Fadhil Yunus in Manila, the Philippines
Brunei Darussalam wushu duo Majdurano Joel Majallah Sain and Mohammad Safiee Shayferan bin Roslan contributed a medal rush after a haul of 9.50 points earned them silver in the men’s duilian event in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the World Trade Center in Pasay, Philippines yesterday.
The consistent wushu team finished on the podium in six out of the seven categories contested, where they managed one gold, three silver and two bronze.
The entire wushu line-up will be leaving Manila with a SEA Games medal in what turned out to be one of the most successful sporting stories Brunei has seen at a major competition.
The young wushu team enjoyed resounding success spearheaded by Mohammad Adi Salihin bin Roslan who bagged the gold medal, the country’s first in the multi-sport meet since 2013.
Wushu prodigy Basma Lachkar established herself as a multi-medallist after defending her silver medal in the women’s taijiquan before adding a bronze in the women’s taijijian event. Debutant Hosea Wong Zheng Yu also enjoyed a successful stint after adding silver in the men’s taijiquan with bronze in the men’s taijijian.
Brunei’s interest in the final day of the wushu taolu programme began with the country’s most recent gold medallist Mohammad Adi Salihin bin Roslan in the men’s Nanquan event.
The wushu sensation led the standings but moved out of gold medal contention when Indonesia’s Harris Horatius raised the bar with 9.63 points. The danger of missing out on a podium came into thinking when Myanmar’s Thein Than Oo matched Mohammad Adi Salihin’s score before Vietnam’s Quoc Khanh Pham provided a dramatic end with an unbeatable score of 9.65 points to take gold.
Brunei’s rising star Basma Lachkar performed last in her women’s taijijian event and scored 9.62 points to claim bronze. The rising Brunei star has now a proud collection of two silver and one bronze in her two appearances in the biennial multi-sport festival.
The last taolu event saw the pairing of Majdurano Joel and Mohammad Safiee Shayferan, who are the reigning Asian junior champions, make a grand entrance in their SEA Games debut with a wonderfully choreographed move.
After their performance ended, the arena turned into eerie silence as they waited if they had done enough to merit gold.
But, it was still an impressive silver when the result was announced as the Indonesian trio of Seraf Siregar, Edgar Marvelo and Harris Horatius erupted in joy.
“As a team and as partners, we did not expect to win a medal. We did not expect but we showed our best and we are very grateful to win silver,” said Majdurano Joel in an interview with the Bulletin.
“We trained for one month in China and it was worth it. We were taken by surprise when we got selected for the SEA Games but we were also equally excited since it is our first time.”
Basma, who is the youngest in her category, will be hoping to catch up against her experienced rivals as she seeks to step up her training.
“The other athletes have a lot of experience and I have just started five years ago. They already have experience competing and they trained even longer,” said Basma.
“I have to catch up to their level and it is quite challenging especially in the SEA Games where it is hard to compete against all the competitors.”
The 16-year-old added, “The idea is to join more competitions. Training must also be intensive so that we will feel calm during the competition.” Basma could be participating in the World Junior Championships and the Sukma Games next year.
National coach Li Hui lavished praise on Basma whose performances has opened up the women’s division.
“I’m very excited and happy for Basma. She performed excellently in all of her events,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Adi Salihin missed out on the podium despite sharing the same result with Myanmar’s Thein Than Oo on 9.62 points.
It all came down to margins as the wushu star gained slightly lower marks in terms of difficulty movement that his Myanmar rival even though the performance score was similar.