National fencing team prepped for SEA Games

Caption: (From Left) Taufan Salim, Hardiwan Shah Rahim, team manager Dk Siti Hanina Pg Idris, national fencing coach Rocky Poerawinata and Md Anaqi Danish Asahrin pose for a group photo. Picture: Yee Chun Leong

Yee Chun Leong

THE national fencing team are looking at putting up a strong showing at the 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Brunei will be represented by the duo of Hardiwan Shah Rahim and Md Anaqi Danish Asahrin in the men’s individual sabre event and Hjh Anis Sabrina Hj Yahya in the women’s individual foil event.

The trio together with national fencing coach Rocky Poerawinata had attended a two-week training camp with the Hong Kong national team in late June.

They then went on to compete at the 3rd Southeast Asia Pacific Junior and Cadet Fencing Championship in Manila last month whereby Hardiwan and Anaqi returned with a silver medal from the sabre team event.

They are now in the now in the final stages of preparation where they have invited Taufan Salim, Indonesian No 3 in Sabre event, for sparring purposes leading up to the Games.

“Preparations for the athletes is to what I have hoped. The training camp in Hong Kong was very good as some of the national athletes are Asian champions,” said Rocky in an interview with BruSports News last night.

“Looking at the way they trained, there are improvements.

“The team spirit is also still very high and we will need to maintain that. For the next 1-2 weeks it will be more towards mental preparations,” he added.

“Hopefully during the tournament, as we got nothing to lose, will try our best. If the athletes can perform at their best, nothing is impossible,” continued the Indonesian.

Rocky also highlighted Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore as the powerhouses in the region.

“They are already at Asian level. But for me that is not an excuse, we will try our best because in fencing anything can happen,” said the national fencing coach.

The national fencing coach also went on to thank the JBS (Department of Youth and Sports) for opportunity to go to Hong Kong for training as well as to compete in Manila.

Hardiwan Shah Rahim (R) during a training session back in April. Picture: Yee Chun Leong

This is the second appearance for Hardiwan at the biennial Games having contested in the team event in Singapore two years ago and he is hoping for a good outing.

“My expectations has always been trying my best at the SEA Games and to get as many points as I can as well as gaining more experience along the way,” said the 21-year-old.

“So far training is fine and we learned a lot while in Hong Kong. We also got a lot of advice and tips from the Hungarian coaches (Marffy Geza and Sandor Neuhold),” he added.

Anaqi went to the previous edition of the Games as well but didn’t get to feature. The 17-year-old hopes that he will be able to put on a show this time around.

“For now I want to prove to my coach that I can do well at the SEA Games since before I didn’t get to play,” said Anaqi.

“I will try my best to make my coach, the federation and all Bruneians happy.

“I know that I’ve improved from the last time. It is different this time as we attended a training camp and had warmup games. I feel a lot more prepared this time,” he concluded.

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