Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Lack of training downfall for silat squad
Sunday, December 15, 2013

The national pencak silat team know they have to prepare better ahead of the next SEA Games in 2015.

For various reasons, the team was not able to train as well as they would have liked for the 27th edition of the Games - which was only their second international outing of 2013 after a pre-SEA Games meet at the same venue, Naypyidaw's Zayar Thiri Indoor Stadium C, in June.

A lot was expected from the nation's pencak silat exponents in Myanmar but they have only two bronze medals to show from a team of eight competing in six events.

If not for their past achievements - Brunei have won gold at the 2009 SEA Games (Hj Md Khairul Bahrin Hj Duraman in men's tunggal) and at the 2010 World Pencak Silat Championships (Khuzaiman Ahmad in men's Class E, 65-70 kg) - the bar wouldn't have been set so high, though it must be stated that neither of the duo are here in Myanmar.

The national pencak silat team were the most successful of the eight sports which Brunei competed at the 2009 SEA Games in Laos after returning with one gold and three bronze medals, but their last SEA Games outing saw them return with three bronze medals during the 2011 edition - with this year's haul confirming a downward trend.

Abdul Malik Hj Ladi, Juffri Hj Junaidi and Abdul Rahman Hj Asli won bronze in the men's regu (trio) on Friday to add to the bronze they claimed at the 2011 Games while Ak Mohd Khairul Bahri Pg Aliumar will be awarded his shared bronze today after a bye into the second-round (semi-final) of the Class E (70-75kg) category, which he lost 5-0.

All four of Brunei's entries in the tanding events went down 5-0 to their respective opponents, though none were as lucky to get a bye as Ak Mohd Khairul Bahri, who shared bronze as the losing semi-finalist.

The most disappointing result, though, was Norleyermah Hj Raya's fourth-place finish in the women's seni tunggal discipline - the 26-year-old unable to add to the collection of silver and bronze medals she won in the same event at the 2007 and 2011 editions.

"On paper we were second (in the women's tunggal) but we've had a lot of things to think about - such as allowances - heading into the Games," said national pencak silat manager Pg Abdul Karim Pg Metassan at the end of the pencak silat seni competition on Friday.

"There were external pressures on the athletes and they weren't happy.

"Norleyermah only trained (centralised training) for three months before the Games - she was unable to train for longer because she could not get leave from work.

"Next time I'd like to see at least six months to a year's worth of preparation before we compete - and I hope Norleyermah will be able to get a year off (work)," he added.

National coach Suhartono, an Indonesian who has been in charge of his country's national team as well as that of Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, agreed with Pg Abdul Karim.

In fact, he felt Brunei should follow the lead of other countries and spend even more resources and time to prepare for the prestigious regional met.

"Other countries take a break for one month and then they straight training straight away for the next SEA Games... We've only had three months," said Suhartono after Ak Mohd Khairul Bahri lost.

"No matter how expert a coach is, three months is not enough to train (an athlete) physically and mentally."

Courtesy from Brunei Times