Brunei Darussalam’s national wushu athletes Basma Lachkar and Hosea Wong Zheng Yu paved the way for one of the most decorated opening-day medal hauls after the duo struck silver in their events at the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the World Trade Center in Pasay, Philippines yesterday.
His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council with Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Bini Hajah Faizah binti Dato Haji Nasir and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak ‘Aliiyah Amalul Bulqiah watched the event.
Brunei rising star Basma, who is the youngest athlete in her category, bagged her second consecutive SEA Games silver in the women’s taijiquan event after she accumulated 9.55 points.
Two years ago, she cemented her status as the country’s leading wushu star after a silver-medal finish in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Agatha Wong of the Philippines defended her women’s taijiquan title after she scored 9.67 points while Vietnam’s Thi Minh Huyen Tran settled for bronze with 9.53 points.
Brunei’s Hosea Wong announced his arrival on the grand stage after he bagged silver in the men’s taijiquan with 9.59 points.
The 16-year-old made his debut in this year’s SEA Games before entering the record books as one of Brunei’s successful wushu exponents.
Malaysia’s Choon How Loh captured his country’s first gold medal in Hosea’s event with 9.68 points, while former champion Daniel Latawan of the Philippines returned to the podium with bronze after a runout of 9.56 points.
National wushu coach Li Hui led the tributes after his charges delivered medals on the opening day of the sport’s programme.
“Coach Zhao Chunjie and myself are very happy with the athletes’ achievements today for taking two silvers,” said Li Hui in an interview.
“Basma is the youngest in her category and she managed to get silver. Hosea is also one of our young athletes.”
The head coach shared that the medal-winning exploits added proof of the progress the athletes have made. He said, “This (winning two silver) demonstrated the capability and improvement of our young athletes.”
Meanwhile, Mohammad Adi Salihin bin Roslan is in pole position for the gold medal after he topped the men’s nandao round with a total of 9.64 points.
Vietnam’s Quoc Khanh Pham lies a close second and in silver medal position with 9.63 points alongside Indonesia’s Harris Horatius who managed an identical number of points.