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Nurulain wins Brunei's final medal
Sunday, December 22, 2013

Nurulain Md Jafa'ar poses with the bronze medal she received after finishing joint-third in the women's 68-73kg (middle weight) taekwondo competition at the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games yesterday. BT/ Jason Thomas

Brunei will finish at the bottom of the 11-team Southeast Asian (SEA) Games table once again despite winning another bronze in yesterday's penultimate day of the tournament.

Nurulain Md Jafa'ar claimed Brunei's final medal here at the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games after finishing joint-third in the women's 68-73kg (middle weight) taekwondo competition yesterday - though Timor Leste's second gold at the Games means Brunei will end the biennial meet today trailing every other country in the medal tally.

Nurulain's bronze brings Brunei's total to one gold, one silver and six bronze medals - Timor Leste are currently on two gold, three silver and five bronze medals.

Making her debut at the regional tournament, Nurulain went down to Indonesia's Selviana Angelia Jehabut 6-3 in her first match after getting a bye into the semi-final of the six-athlete category, going on to share bronze with the Philippines' Jane Rafaelle Narra.

Nurulain trailed Jehabut 3-1 after the first round and went down 5-1 at the end of the second, with one point awarded for every punch or kick to the body and three points for every blow to the head.

Though Jehabut went ahead 6-1 at the start of the third and final round, Nurulain delivered two quick punches in the final 10 seconds to cut the deficit to 6-3.

Nurulain, who stopped competing for the national team for two and a half years to concentrate on her studies before making her comeback at October's Islamic Solidarity Games (ISG), said she was already thinking about the next 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.

"I learnt a lot from the match and realised I need to improve my technique," she said after receiving her medal.

"Jehabut is a good fighter and won silver in the same weight class at the ISG.

"I'm disappointed I wasn't able to reach the final but maybe it's not my year yet.

"I will work harder and try my best at the next Games to go for gold," promised the 2011 Korea Open bronze medalist.

The 22-year-old also thanked her national coach Kim Jung-jun, family, friends and all those who supported her.

Brunei's other taekwondo exponent at the Games, Fathullah Mohammad Taib, also lost his first match 9-6 to the Philippines Paul Romero in the men's 58-63kg (bantam weight) category on Friday.

Despite the loss, the three-time SEA Games athlete can take some solace in his result.

The 23-year-old Fathullah also competed at the 2009 Laos SEA Games and 2011 Indonesia SEA Games and was unable to progress to the second round in each instance.

The 2011 Games saw him lose 2-1 to Malaysia's Rusfredy Tokan Petrus in the first round of the same category.

His 2009 Games saw him beaten 11-1 by Singapore's Jason Tan in the same stage of the men's fin weight (below 54kg) category.

Brunei also won a joint-bronze at the 2011 SEA Games when Mohammad Saifullah Hj Mohtar lost his sole match to Thailand's eventual champion Nattapat Tantramar in the 74-80kg (welterweight) category.

Courtesy from Brunei Times