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Pencak silat athletes seek strong showing in SEA Games

Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam pencak silat athletes are prepared to produce a strong showing for the country during the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Hanoi, Vietnam next week.

Anisah Najihah binti Abdullah, Norleyermah binti Haji Raya and Nur Wasiqah Aziemah binti Rosihan will feature in the women regu (team) event while Muhd Adi Saifullah bin Haji Muhd Suhaimi will compete in the men’s individual event.

Anisah, who won bronze in 2019 during the SEA games in Manila, will also be taking part in the women’s individual event.

The team has been making preparations since 2019 and recently attended a month-long centralised training at the Games Village of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in the build-up towards the SEA Games.

It will mark the team’s first live appearance since the start of the pandemic, having last tasted competitive action in the 8th Singapore Open Pencak Silat Championships.

After making a podium finish at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center three years ago, Anisah has set her sights on winning another medal. “The SEA Games in Manila was my first time, so I was only looking for exposure. After winning the bronze medal, I’m not just looking for exposure anymore. I have come to win a medal,” she said.

Brunei Darussalam’s representatives for pencek silat for the 31st SEA Games PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS

Her teammate Nur Wasiqah Aziemah feels they are prepared for a strong showing. She said, “Alhamdulillah, I feel grateful. This is my first time joining the SEA Games so I am both excited and nervous.

“We trained four to six hours a day. I feel we are well prepared for the tournament.”

Meanwhile, for Norleyermah, it will be her eighth career appearance in SEA Games. A SEA Games multi-medallist, she said, “I hope we can go to the next level. There will be more pressure with the new rules and we have to win no matter what.”

The country’s sole male competitor Muhd Adi Saifullah will be making his maiden appearance in Hanoi, continuing his journey that first started in school five years ago. As a novice, Muhd Adi Saifullah attained fourth place in the Brunei Darussalam National Games (SKBD) in 2018.

After taking a break in 2019 for exams, Muhd Adi Saifullah resumed his pencak silat commitments the following year.

In 2021, he secured third place out of 25 entries in the virtually-held Jabar Open and repeated the same feat in another international virtual online tournament and winning a live tournament in July.

The competition will introduce the application of new rules, including competing in a knock-out system as opposed to a single round grading system in previous meets.

The national pencak silat athletes will be accompanied by head coach Haji Khairul Bahrin bin Haji Durahman.

The pencak silat events will be held on May 10 and 11 at the Bac Tu Liem Sporting Hall.

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