Wednesday, June 26, 2024
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Brunei bags gold

Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam wushu athlete Muhammad Adi Salihin bin Roslan won his country’s first gold medal at the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games after amassing a score of 9.71 points in the men’s nanquan event at the Cau Giay Gymnasium in Hanoi, Vietnam yesterday.

The wushu sensation not only elevated his status to one of the most decorated athletes of all time after winning multiple SEA Games gold medals but also joined a rare selection of the country’s greatest sporting figures.

Muhammad Adi Salihin had won the gold medal in the men’s nandao event at the 30th SEA Games in Manila, the Philippines in 2019.

It was the perfect response for the country’s highly-profiled martial arts star after seeing his hopes of retaining the gold medal in the men’s nandao came to an end on Friday.

The Bruneian exponent was met with fierce competition with reigning gold medallist Pham Quoc Khanh among those vying for top honours.

“I’m so happy with my performance. I never expected to win but I did my best,” Muhammad Adi Salihin said.

Muhammad Adi Salihin bin Roslan with the Brunei contingent. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS

He added, “I would like to thank His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for giving me the chance to make the country proud.

“I would also like to thank the coach who has trained me for 15 years and never gave up on me.

“Without my coach, I would not be here. I’d like to convey my gratitude to my teammates who always cheered me as well as my mother and my brother for the countless support from the beginning when I joined wushu. For the next target, I would like to train hard again and never stop fighting to contribute to make Brunei proud. I need to prepare for the Asian Games and the SEA Games next year.”

Meanwhile, national wushu coach Li Hui said, “It has been a very tough 31st SEA Games for us. For three years, we did not have any competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During COVID-19, the athletes could not really train accordingly. For this edition of the SEA Games, our preparation time was only three months.”

He added that the national wushu team underwent centralised training, with athletes compensating for the lost training time by working hard and showing commitment to competition preparation.

He also highlighted that the hard work of athletes and coaches had paid off and conveyed his gratitude to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council for their support.

Currently, Brunei’s overall medal tally stands at one gold, one silver and one bronze.