| Fadhil Yunus |
BRUNEI Darussalam’s karate competitor Muhammad Fidaiy was only a match away to secure his country’s first medal in the 17th Asian Games but ultimately fell short to Sun Jingchao of China 8-0 in Incheon yesterday.
Nurulain Md Jaafar and Muhammad Fidaiy Sanif both registered victories in their opening bouts to give Brunei Darussalam a measure of pride in the taekwondo and karate disciplines.
Brunei Darussalam have been staring defeats after defeats in both sepak takraw and fencing but the nation’s sole taekwondo competitor Nurulain finally delivered a parting blow in a 3-2 win against Pakistan’s Rasool Najia by virtue of a golden point after the score had been deadlocked 2-2 in the under 73kg level.
However, Rouhani Fatemeh of Iran was a gulf in class after outclassing the Bruneian exponent 19-1.
Muhammad Fidaiy also impressed in karate in the 55kg after beating Al Madhfari Ali Ahmad Omar of Yemen 8-4 in the preliminary round.
Fidaiy was beaten by Kazakhstan’s Aktauov Andrey 2-6 in the quarterfinals but bounced back in emphatic fashion by destroying Timor Leste’s Teodoro Saturnino 8-0 in the repechage.
Meanwhile, Mairul Mohammad did not fare as well as the duo in the under 60kg category. He received a bye in the preliminary round but lost out 5-2 to Vietnam’s Nguyen Thanh Duy.
Brunei Darussalam’s karate national coach Okhida Simangasing said that Md Fidaiy pressed his opponents and succeeded in pulling out attacks as well as carrying out a good conduct on the arena.
Okhida pointed out that Md Fidaiy’s weakness lied in defence and explained that his opponents has regularly played in Premiere League World Karate Championships indicating that they are mentally prepared to handle big tournaments.
Okhida also praised Mairul’s mental strength after picking up a knee injury.
Meanwhile, Brunei Darussalam’s taekwondo national coach Kim Jung Jun hailed Nurulain’s mental strength and high confidence.
However, Nurulain’s disadvantage lied in her height as compared to her Iranian opponent as well as lack of stamina and experience.