THE national sepak takraw team started their 5th Asian Beach Games regu event campaign on the wrong foot with a 2-0 (13-21, 12-21) loss to Myanmar yesterday.
They will look to bounce back with meetings against Nepal and Indonesia today to close out Group B stage play in Da Nang, Vietnam. Represented by Abdul Hadi Ariffin Metali, Zatie Hidayat Saidi, Md Selamat Yakup and Md Alifuddin Jamaluddin, the team bagged joint-bronze in the trio event after falling 2-1 (21-19, 5-21, 14-21) to Myanmar in the semi-finals on Monday.
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 then progressed into the last-four and a guaranteed medal after easing past Nepal 2-0 (21-4, 21-6) in their final Group A match on Monday morning.
The six-man team are Brunei’s sole contestants at the 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 event to clinch the sultanate’s maiden gold medal in the tournament.
Three senior players from the 2014 team were left out of this year’s squad. Leading the contingent in Vietnam as chef de mission this year is Kifli Hj Jaafar, the Head of the Sports Coaching and Development Unit in the Department of Youth and Sports.
Kifli is also the president of the Brunei Darussalam Athletics Federation.