Pestabaru president Pg Hj Ali Hassan Pg DSLJ Hj Abas (R) hands over the Brunei flag to team manager Hj Mokti Hj Abdul Ghani prior to departure to the 29th King's Cup Sepak Takraw Championship 2014. Picture: BT/ Yee Chun Leong
The national sepak takraw team are gearing up for the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.
Brunei sent a 12-player squad to compete at the 29th King's Cup Sepak Takraw Championship 2014 as a warmup leading up to the Sept 19 - Oct 4 competition. The team departed the Sultanate yesterday and will be competing in the doubles, regu and team events at the August 4 - 10 competition in Bangkok. Nur Alimin Sunggoh, Md Shukri Jaineh, Hafizzuddin Jamaludin, Jamaluddin Hj Marzi and Marzuki Munap will take part in the regu event.
Nur Alimin will team up with Ismail Ang and Abd Hadi Ariffin Matali for the doubles event. Amin Maharil, Akmal Hamimi, Shahrin Bubin and Aliffuddin Jamaludin are the other four players on the squad as they will all take part in the team event.
The Sultanate returned with a silver medal in the team event of Division 1 after losing to the Philippines in the final at the 28th King's Cup Sepak Takraw Championship 2013 in Thailand last year. Head coach Hj Zaman Hj Samat expects a good outing considering that the team have been putting in the work. "The players started training back in May and have been working hard including during the fasting month," said Hj Zaman in an interview before departure to Thailand yesterday.
"This tournament will be a good warm up for us. We are only looking at eight players to go to Korea. "I hope that we will be able to put up a good performance since these players have had prior experience to competing outside already," he added. "I do hope that we will be able to finish on the podium again, especially in the doubles event.
"We are not thinking about the Hoop event since it won't be contested in Korea," continued Hj Zaman. Present to bid farewell to the team was Brunei Darussalam Sepak Takraw Association (PESTABARU) president Pg Hj Ali Hassan Pg DSLJ Hj Abas. Also accompanying the team on the trip are assistant coach Japar Wali and team manager Hj Mokti Hj Abdul Ghani.
Brunei had their last outing back in March where they produced their best performance at the International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) Super Series 2013/2014 Finals after finishing fourth at the Titiwangsa Stadium in Kuala Lumpur back in March.
They also had their best outing at the Southeast Asian Games, bagging two bronze at the last edition in Myanmar in December. They started out with a podium finish in the hoop event before securing bronze the men's team double event as losing semi-finalists.