The national sepak takraw team in a group photo at the 31st King’s Cup Sepak Takraw World Championship 2016 in Bangkok yesterday. Picture: Courtesy of Md Isa Hj Marsidi
THE national sepak takraw team were gifted passage into the quarter-finals of the team event in the Premier Division at the 31st King’s Cup Sepak Takraw World Championship 2016 in Bangkok after a walkover victory over Indonesia yesterday.
It was the first triumph for the sultanate after failing to get on the win column in both their regu and doubles events at the Oct 17-23 annual competition in the Thai capital.
Brunei will face Singapore in a battle for group supremacy tomorrow, and team manager Md Isa Hj Marsidi highlighted the importance of winning to avoid playing world champions Thailand in the next round at the Fashion Island Mall in Bangkok.
“I hope we will be able to put up a great performance against Singapore because we want to finish top of our group,” said Md Isa yesterday.
“We have a chance to go further in the competition should we avoid playing the hosts,” he added.
Brunei are represented by 10 athletes — Abdul Hadi Ariffin Matali, Ismail Ang, Zatie Hidayat Saidi, Md Selamat Yakup, Md Asri Abdul Harith, Md Alifuddin Jamaludin, Md Alauden Md Ali, Abdul Mu’iz Hj Nordin, Abdul Wasi’ Hj Nordin and Ahmad Habibbudin Jamaludin — at the Thai capital.
Zatie, Md Selamat, Md Asri, Md Alifuddin and Md Alauden started out Brunei’s campaign in the regu event of the Premier Division with a 2-0 (21-8, 21-12) loss to South Korea on Monday.
They were then stopped in their tracks 2-1 (19-21, 21-18, 21-13) by the Philippines to see them dumped out of the event the next day.
The team of Abdul Hadi, Ismail and Zatie then contested in the doubles event, where they began with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-15) defeat at the hands of Laos, also on Tuesday.
They then lost 2-0 (21-10, 21-11) to Myanmar in their first match on Wednesday before being edged 2-1 (21-18, 21-12, 22-20) by Japan to see them out of contention in the event.
Brunei will not be able to better last year’s performance in May, when they returned with two bronze medals.