Eight national karate exponents will be flying the Sultanate's flag at next week's Southeast (SEA) Asian Games in Myanmar - all of them in kumite.
Brothers Mohammad Fadilah, Muhammad Fida'iy and Mohammad Hamizan Hj Sanif, will be joined by Mohd Mairul Hj Mohammad, Mohammad Jamil Hj Abdul Hamid, Mainuddin Hj Mohamad, Mohd Fazil Rewandie Mohd Faizal and Dk Nurleha Pg Abdul Rahman during the Dec 13-15 karate competition.
Muhammad Fida'iy will be competing in the 55kg and below category, Mohd Mairul in the 60kg and below category, Mohammad Fadilah in the 67kg and below category, Mainudin in the 75kg and below category, Mohd Fazil Rewandie in the 84kg and below category and Mohammad Jamil in the 84kg and above category.
Mohammad Hamizan will only be competing in the men's team event while the country's only female representative, Dk Nurleha, will be fighting in the 50kg and below category.
"We will only be competing in kumite events so most of the focus has been centered on strategy, fitness, speed, agility and sharpness - and at the same time improving our weaknesses throughout the process," said national coach Hj Okhida Simangasing in an interview with The Brunei Times last week.
"We just got back from Surabaya, Indonesia a few days ago, where we spent a couple of weeks training with Indonesia's karatekas there.
"What we need now are prayers from the Bruneians to do well in the tournament in Myanmar," added the coach.
It was considered to be a successful outing for the national team in the previous edition of SEA Games in Indonesia in 2011 when they brought home one silver and two bronze medals despite sending only four exponents to Jakarta.
Mohammad Fadilah won silver in the 67kg and below kumite event after losing to Indonesia's Jintar Simanjuntak in the final.
Mohammad Jamil delivered the Sultanate a bronze medal when he finished joint-third with Vietnam's Pham Quang Duy in the 84kg and above category in what was the country's first trip to the podium at the last edition of the Games.
The other bronze medal was secured in the men's team event.
Brunei started the team event with a 3-1 win over Myanmar in the first round (quarter-finals) courtesy of wins from Mohammad Jamil, Mainuddin and Mohammad Fadilah's younger brother Muhammad Fida'iy.
The Sultanate went on to meet the Philippines in the semi-finals, where they lost the match 5-0 after Mohammad Fadilah and Muhammad Fida'iy failed to get past their opponents - with Brunei forced to admit defeat since rules state that each team of four which loses two matches automatically lose the tie.
Moving on to the repechage, they beat Laos 3-1 to finish third, with Mohammad Jamil, Mohammad Fadilah and Muhammad Fida'iy winning their matches but Mainuddin drawing his at the Tennis Indoor Senayan Stadium.
Hosts Indonesia topped the table in the karate competition at the last Games after winning 10 gold, two silver and four bronze medals. They were followed by Malaysia with four gold, two silver and seven bronze medals and Vietnam with three gold, eight silver and three bronze medals.
The national team will be leaving the Sultanate on Sunday and will be accompanied by Hj Okhida, coach Mohd Sofian Abdullah and manager Hj Malai Mohammad Hj Malai Othman.