Brunei's medal winning taekwondo athlete Nurulain Md Jafa'ar (C) is welcomed home by her parents upon touching down in Brunei yesterday .BT/ Syarif Rasani
Brunei's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games' bronze medallists from taekwondo and sepak takraw touched down safely in Brunei to be greeted by their families and government officials yesterday.
Mohamad Shukri Jaineh, Ismail Ang, Abdul Hadi Ariffin Matali, Humaidi Brahim, Mohd Hafizzudin Jamaluddin and Marzuki Munap did Brunei proud in sepak takraw by winning bronze in the hoop and team double event.
Tears of joy were shed between taekwondo joint-bronze medallist Nurulain Md Jafa'ar and her mother, especially after her achievement in the women's 68-73kg (middle weight) class on Saturday.
Following the mass family greetings, The Brunei Times asked Nurulain on her opinions regarding chef de mission (CDM) Hj Muhd Zamri Dato Paduka Hj Hamdani's report on how the country can improve for the future games.
When told that the CDM felt that the selection of athletes should be done earlier so the athletes can start training earlier, Nurulain replied, "Maybe if they provide the help one year before the Games... it will probably help us gain mental and physical strength."
"Currently we are adapting to what we have and we are strong but if they did that for us, our (level) of performance would be higher," said Nurulain.
Exposure to more overseas tournaments as well as being given more support to ensure medals at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore were also subjects the CDM touched upon.
"(Exposure) would really help us a lot because once we join competitions, our bodies automatically remember how to tackle the opponents and think of new strategies to take down the person in front of us," said Nurulain.
"It comes naturally because we can't predict someone else's strategy but it's from there we learn.
"Probably if we were sent overseas for more competitions before the SEA Games, our chances of winning would be higher," she said.
"Insyallah in the near future, Brunei taekwondo will come out stronger and we will try to win more medals for the nation."
Cueist Ahmad Taufiq Murni also saw the positives from the CDM's report.
"From picking athletes early, I think it's a good idea," said Ahmad Taufiq who fell during the first round for the 10-ball and 9-ball.
"For cue sports we should start really early and send them for exposure so they can improve their abilities, hopefully we will see new faces next year.
"More exposure is important for big competitions because you learn from the pressure," explained Ahmad Taufiq.
Welcoming the athletes home was the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Hamid Hj Mohd Jaafar.