The national sepak takraw team pose for a group photo at the 5th Asian Beach Games in Vietnam. Picture: Courtesy of Hj Zaman Hj Samat
THE national sepak takraw team failed to defend their crown in the men’s trio event at the 5th Asian Beach Games in Vietnam after falling to Myanmar 2-1 (21-19, 5-21, 14-21) in yesterday’s semi-finals.
The result means that Brunei will finish with a joint-bronze medal with Indonesia, who fell 2-0 (21-15, 21-4) to Laos in the other last-four match at Da Nang. It also equals their performance in the first three editions of the Games where they returned with the bronze medal.
The sultanate got off to a good start and edged Myanmar 21-19 in the first set before the latter stormed back 21-5 to level things in the second set. The match could have gone either way with the rubber set tied at 10-10 before Myanmar closed out strongly to win 21-14. The sultanate started out their Group A campaign on Sunday with a 2-1 (12-21, 21-15, 13-21) loss to Indonesia.
They then bounced back with a 2-0 (21-8, 21-12) win over India in the second game on the same day. Brunei moved into the semi-finals after easing past Nepal 2-0 (21-4, 21-6) in their final Group A match in yesterday’s earlier game.
The national sepak takraw team will have a chance to add to their haul as they will also be competing in the regu event starting today with an encounter against Myanmar in Group B. They will then face Nepal and Indonesia to close out group stage play tomorrow.
The country is represented by six athletes – Abdul Hadi Ariffin Metali, Ismail Ang, Jati Hidayat Saidi, Shukri Jaineh, Md Selamat Yakup and Mohd Alifuddin Jamaluddin — at the Sept 24 to Oct 5 biennial Games.
The national sepak takraw team created history in the last edition of the Games in Thailand two years ago when they defeated South Korea 2-1 in the final of the trio even to clinch the sultanate’s maiden gold medal in the tournament.