Brunei's wushu brothers Md Sufi Shariyan Roslan and Md Adi Sya'rani Roslan only managed sixth despite a respectable 9.55 score in the men's duilian (bare hands and spear) event at the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar yesterday.
Myanmar's Kwan Zin Thit and Wai Phyo Aing scored 9.64 to take the gold in the event.
The Philippines trio of Daniel Parantac, John Keithley Chan and Norlence Ardee Catolico landed in second, two points shy of the host nation at 9.62, followed by Thailand's Baramee Kulsawadmongkol, Pitaya Sae Yang and Sujinda Sae Yang resting on 9.60 points.
Speaking to The Brunei Times, national wushu coach Li Hui admitted that the performance was not ideal, but expressed satisfaction at how his young athletes performed in their first major tournament.
"Their performance is average," said Li of the routines by the brothers. "They were feeling nervous, especially Adi, this being the first time they are competing in a big tournament."
"They made three errors in their routine, which affected the score, otherwise they would have been in the mix for a medal. Given time to train and gain experience, they will certainly be on the podium in the future."
"I am satisfied with the team's overall performance," Li commented on yesterday's three events which Brunei participated.
Apart from the wushu brothers, Ang Guat Lian was also on the mat in the taijiquan (taiji fist) event yesterday.
She only managed 9.01 to finish eighth out of nine athletes at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium.
Indonesia's Lindswell Kwok got the gold with 9.71 points.
Myanmar's Wai Mar Tun Thien took silver with 9.68 points while Malaysia's Lu Yi Chan took bronze with 9.66 points
Md Adi was involved in another event, the men's changquan (long fist), but a sub par performance saw him score just 8.85 points, finishing last among 13 contestants.
Myanmar's Aung Si Thu sealed another gold for the hosts in the event with a score of 9.70 points.
Indonesia's Achmad Hulaefi was second after scoring 9.69 points, followed by Vietnam's Xuan Hiep Tran with 9.68.
"They are new athletes, all very young, at 14 (Md Adi), 15 (Md Sufi) and 15 (Ang) years old. Their stamina, speed and strength are not up there yet, but with more training and competition experience, they will be there," said the coach.
"The other coaches from the other teams told me they were surprised by the improvements made by our team, considering how late Brunei started in the sport," Li said.
Wushu action continues today with Md Sufi competing in men's nanquan (southern fist), Md Adi in the men's gunshu (long staff), Ang in women's taijiquan (Taiji fist) and Lee Ying Shi will kick off her tournament in the women's changquan (long fist) event.
Li said he held a meeting to encourage the athletes and to increase their confidence level.
"For tomorrow (today), Adi and Sufi will be competing in new events, so I told them to relax and just enjoy the experience. I told all of them to treat it like normal training sessions and not think too much. There is no need to be nervous."
The Brunei football team will also kick off their campaign in Group A against Vietnam at the Zeyar Thiri Stadium.