The national karate team got their campaign off to a losing start in the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games yesterday in Naypyidaw.
Mohd Jamil Hj Abd Hamid was the only Bruneian to see action and he fell to a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Sutthichai Takhieo of Thailand in the over 84kg Kumite event at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium A.
Mohd Jamil felt that he should have been awarded some points and was a victim of bad judging after the loss.
"I don't know what happened. I thought the judges were not very fair," said Mohd Jamil in an interview with The Brunei Times after the match.
"I was disappointed as I would turn around to look at the judges but no points were awarded," he said.
"I was confident and went on the attack. I felt that I should have gotten a few points but instead they were given to my opponent."
National karate coach Okhida Simangasing shared the same sentiments as his athlete
"He (Mohd Jamil) was too cautious and the opponent took advantage by going on the attack," said Okhida.
"He was tense and his body was stiff as well. He wasn't as aggressive. But I do feel that the jury was also a bit bias," he added.
Five times SEA Games gold medallist Umar Syarief of Indonesia successfully defended his title after edging G Theebaan of Malaysia by one point in the final.
Pham Quang Duy of Vietnam and Takhieo shared joint-bronze to complete the podium.
Six other karatekas from the Sultanate are set to see action at the same venue today.
Mairul Mohammad will take on S K Silvarajoo of Malaysia in the men's under 60kg kumite while Md Fadillah Sani, who won silver in the previous edition in Indonesia, will face S Raghonathan of Malaysia in the men's under 67kg kumite.
Mainuddin Mohammad has been drawn against C Mondolu of Indonesia in the men's under 75kg kumite while Md Fida'iy Sanif will be up against Malaysia's K Lakanathan in the men's under 55kg kumite.
Md Fazil Rewandi Md Faizal will go head-to-head against E S Dagohoy of the Philippines in the men's under 84kg kumite while the lone female representative from Brunei, Dk Nurleha Pg Abdul Rahman, will see action against P Raksachart of Thailand in the women's under 50kg kumite.
Asked on if the draw was favourable for the country, Okhida repied: "All are strong opponents and we hope to put up good performances from our best efforts."
The national karate team will close out their campaign at the biennial Games with the men's team kumite event tomorrow.