Brunei strikes gold in 10th Asian Junior Wushu Championships

Fadhil Yunus

BRUNEI Darussalam’s golden girl Basma Lachkar delivered for her country after winning the gold medal in the girl’s taijiquan youth, capping off a dramatic finish to the final taolu event of the day in the 10th Asian Junior Wushu Championships at the Indoor Stadium of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex yesterday.

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC) presented the prizes for the girl’s taijiquan event during the ceremony.

Also in attendance was Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak ‘Aliiyah Amalul Bulqiah.

Brunei, who became hosts for the first time, made an immediate impact in the prestigious continental meet as the country witnessed one or more competitors earning a spot on the podium in the first three days of the competition.

When Basma, one of the athletes who contributed to the haul of medals during a three-day medal push with silver in taijijian, stepped up for her routine, the home crowd waited for the first medal of the day with the concluding taolu event as their final hope.

The home favourite was the last athlete to do a routine with the morning session about to conclude and with Japan’s Hibiki Isono in gold medal position, the nation held its breath.

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC); Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak ‘Aliiyah Amalul Bulqiah; and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin at the 10th Asian Junior Youth Wushu Championships. – PHOTOS: INFOFOTO/WUSHU FEDERATION OF BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
Brunei Darussalam’s Basma Lachkar poses with her medal and certificate

But, the wait was over when a brief pause was accompanied with cheerful scenes when the huge screen read out Basma’s score of 9.48 points, exactly the same as Hibiki. The pair shared gold with Taiwan’s Shao Yun Lu, who was in silver medal position, settling for bronze with 9.47 points.

National coach Li Hui offered the highest of praises to her star pupil calling it a perfect performance and was proud of her.

Brunei junior wushu athlete Hosea Wong Zheng Yu was looking for a second gold before of the home crowd after his taijiquan heroics but he was bunched among the chasing pack with only tiny margins separating him from a return to the podium.

Hosea Wong accumulated 9.45 points, only 0.03 behind bronze medallist Juan Hendy Irmanto of Indonesia. The top three of the event was only separated by 0.01 with Singapore’s Tay Yu Xuan edging Taiwan’s Hsing Shan Chen for gold with 9.50 points and the latter agonisingly close with 9.49 points.

Brunei’s rising star Majdurano Joel bin Majallah Sain, who was chasing for his third gold medal since the previous edition in Gumi City, Korea couple of years ago, managed 9.39 points in the boy’s nanquan youth. Meanwhile, Brunei’s Walid Lachkar scored 9.14 points in the boy’s daoshu junior event.

Brunei currently enjoys a haul of four golds, one silver and one bronze and is ranked sixth in the medal table for taolu events.