The Menglait Sports Complex, where fencing athletes conduct their training session. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS
BY Fadhil Yunus
Fencing stepped up competitive training activities at the Fencing Hall of the Menglait Sports Complex despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has severely affected the sporting scene in the country as no competitions are being held both locally and internationally.
Before sports came to a standstill, the last international tournament which involved the Brunei Darussalam’s fencing representatives was at the 4th ASEAN University Fencing Championship at Nilai University in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.
Anaqi Danish Asahrin and Hajah Anis Sabrina binti Haji Yahya, the country’s leading fencers in the men’s and women’s divisions, struck gold in their sabre events.
Despite the absence of competitions and no immediate targets of competitions due to uncertainties on any competitive action resumption, there are no signs of slowing down for the athletes as training resumed with high intensity to build up stamina and fitness.
The training attracted a good turnout involving a group of aspiring fencers including Fawwaz Fikri, whose talents were spotted by the Brunei Darussalam Fencing Federation (BDFF).
National coach Rocky Poerawinata said that part of the training focussed on building stamina.
He also added the intensive nature of training once athletes prepare for an international competition.
Hajah Anis Sabrina was among those who have been training since the re-opening of sports complexes and facilities in the country.
During a recent training session, the fencers began with skipping exercises before performing a set of drills involving hurdles, ladders and cones.
Fencers would typically perform different types of footwork and jumping through the hurdles as well as utilising cones with emphasis on speed and agility.
They would complete the four-stage obstacle with a short sprint before either repeating the drills or starting over with a new footwork in the first stage of their routine.
Recently, fencing found a temporary new home at the Menglait Sports Complex where they are currently sharing a training base with karate, taekwondo and pencak silat athletes.
The fencing competitors have also been conducting conditioning work at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium and the Sports Medicine and Research Centre.
According to a daily training programme, a kids’ class is also being held every Friday.
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin