Ahmad Taufiq Murni (pic) is looking to get his game back on the right track.
The national cueist is coming off a disappointing outing at the Qatar World 9-Ball Pool Championship in Doha a fortnight ago. He lost 9-5 to Fu Che Wei of Chinese Taipei in his opener before being handed a 9-4 defeat by Romania's Melkonyan Bakben at the Al Sadd Sports Club to see his campaign come to an end.
The results have stifled the 25-year-old but he is going back to the basics in looking to regain his momentum. "I'm trying to gain back my confidence. I lost my rhythm especially on my strokes after the Qatar tournament," said Taufiq in an interview with The Brunei Times during a training session last night at the Billiards and Snooker Hall of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
"I missed quite a few easy shots at the competition. They just didn't want to go into the pocket," he said. "I'm going back to the basics and working on getting my game back. There are no tournaments for the time being and I'm looking to gain back my momentum," continued Taufiq.
The competition in Qatar was the second World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) event for the Bruneian this year. Taufiq also failed to rack up any wins at the World 9-Ball China Open 2014 in Shanghai in the first week of June.
He fell 9-7 to Mohammad Hassan Al Hosaini of United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the first round before losing 9-3 to Hayato Hijikata of Japan at the Pudong Yuanshen Stadium. During the month of Ramadhan, the national cue sports team train four times a week with sessions from 9 - 11.45pm after the terawih prayers from Mondays to Wednesdays and 2.30 - 5.30pm on Saturdays.
Asked if the hours may affect his play, Taufiq replied: "Training is going as usual for me and I know that I cannot stop working on my game. "I'm used to the later times since normally I would still be playing on my own at pool houses," he added.
National cue sports coach Lim Tat Hwe advised that the cueists will have to continue working hard despite the fasting month. "(Roberto) Gomez did tell us that 'You cannot stop training. Once you take a break then it is like quitting already. You cannot afford to rest'," said Lim.
"The players need to always be serious at all times if they want to do well," he added. "They need to be serious in training and not only do it for fun so that they can remain focused when in-game," concluded Lim.
Professional cueist, Roberto Gomez of the Philippines, was brought in to the Sultanate for a 21-day stint to assist Taufiq with sparring and training purposes prior to departure to the SEA Games in Naypyidaw last year.
Next on the calendar for the cue sports team is the 6th Golden Break 9-Ball Asia Invitational 2014 slated for August 16-23 in Kuala Lumpur.