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Nat’l takraw team shift focus


The national sepak takraw team pose for a group photo before one of their matches at the King’s Cup Sepak Takraw World Championship 2016 in Bangkok earlier this month. Picture: Courtesy of Md Isa Hj Marsidi


BY AK FAUZI PG SALLEH

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - THE national sepak takraw team have now shifted their attention to two big tournaments after a poor campaign at the recent King’s Cup Sepak Takraw World Championship 2016 in Bangkok. The country failed to a win any medals at the 31st edition of the tournament having only reached quarter-final in the team event of the Premier Division and bowing out in the group stage of the regu and doubles events at the October 17-23 tournament.

Brunei won two bronze in the previous edition of the tournament held in May last year.

In an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday, team manager Md Isa Hj Marsidi said that the team is looking to put the disappointment behind them and have now set their sights on December’s 9th BIMP-EAGA (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area) Friendship Games in Kalimantan and the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur in August.

“The players were disappointed to not win any medals at the King’s Cup, but I personally think that they did quite well given that most of them are still young – with their ages averaging from 19 to 21,” said Md Isa.

“One of PESTABARU’s (Brunei Darussalam Sepak Takraw Association) main aims is to promote new players for the future, and I think we did just that at the King’s Cup.

“Even though we didn’t win any medals, the players gave a good fight and I think they learned and grew a lot from the tournament.

“I believe that this current crop of players is capable of going forward and making Brunei proud in the future, but they must be given the right support from now on,”

“It is very important for these young players to be given the opportunity to compete as much as possible to get used to high level competition environments, so I hope we can start by going to the BIMP-EAGA Games and then prepare for bigger tournaments next year such as the SEA Games,” he added.

Brunei were represented by Md Selamat Yakup, Zatie Hidayat Saidi, Md Asri Abdul Harith, Md Alifuddin Jamaludin, Md Alauden Md Ali, Ismail Ang, Abdul Hadi Ariffin Matali and Zatie Hidayat at the King’s Cup.

The team bagged two gold medals at last year’s 28th SEA Games in Singapore.

Brunei finished with three gold, eight silver and four bronze medals at the previous edition of the BIMP-EAGA Games in Labuan two years ago, finishing ninth in the 12-team meet.

-- Courtesy of The Brunei Times

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