Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
National takraw coach bows out in style
Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ittiphol Chomchaissak (pic) will end his reign as the national sepak takraw coach on a bittersweet note.

He watched the national squad fail to progress into the semi-finals of the men's double event for the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games after losing all three of their Group A matches.

His last match saw his charges fall to a 2-0 (21-10, 21-7) defeat at the hands of Laos at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium B in Naypyidaw.

But it didn't matter as more importantly his 12-year wait for medals at the biennial Games came to an end after six attempts.

Brunei scored two bronze medals from the hoop event and men's team double event, making it their most successful campaign under Ittiphol.

"I'm still very happy because we managed to win medals especially since this is the first time for me. I've waited a long time for it to happen," said an emotional Ittiphol in an interview yesterday.

His players - manager included - shaved their heads after finishing on the podium of the men's team double event.

The Thai national didn't do the same as he explained that he would only have done so had they got on the podium thrice.

He also highlighted what is needed for improvements to get the sport moving forward in the Sultanate during his exit interview.

"The Bruneian players need to go out to compete more. They don't have enough exposure and require more experience in the game," said Ittiphol, who won gold at the SEA Games with the Thai national team back in 1993.

"Also the management needs to improve. The release of players working from the police or army for training is also slow," he added.

"During my 12 years here, sometimes I even had to pay for food (for the players) because there is no allowance for attending training since not everyone is working," continued Ittiphol, who is headed to Vietnam to coach the women's national squad.

The players also chimed in on their experience training with Ittiphol and appreciate all that the outgoing national coach has contributed towards their career.

"We really appreciate what he has given us. I've been training under him for a long time and it is great to be able to win medals here," said Md Shukri Jaineh, who is one of the longest serving players with 11 years under the Thai.

"I've been under him for a while now (since 2008). He communicates really well with the players and takes good care of us," added Humaidi Brahim.

"He has a lot of experience and knowledge about the sport and has provided the best he could for us," continued the 26-year-old.

"I want to wish coach good luck in his future endeavours. I've learnt many things from him and I'm thankful for his knowledge," added Ismail Ang, who joined the team in 2005.

"I want to thank coach for everything. He was very strict at training and I've improved a lot under him," concluded Mohd Hafizzuddin Jamaludin, who is relatively new to the squad having joined in 2011.

Courtesy from Brunei Times