to the other countries that Brunei has got potential in the sport," he added.
This is going to be the first outing for Woo after she sustained a knee injury at the beginning of April.
According to Li, she has recovered well and has showed plenty of improvement after having undergone a lot of strength and conditioning to be ready.
Li also thanked the Department of Youth and Sports for their continuous support.
Lee and Woo's gold medal in the duilian event at last year's 8th Asian Wushu Championships in Vietnam in August means the rest of the field in Kuala Lumpur should have some knowledge of Brunei and what its wushu exponents are capable of.
Sufi has also brought glory to the Sultanate having teamed up with his brother Mohd Adi Sya'rani to win the country's only medal at the recently concluded 3rd Islamic Solidarity Games in Palembang, Indonesia, a silver in the duilian event with 9.30 points.
The result placed Brunei 23rd overall out of the 46 Muslim-populated countries at the Sept 22-Oct 1 competition.
Five-time world champions in the event, Iran took gold (9.40) and Yemen bronze (9.25).