National cueist Ahmad Taufiq Murni is aiming for a podium finish at the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar.
The 25-year-old Taufiq will be competing in both the 9-ball and 10-ball events at the biennial SEA Games and it will be the second time that Taufiq is representing the Sultanate at the regional meet - having made his debut at the 2011 edition in Indonesia where he failed to advance out of the first round of both the 8-ball and 9-ball singles events.
"I feel good about myself and I think I am ready for the SEA Games," said the country's only cueist at this edition of the Games in an interview with The Brunei Times on Tuesday.
"Everyone wants to win something and I will do my very best to get a medal for the country in Myanmar," he added.
Taufiq just ended a three-week training stint with a professional cueist from the Philippines, Roberto Gomez, and the country's top cueist was glad to have gained more insight into the sport from the highly rated Filipino.
"I really learned a lot from Gomez, especially about technique," Taufiq said.
"At the same time, he helped me to strengthen my basic techniques, correcting my mistakes and most importantly - taught me the right mindset to have during a pool match," added Taufiq who finished fifth out of 48 players at the 4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games in South Korea in July.
He would have finished with at least a bronze medal in Incheon if not for World No 4 Li Hewen of China, who beat the Bruneian 9-7 in a tough tactical semi-final duel.
The game was tied at 7-7 but Li, the top seed and defending champion, eventually grinded out the win.
Taufiq's mental fortitude might have been a problem in the past, but Incheon has proved otherwise.
"To have a right mindset and making good decisions are very important in pool matches, and over the past weeks, our training has been focusing on that," agreed national coach Lim Tat Hwe.
"Taufiq is ready.
"He has improved a lot and he did a lot of sparring throughout the days training with Gomez," he added.
Gomez has numerous achievements under his belt - the most notable finishing second at the 2011 World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) - Beijing Open 9-Ball Championship after falling 17-15 to Daryl Peach of Great Britain in the final.
The Filipino became the first qualifier to reach the final of the tournament.
He also teamed up with Dennis Orcollo to represent the Philippines during the 2010 World Cup of Pool where they fell to China in the final.