Shotokan Karatedo Brunei Darussalam (SKBD) President Hj Malai Mohammad Hj Malai Othman yesterday expressed his disappointment at karate's exclusion from next year's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore.
SEA Games Federation executive committee chairman Dr Tan Eng Liang on Tuesday confirmed that karate, weightlifting and wrestling will not be contested at next year's Games, the first time since the 1999 Games in Brunei that karate will be left out.
The national karate team bagged two medals, one silver and one bronze at last year's SEA Games in Myanmar, but there will not be any more trips to the podium for them in Singapore next year.
"We were very disappointed when we heard the official news from Singapore's SEA Games organising committee, especially since we have done a lot of preparations and training leading up to the SEA Games," Hj Malai Mohammad told The Brunei Times.
"But what can we do?
"The decision has already been made, even though the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC) has appealed to the Singapore SEA Games organising committee to include karate in the events.
"I thank the BDNOC for their efforts in the appeal we made, but it seems that it didn't manage to change the organising committee's minds," added Hj Malai Mohammad, who is also the Technical Vice President of Brunei Darussalam Karatedo Federation (BRUKAF).
When asked if the sport's exclusion will put a damper on their motivation and training ahead of their upcoming events, Hj Malai Mohammad said the national team will not worry about it and instead focus their attention on the upcoming Malaysia Games (SUKMA) and the Asian Games.
This year's SUKMA will be held from May 24-June 4 in Perlis and the Asian Games are to be held from Sept 19-Oct 4 in Incheon, South Korea.
Hj Malai Mohammad said they're somewhat thankful for the extra time they have to now prepare and train for other events.
"On a positive note, since we don't have to go compete at the SEA Games, we can now focus our efforts and training for SUKMA and the Asian Games," the president said.