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Saturday, December 7, 2013

A relaxed mental state will be the key to unlocking success for the country's three wushu exponents today, who have been told to "open their minds up" in what is the country's first taste of competition at this year's SEA Games.

More than a year of training will be put to the test for Md Sufi Shayiran Roslan, his brother Mohammad Adi Sya'rani and Ang Guat Lian when they take to the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium in Napyidaw, Myanmar, and despite being the first Bruneians to take to the arena at the 27th edition of the biennial meet, national coach Li Hui is sure the trio are up to the task.

"They are not really nervous as I told them to just do their best and perform to their normal level. That will do," the coach told The Brunei Times on Thursday.

"Most importantly, I told them to be relaxed in their performance routines, open their minds up and things will flow naturally," added the Chinese national.

The Roslan brothers will team up in the duilian (duo sparring) event, the same category in which they won silver at during October's 3rd Islamic Solidarity Games in Indonesia, while Ang will compete in the taijiquan (taiji fist) category.

Mohammad Adi will also take to the changquan (long fist) discipline today in the first of four days of action for the national team which also includes two-time SEA Games silver medalists Faustina Woo Wai Sii and Lee YingShi.

The contingent's psychologist Zulkiflee Abdul Hamid thinks the team are mentally ready for the challenge they will face against the region's best wushu exponents - of whom Zulkiflee says they are not intimidated by.

In his notes on the wushu team's training on Wednesday, Zulkiflee said that the athletes were very disciplined, their morale appeared high, and they are ready to train - though he did advice them to "focus on the task at hand" after noticing they were distracted during training.

He also advised them to use imagery to help them re-focus on what they need to do during training, and it seems to have worked.

"As part of yesterday's (Wednesday) intervention, the athletes appear to be able to utilise imagery to stay more focused during their training," said Zulkiflee in Thursday's daily report prepared by the Department of Youth and Sports.

"During their warm-up I reminded the athletes to use imagery to help them focus on the task at hand.

"Coach Li asked the athletes to observe the other team's training at the competition venue in the morning, and upon talking to the athletes, I found that they were not intimidated by the other teams training there.

"Psychologically, this is a good thing because this shows our athletes have the confidence to compete against the other countries," he noted.

That confidence is not unfounded as the wushu team are regular contenders for medals, making the decision to send them to Myanmar no surprise.

They were in China before the SEA Games to polish their skills, and Li has no doubt the 20-day stint has done his already experienced exponents a world of good. The team trained for 20 consecutive days in Hangzhou and improved their stamina and speed, with Li saying that the training has brought great improvement.

But all of that experience and exposure will count for nothing if they are not calm and collected, with Zulkiflee stressing the importance of sufficient rest throughout the duration of the Games.

"The athletes were also reminded to get sufficient rest, especially at night," said the psychologist in the daily report.

"They were asked to practice relaxation techniques right before bed, which will assist them in not only getting enough physical rest but a better mental state of rest during their sleep."

Courtesy from Brunei Times