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Wednesday, September 12, 2001

SEA Games - Brunei fail to add on to medal tally

By Benny Ang

Brunei failed to add on to their medal tally in the 21st SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur yesterday when they were ousted in the quarterfinal stages of several events.

In soccer, Brunei lost to Indonesia 9-0.

In the men's boxing 51kg category, Hj Norirwan had to retire in the quarterfinal against Cambodia's Roeung Sarath to ruin any chance of a medal in that event.

The taekwondo men's flyweight quarterfinal between Singapore's Edwin Gerard Lam and Mohd Rafie Abdul Latif of Brunei was won by the Singaporean. The silat team were so far unable to repeat their heroics of 1999 when two of their exponents were sent packing in the first round.

In the Putera B category, Md Shamsuddin Ibrahim was defeated by Malaysia's Nik Adli Nik Abdullah by a scoreline of 4-1. His fellow Bruneian Ramlee Jaluddin was unable to fare any better in the Putera C category as he fell to Indonesian Lamech Manam 3-2.

In the individual tennis event, Brunei were unable to make amends for their quick exit from the team event, going down in the men's doubles first round.

The combination of Billy Wong and Ak Aki Ismasufian had been touted for great things but fell to the Cambodian pair of Chhit Davin and Vanna Pel in three sets 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. In the golf individual event, Hj Arfian Hj Kadir proved to be the best of the Bruneians as he followed up his first round score of 74 by shooting 75 in the second round, giving him a total of 149.

Hj Arfian joined two other golfers tied at 7th on the leaderboard behind first-round leader Juvic Pagunsan from the Philippines and Thailand's Wisut Artjanawat, both on 141, eight strokes ahead of the Bruneian.

Seruji Hj Setia is just three strokes behind Hj Arfian on 152 as his second round score of 78 left him dangling behind the leaders.

The remaining two Bruneian golfers, Hj Hamidon Hj Damit and Hj Shaminan Hj Damit are off the pace somewhat on 154 and 159 respectively.

The ladies individual event also kicked off yesterday with Chieng Chiew Jing firing a first round score of 87 to leave her in 10th position.

In the lead in that event is Thailand's Titiya Plucksataporn with an impressive one-under 71.

What yesterday's results mean is that Brunei remain stuck on the three bronze medals accumulated in the first two days by the karate team.

The main bulk of the silat team have yet to called upon into action and they still remain Brunei's best hope of winning any further medals in this year's SEA Games.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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SEA Games - M'sia maintain overall lead

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Former whipping boys Vietnam turned into bullies Tuesday to dominate the 21st Southeast Asian Games martial arts competition, but Malaysia maintained their overall competition lead.

Vietnam's exponents kicked and chopped their way to victories in karate, wushu and taekwondo to earn the grudging respect of their rivals.

Vietnam has won five gold medals, six silver and four bronze in wushu, trailing Malaysia which has six gold, two silver and five bronze.

Vietnam, who will host the 2003 games, dethroned the Philippines as taekwondo champions, collecting four taekwondo gold. The Filipinos, who kicked through three gold medals, fell to second place.

"Vietnam has improved a lot," said T. Ponniah, the head karate coach of the Malaysian team, whose charges have earned the most golds so far.

"They are no longer the whipping boys of Southeast Asia," added an Indonesian official. Tempers flared at the taekwando site as Malaysian coach Moi Chee Keong kicked chairs after he was prevented from sitting on the sidelines for his team's two final bouts, Bernama reported.

Moi was angered after his protege, Seah Mun Wei, lost in a controversial 0-2 decision to Indonesian Juana Wangsa Putri in the women's flyweight quarterfinals.

Malaysia leads the games overall medal table after day four with 37 gold, 26 silver and 33 bronze for a total 96 medals after four days of competition.

Indonesia collected 13 gold medals to more than double its haul from the previous day to 25 and remain in second place overall. In addition, it won 20 silver, and 26 bronze. The harvest came from wins in weightlifting, cycling, badminton and tennis.

Thailand added 11 gold from Monday through victories in shooting, wushu, swimming and taekwondo, among others, and were expected to close the gap when the athletics competition begins Wednesday. They have 24 silver and 28 bronze.

Vietnam increased its haul to 17 gold, 17 silver and 24 bronze to remain in fourth place.

Victories in taekwondo, bowling, shooting and wushu lifted the Philippines' medal collection to 12 gold, 24 silver and 23 bronze. Singapore, in sixth place, had 10 gold, eight silver and 13 bronze.

Myanmar had six gold, eight silver and 18 bronze while Brunei did not add to their medal tally of three bronzes. Cambodia and Laos have two bronze medals each.

In swimming, Thailand's Ravee Intraport-Udom Tuesday reclaimed her gold medal in the 800 meters freestyle in a thrilling duel with Malaysia's Sia Wai Yen in one of the games' highlights.

Source: AFP

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Tuesday, September 11, 2001

SEA Games - Another bronze for Brunei

By Benny Ang

Brunei's karate team notched up their third bronze medal of the 21st SEA Games yesterday in Kuala Lumpur through Mohammad Fadilah Sanif in the men's individual kumite (60kg category).

Mohammad Fadilah follows in the footsteps of his two teammates Abdul Malik Mohamad Zaini and Hj Eddie Jofriani Johari making karate the only team thus far to win any medals for Brunei.

But while the karatekas continued their medal spree, the rest of the Brunei contingent struggled to match their compatriots.

In the badminton men's team event, Brunei were sent packing in the first round by a superior Malaysian team boasting several of the world's top stars.

Spurred on by their home crowd, the Malaysian players were not in charitable moods as they stormed to a 3-0 whitewash over the Bruneians.

Fresh off his semifinal showing in the Brunei World Grand Prix Badminton Finals last month, Roslin Hashim kicked things off for the Malaysians by beating Brunei's top player Amran Kambar 15-2,15-0.

Normally a singles player, Wong Choong Hann showed off his versatility by partnering Lee Wan Wah to take on the Brunei pair of Michael Nyau Mee Yinn and Zailani Yuin in the second match.

As in the first match, the Bruneians were simply no match for their superior opponents as they caved in to a 15-3,15-3 defeat at the hands of the Malaysians.

Ong Ewe Hock, yet another of the world-class Malaysian shuttlers, rounded things off for the home side when he dispatched Huzaini Salleh 15-2,15-2.

Meanwhile, Brunei's snooker pairing of Randy Wong Siew Loong and Sahari Hj Emran came mightily close to emulating their karate counterparts when they came within one frame of claiming a bronze medal.

Up against Sayumin Teng and Teng Khee Shien from Indonesia in the third and fourth placing match, Randy and Sahari were agonisingly edged out 3-2 to deny them any possibility of a bronze medal.

It wouldn't have been the first SEA Games medal for Randy as he is formerly a gold medallist in the singles competition for Singapore but now a permanent resident here, Brunei will be hoping that he can emulate that feat once again.

The men's tennis team, having won bronze medal two years ago here in Brunei, slumped to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Myanmar in the opening round on Sunday.

In the opening match, Myanmar's Maung Zaw Zaw Latt beat Billy Wong 6-1, 6-4 while Ian Chok was unable to fare any better, losing 6-1, 6-0 to Khin Maung Win.

Rounding it all off in the doubles, M Tu Tu Tu Ja and Maung Tu Mau beat Ak Aki Ismasufian and Abdul Rasheed Abdullah to seal the win for Myanmar.

In the men's individual golf event, Arfian Hj Kadir and Seruji Hj Setia left themselves with a mountain to climb as both shot rounds of 74 to finish the first round at 10th and 11th respectively, seven shots off the leader.

Held at the Sungai Long Golf and Country Club, both Bruneians find themselves trailing Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines who fired a five-under 67 to take his place atop the leaderboard by three shots.

Closest to the Filipino is Pariya Junhasavadikul of Thailand whose opening round of 70 leaves him in sole possession of second spot.

While not out of the medal hopes, both Arfian and Seruji will have their work cut out for them today if they expect to make up ground on the leaders.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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SEA Games Boxing - Sapok boxes his way into semis

SEREMBAN - Malaysia's Sapok Biki qualified for the semifinals in his event of the SEA Games boxing competition on a day when boxers from Thailand ruled the ring at the Centre Court, Paroi, here yesterday.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sapok outboxed Harrys Tanamor of the Philippines 12-4 in the 48kg category to set up an encounter with Myanmar's Kyaw Swar Aung who had overcome Sengthong Singdeng of Laos in a fight that the referee stopped.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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SEA Games Football - Malaysia edge Indons

KELANA JAYA, Malaysia (AP) - A spectacular left-foot free kick from defender Irwan Fadzli sealed a 2-1 victory for Malaysia over Indonesia in a Southeast Asian Games Group B match Sunday.

After unexpectedly going behind early in the second half, the Malaysians, who dominated the match, clawed their way back with two goals in the last 20 minutes, to the delight of the 20,000 spectators.

They are now likely to win one of the two semifinal berths from Group B, although none will be sealed until the last round-robin games are played Tuesday. Thailand and Myanmar already have clinched the semifinal berths from Group A.

In Sunday's other match, the Indonesian women's team defeated Singapore 1-0 to win Group B's second semifinals berth. Vietnam has already qualified.

Indonesia's Yakomina Swabra kicked the match's only goal in the 15th minute.

Malaysia set the early pace and could have ended the first half two or three goals ahead. Indonesia struggled to settle, looking vulnerable in defence and often resorting to aimless long balls into open field.

In the 4th minute, Malaysian skipper Hairuddin bin Omar converted a cross from a free kick on the left flank, only to be ruled offside. The decision was met with howls of derision from the drum-thumping, flag-waving home supporters.

Hairuddin, who often eluded his marker with a shimmy and a sprint from the right wing, fired a half-chance volley wide of the left post 11 minutes later.

Then in the 26th minute, he headed a cross past the fists of the approaching Indonesian keeper, only to see his effort go narrowly over the bar.

Indonesia's Edu Juanda and Elie Aboy began to make some probing runs and balls toward the end of the half, creating their side's best chance in the 31st minute, which Budi Surdarsono blasted well wide of the Malaysian goal.

Three minutes into the second half, Indonesia scored against the run of play.

Unmarked striker Maman got on the end of a deep cross from the left flank and scored with a fine looping header that left Malaysian keeper Kamarulzaman Hassan groping.

The Malaysian side was rattled, but gradually regathered composure, even as the play became bruising. Four Indonesians were booked and stretcher bearers shuttled frequently onto the pitch.

The home side's pressure paid dividends in the 70th minute, with a penalty converted by Akmal Rizal, after an Indonesian defender had barged into the back of a Malaysian forward as a cross came in.

Nine minutes from time came the moment of the match. Malaysia was awarded a free kick 25 metres (yards) out. Irwan Fadzli stepped up and positioned his curling shot perfectly past the Indonesian wall and into the top left-hand corner of the net.

Source: AP

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Monday, September 10, 2001

SEA Games - Brunei bag two bronze medals

Brunei bagged their first medals of the 21st Southeast Asian Games when their karate team won two bronze medals in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The first of the medals came from Abdul Malik Mohamad Zaini in the men's individual kata category

which was eventually won by Malaysia's Ku Jing Keat.

Hj Eddie Jofriani Johari repeated the feat later on when he also won bronze in the individual kumite for 55 kilograms.

Meanwhile, Singapore's golden mermaid Joscelin Yeo won two gold medals Sunday as the city-state and Thailand shared the honours on the first day of the Southeast Asian Games swimming competition.

Yeo, who raised her gold medal haul during a 10-year career in the games to 27, dismissed all pretenders to her throne by dominating her events in the women's 100m freestyle and 200m individual medley.

The 22-year-old US-trained athlete clocked 57.13 seconds in the 100m freestyle to fend off a challenge from Myanmar's Moe Thu Aung, but still fell short of the SEA Games record of 54.01 seconds she set in Brunei in 1999.

Yeo timed two minutes and 19.76 seconds to take her second gold for the day in the 200m individual medley, but again failed to top her own games record of 2:17.17.

The men's 4 x 200 freestyle team added Singapore's third gold medal in the swimming pool in a new games record of 7 minutes and 38.82 seconds, surpassing the 7:38.89 seconds set by the Thai team in the Brunei games two years ago.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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SEA Games - Opening ceremony impressive

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) - A show befitting the first SEA Games of the new millennium - that's the lasting impression the opening ceremony of the 21st SEA Games has left behind, not only for people in Southeast Asia but also for visitors from elsewhere in the world.

Austrian tourist Verela Krosbacher captured the essence of the opening ceremony in a nutshell: "Amazing and good to see all the Southeast Asian countries together. The show was excellent and I will take home the memories."

The sparkling colours, dancing lasers and human formations of the opening ceremony were watched by almost 100,000 spectators at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium and millions more glued to television sets in Southeast Asia.

The 18-year-old Krosbacher and her companion, Wolfgann Kainz, 20, were impressed with the sporting spirit of the spectators and the multitude of colours that enveloped the stadium.

"My trip here was worth it and it was simply a great show. I couldn't believe that the show was simply the best," said Kainz. The visitors had been here for two days.

"We were encouraged to come to the stadium after looking at the advertisement. We were lucky to be here at the right time," Kainz said.

He was particularly impressed with the way the cauldron was lighted. The games' torch was used to light a gadget that sent the flame through a special conduit up to the cauldron, lighting it up in grand style.

For Peter Tharun, a 26-year-old German tourist, the opening ceremony was just "unbelievable". He described it as "very nice" to see a unified region welcoming the Games. "It's very nice and I'm glad to be here," he said.

For another German, Steffi Bardei Werper, the show was "energetic" and different from that in her country.

"People are friendly and the different people here from other countries have more spirit in sports. Interesting to see that the people are supportive of the government's effort to bring such a great games," she said.

A United Nations observer, Frank Fowlie, said he was impressed by the precision timing for each event during the ceremony and the human wave formation.

"I was also impressed by the dressing of the security people here ... they are beautifully dressed for the occasion," he said.

The head of the national broadcasting authority of Thailand, Tuenjai Sinthuvnik, said the ceremony was smooth and all the programmes went according to time.

"Looking at the ceremony, it shows how seriously the Malaysians had planned for the event," said Tuenjai, who is covering the SEA Games for the fifth time.

For local sports veteran, Mohd Sidique Merican, 72, the ceremony has forged a bond between the sports people and the spectators. "The spirit of the spectators was high and the event was more colourful," he said.

Kodak Vice-Chairman (Operational) Asian Region Edward Hoppe said the opening ceremony was superb and exellent. "It was wonderful and colourful," he said.

For Chief Executive of Australian Sports Northern Territory Phillip Leslea, it was magnificent.

"This is my first time attending a very special event at the National Stadium," he said, adding that he was at the stadium through television during the 1998 Commonwealth Games which Malaysia hosted.

Source: BERNAMA

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Golf - Brunei duo for BMW date

By K. Jafni H. Ali

Ahmad Yani Haji Md Noor and Wan Tambrin will represent Brunei in the BMW Golf Cup International World Final at Fancourt, South Africa from November 5-10 after they both won their respective categories at the 4th BMW Golf Cup tournament at the Royal Brunei Golf and Country Club (RBGCC), Jerudong yesterday.

Ahmad Yani of the Pantai Mentiri Golf Club (PMGC) was the Division A champion with 36 points while Wan Tambrin of the RBGCC emerged the winner in Division B in the one-day tournament participated by 108 golfers.

In second place for Division A (Handicap 1 to 12) was Chris Tay of PMGC with 33 points while Tiew Ching Hong of RBGCC came in third with 30 points on countback. Adnan Hj Hanafiah claimed second place in the Division B category (Handicap 13 to 24) with 34 points and Lim Kion Sing was third with 33 points.

Joan Chin of PMGC won the Ladies Division C category (Handicap up to 28) after obtaining 26 points. In second place was Suzzana Voon Khew Fan of the RBGCC with 24 points and third place was won by Lailatul Zubaidah Hussin of PMGC with 22 points.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Badminton - Brunei Shell champs

It was a fitting end to the first ever QAF Corporate Badminton League 2001 as two teams slugged it out in a titanic battle in the final on Saturday night at the Royal Brunei Police Headquarters, Gadong.

However, after all was said and done, Brunei Shell proved their superiority once and for all and beyond all doubt by fending off a fired-up QAF Brunei side 9-8.

Heading into the final, it was clear that Brunei Shell were favourites as they had swept all before them including QAF Brunei in the earlier league meeting between the two sides.

Determined to avenge that league defeat, QAF Brunei gave the champions a real run for their money but in the end simply could not cope with their opponents' strength in depth.

After Siti Norasmah Safar had given QAF Brunei the perfect lead by taking the opening ladies singles tie, Brunei Shell rebounded to take the next three singles to lead 3-1.

QAF Brunei themselves fought back strongly to level the tie first at 4-4 and then at 6-6 but that would prove to be the beginning of the end for them as Brunei Shell raced away with the next three matches to seal the tie.

This was by far the toughest tie that Brunei Shell have had to endure in the entire league campaign but coming through this challenge, their pedigree cannot be contested as they have proved their worth as champions.

Anchored by their impressive duo of Hasri Hj Abd Ghapar and Abd Gapar Obey, Brunei Shell had run through all their opposition in this inaugural league season.

In the same way, QAF Brunei have been anchored by their Executive Deputy Chairman and CEO, Prince Abdul Qawi this season so it came as no surprise when the two teams battled late into the night.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Sunday, September 09, 2001

SEA Games - Golden start for Malaysia, Indonesia

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Indonesia's women trap shooters and Malaysian gymnasts won the first gold medals of the 21st South East Asian Games here Saturday to give their countries the early lead in the region's biggest sporting event.

Indonesia won both women's team and individual trap shooting events to secure its first two gold medals at the Subang Shooting Range, near Kuala Lumpur.

Indonesia's Sarmunah, Sylvia Silimang and Supadmi gunned down 188 birds in the women's team trap event to collect the first gold in the games pitting 4,500 athletes in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

Goh Chung Wei, Aihni Samat and Tan Poh Tian of Singapore took the silver, while the team of Hoang Thi Tuat, Dang Thi Thu Trang, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai of Vietnam settled for the bronze.

Sarmunah, a 33-year-old army lieutenant, later won the individual women's trap event to collect her and Indonesia's second gold for the day, hours before the Games were to be formally opened.

"I dedicate both medals to the Indonesian people," said Sarmunah, who already has four Southeast Asian Games medals to her credit.

She said she had not expected to win in the events as all her previous medals were from her favourite double trap event.

"Even the team did not list me as a medal hopeful in the trap event," she said.

In other medal events, the Malaysian men's artistic gymnastics team scored 208.35 points to upset favourite Thailand to win the hosts first gold medal.

Thailand grabbed the silver by scoring 208.1 points, while Indonesia came third with 197 points.

Malaysian horse racer Kamaruddin Abdul Ghani, who is ranked fifth in the International Equestrian Federation for the equestrian endurance race, lived up to his billing by winning the event and handed Malaysia their second gold medal.

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad congratulated the hometown contingent for their early gold harvest in the 10-day event.

"Excellent and congratulations to them. I am extra happy that we have scored victory before the opening ceremony," Mahathir told reporters.

Saturday's events were held hours before the games formally opened at the National Stadium in evening ceremonies to be graced by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of defending Southeast Asian Games champion Thailand.

Thaksin arrived in the Malaysian capital in a private jet for an overnight visit. He met with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and was due to proceed to the stadium for the ceremonies.

Malaysian King Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah will officially open the first SEA Games of the new millennium.

Malaysia, hosting the biennial meet for the fifth time, have pledged to make the event the best ever. The hosts also hope to dethrone Thailand as the biggest medal-winner.

Source: AFP

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