National karateka Mohammad Fadilah Sanif competing in the men's below 60kg kumite final during the 2011 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Indonesia. Shotokan Karatedo Brunei Darussalam (SKBD) hope that tomorrow's 1st SKBD Karatedo Championship will help the country look for future SEA Games representatives. BT file
More than 80 karatekas are expected to take part in tomorrow's 1st Shotokan Karatedo Brunei Darussalam (SKBD) Karatedo Championship.
Two categories, kumite (sparring) and kata (performance), will be on offer at the inaugural tournament at the Indoor Stadium of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
The tournament is strictly open to SKBD members, and any interested parties within the club can still register by contacting SKBD's Sabrina Wong at shotokan.Brunei@live.com.
The tournament is sanctioned by the Brunei Darussalam Karatedo Federation (BRUKAF) and the rules and regulations set for the tournament will follow the World Karate Federation (WKF) standard.
Referees and judges from the Asian Karatedo Federation (AKF) will be responsible for officiating the tournament.
"This tournament is very important to help us expose our young generation of karatekas to a competitive tournament environment," said SKBD president Hj Sayed Mohammad Hj Sayed Othman yesterday.
"(Also) I believe that this will enable us to look for potential athletes as we prepare for the 2017 and 2019 Southeast Asian Games," he added.
Singapore is set to organise the next SEA Games in 2015, though karate is not on the list of 30 sports it will host during the competition.
Speaking to The Brunei Times earlier this month, national karate coach Hj Okhida Simangasing said he remains optimistic that karate will be included in Singapore.
"We will wait until the very end. we still have plenty of time to push Singapore to include karate in the SEA Games," said the national coach.
"All we need to do is just to keep training and pray that karate will be included in Singapore next year," he added.
Karate has been contested at the SEA Games for the last 20 years, leaving many countries perplexed with Singapore's decision to leave the sport out.
The national team tasted success at the last SEA Games when they won one silver and one bronze at the Dec 11-22 multi-sport event in Myanmar.
Muhd Fida'iy Sanif delivered the silver medal after losing 8-6 to Ramon Antonino Franco of the Philippines in the men's under 55kg kumite while the bronze medal came courtesy of Mairul Muhammad, who edged Myanmar's San Toe in the repechage of the men's under 60kg kumite after both were deadlocked at 3-3 in regulation time.
Founded in 2012, SKBD is affiliated with Japan Karatedo Maruyoshikai Organisation (JKMO).
SKBD became the newest member of BRUKAF on December 23, 2012, in a ceremony attended by the president and founder of JKMO, Sasaki Toshiatsu.
BRUKAF president Pg Hj Yura Kesteria Pg Setia Negara Dr Hj Md Yusof and Hj Sayed Mohammad were also present.
Among other countries JKMO currently has branches in include USA, Canada, Russia, France, India, Malaysia, UAE, Iran and Sri Lanka.