His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah (L), the President of the BDNOC, talking to some of the pencak silat team members yesterday at the Mingalar Thiri Hotel in Naypyidaw. BT/ Yee Chun Leong
The Sultanate's most experienced pencak silat exponents are ready to take to the stage today at the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Naypyidaw.
Ak Mohd Khairul Bahri Pg Aliumar will be the first to see action in the men's tanding class G (75-80kg) in the morning at the Zayar Thiri Indoor Stadium C.
The 28-year-old is already guaranteed a medal having received a bye in the first round, moving him into the semi-finals against Vietnam's Nguyen Duy Tuyen.
The afternoon session will see Norleyermah Hj Raya compete in the women's seni tunggal while the trio of Abdul Malik Hj Ladi, Juffri Hj Junaidi and Awang Abdul Rahman Awang Hj Asli will see action in the men's regu team event.
All are familiar with making trips to the podium and are looking forward to doing so again.
Norleyermah, who won bronze in the seni tunggal event two years ago and silver in the 2007 edition in Korat, Thailand, is a household name in the sport and is competing in her fifth edition of the biennial Games this year.
The 25-year-old is focused and has good medal prospects in the event which will feature five participants.
Interestingly, the list of competitors this year excludes defending champion Tuti Winarni of Indonesia and silver medallist Nguyen ThiThuy of Vietnam.
"I'm focused on my event and not thinking about anything else," said Norleyermah in an interview with The Brunei Times when met at the Mingalar Thiri Hotel yesterday.
Ak Mohd Khairul Bahri, who won bronze at the 15th Pencak Silat World Championship in Chiang Rai, Thailand last year, believes that he has got what it takes to win his semi-final matchup.
"I will do my best. I know that I can do it. Confidence is good and spirit is high at the moment," said Ak Mohd Khairul Bahri.
"Coach (Suhartono) has prepared me well both mentally and physically. I'm not nervous and I've kept it in my head to be focused at all times. I really want to win," he said.
The trio of Abdul Malik, Juffri and Awang Abdul Rahman won bronze in the past two editions of the world championships, managing the same result at the last SEA Games.
Brunei sent an eight-member team for the sport with the other three failing to make it out of the first round of their respective events without registering a point.
The first round of the competition only brings together eight athletes, meaning a win automatically equates to a shared bronze - as losing semi-finalists - at the very least.
Ak Md Saifful Azri Pg Mohd Iskandar Saifful opened his campaign with a loss to world champion Diep Ngoc Vu Minh of Vietnam in class A (40-45kg) on Monday.
Siti Shazareena Hanifa was knocked out by the Philippines' Nerlyn Huinda in Class C (55-60kg) while Farina Afida Pehin Hj Abdul Jalil was downed by Thailand's Monruthai Bangsalad of Thailand in Class F (70-75kg) on Tuesday.