Brunei fencer Hajah Anis Sabrina ranks 11th in sabre event

Fadhil Yunus in Manila, the Philippines

Brunei Darussalam’s fencing athlete Hajah Anis Sabrina binti Haji Yahya’s journey at the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games came to an end in the table of 16 stage in the women’s individual sabre at the World Trade Center in Pasay, Philippines.

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council attended the event.

The national fencer bowed out of the competition after a 15-6 defeat to Thailand’s Pokeaw Tonpan, who displayed her strength with an insurmountable lead after the interval.

Hajah Anis Sabrina edged Malaysia’s Tai Natania 5-4 in the elimination round to boost her hopes of sealing passage into the next round.

The sole Brunei’s fencing competitor began her campaign with a 5-2 loss to Vietnam’s Phung Khanh Linh before ending the round with back-to-back losses in a 5-3 defeat to Singapore Lee Kar Yi Jolie and Indonesia’s Novitha Gebhy.

Those losses proved inconsequential in the end as Hajah Anis Sabrina remained in the tournament when the table was redrawn.

She entered the last 16 stage ranked 11th as her Thai opponent was ranked sixth.

The Thai’s reward was a tough draw against Vietnam’s Bui Thi Thu Ha, who finished the elimination round as the third highest ranked player.

Hajah Anis Sabrina highlighted the need for more experience and exposure after being drawn in a tough group in the knockout stage.

“I think with more experience and more competition outside Insya Allah next time I’ll do better,” Hajah Anis Sabrina said in an interview with the Bulletin.

The national fencer switched discipline from the one she joined in the previous edition in Kuala Lumpur when she represented the country in the women’s individual foil.

“This is my first individual sabre event and I think I did quite well for my first competition. I feel really glad that I did well,” said Hajah Anis Sabrina.

She may have fallen short from a quarter-finals finish but she took the positives out of a challenging field with her bout against a Vietnamese a case in point.

“It was quite challenging for me. I scored two out of five against my Vietnamese opponent and that is actually a good development especially when I’m the only fencer being sent here.”

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council watches the women’s individual sabre event of the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines. PHOTOS: INFOFOTO
Brunei Darussalam’s Hajah Anis Sabrina binti Haji Yahya (L) competes against Thailand’s Pokeaw Tonpan