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Wushu star Basma wins Brunei’s first gold medal in World Games

Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam’s wushu star Basma Lachkar won the country’s first-ever medal at the World Games 2022 after striking gold in the Women’s Combined Taijiquan and Taijijian event at the Bill Battle Coliseum in Birmingham, Alabama in the United States (US).

The national athlete posted a winning score of 19.040 points, fending off competition from silver medallist Chinese Taipei’s Pei-hsun Liu who scored 19.013 points and Singapore’s bronze medallist who attained a score of 18.947 points.

It marked the first time that Brunei has medalled in the highly prestigious world meet since its inception in Santa Clara, US in 1981.

The gold medal arguably represents Basma’s finest performance in the international scene, eclipsing her silver medal heroics in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2017 and 2019.

Among those who qualify for the World Games 2022 are the top 10 participants from the 15th World Wushu Championships in Shanghai, China in 2019. Basma gained an entry in the competition after she was ranked seventh.

National coach Li Hui said, “We felt very lucky to be able to qualify and compete in such a major competition which is one of the most prestigious Games in the world.”

National wushu athlete Basma Lachkar won Brunei Darussalam’s first medal at the World Games 2022 after striking gold in the women’s combined taijiquan and taijijian event at the Bill Battle Coliseum in Birmingham, Alabama, United States. PHOTO: LI HUI
Brunei Darussalam’s wushu star Basma Lachkar with coaches Li Hui and Zhao Chunjie. PHOTO: LI HUI

“To be able to win a gold medal is really special. The opponents are highly experienced so it’s not an easy competition,” he added. “Since I started coaching in Brunei 15 years ago, this is the biggest breakthrough for wushu athletes.”

The long-serving national coach was also visibly pleased with her star performer and heaped praise following a faultless display on the global stage.

“Basma has displayed an excellent performance in both events (Taijiquan and Taijijian). If there is any mistake in either event, we would not have won the gold medal. Basma has performed really well.”

Li Hui shared that coach Zhao Chunjie has continuously trained Basma and also introduced new moves in her performance adding that she has improved tremendously under her guidance.

He also conveyed his gratitude to the Government of 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; Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports; Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council and the Brunei Darussalam Wushu Federation for their endless support.

The country has enjoyed success in wushu at the regional and international level this year with national athlete Mohammad Adi Salihin bin Roslan winning the gold medal in the 31st SEA Games in the men’s Nanquan event Hanoi, Vietnam last May.

The multi-sport meet commonly involves sports and disciplines that are not featured in the Olympics’ programme and is usually held a year after the Olympics.

The 2022 edition was carried out this year due to the rescheduling of the Olympic Games.