28 July 1999

Brunei to bank on pencak silat for gold in SEA Games

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, July 28 (Bernama) -- Brunei, who were not impressive in the last SEA Games in Jakarta, are hoping for a turn of fortune in their own turf to end Indonesia's dominance in Pencak Silat in the 20th SEA Games here next month.

"They have been performing very well in training and if they could maintain their form, maybe we can come out with good results, if possible, winning gold medals," said Team Manager Shahri Awang Besar.

He said Brunei's silat exponents were currently undergoing the final phase of training under the watchful eyes of their coach Awang Hassan Haji Tuah and should be in tip-top condition for the clash which starts on Aug 8 at the Mutli-Purpose Hall of the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Sports Complex, here.

"I hope our silat exponents will rise to the occasion. But, this is not going to be easy because other countries like Indonesia, Veitnam, Malaysia and Singapore are also sending a strong team," he said.

In the last SEA Games, powerhouse Indonesia captured 17 gold medals out of 20 events at stake in Pencak Silat while Vietnam grabbed the rest.

Brunei won two silver and two bronze medals in the Games. The silvers came through silat exponent Syahril Mayalin in the Wiragana (solo) and brothers Metali Daud, Mohamed Yussof Daud and Mohamed Rudi Daud in Wirakola compulsory category.

Muhammad Syamsuddin Ibrahim, who competed in Silat Class C (Above 55 up to 60kg) and Nooras Abdullah in the Class I (above 85kg up to 90kg) delivered the bronze medals.

Brunei have so far collected two gold medals in Pencak Silat through Zabidi Ali in 1987 in Jakarta and Umi Kalsum in Singapore in 1993.

Host Brunei are sending 28 silat exponents including 11 women for this year's Games.

Meanwhile, Malaysia, who are also eyeing gold, would send 31 members including officials.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-55298260/brunei-bank-pencak-silat.html

26 July 1999

Pencak silat upbeat about SEAG target

JAKARTA (JP): Pencak silat is known all over the world as Indonesia's martial art. In international tournaments, Indonesian athletes have always dominated the event. But for the 20th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Brunei Darussalam next month, Indonesia is tipped to only win eight of 21 golds on offer in the event.

This figure is only half of Indonesia's victory total in the 1997 SEA Games here, where they won 17 of the 20 golds. The other three golds went to Vietnam. Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI) chairman Eddy Nalapraya expressed optimism Indonesian athletes would be able to reach the target of eight golds.

"We are still optimistic for all the events, but the skills of the athletes from other Southeast Asian countries are almost equal to our athletes," he said, as quoted by Republika daily. SEA Games chef de mission Mochammad Hindarto has expressed his disappointment with the medal targets of several main sports organizations target, saying the goals were too low.

"It's quite impossible that our pencak silat athletes can only win eight gold medals. I'm sure they can win more," he said. However, IPSI executive director Oyong Kramayudha said Indonesian athletes were having difficulty with their training.

"Neighboring countries can come to our dormitory in East Jakarta for their training, but our athletes can only compete among themselves because we don't have any athletes abroad," he said. Vietnamese athletes had a one-month stint in Jakarta and Bali in May, Singapore sent its athletes to a two-week training session in West Java, Jakarta and Bali in June while athletes from Brunei Darussalam also had two weeks of training in East Java.

Oyong said six countries competing in the SEA Games were preparing for the event by hiring Indonesian pencak silat coaches. "Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and host Brunei are hiring our coaches. I think they will improve soon," he said.

But Indonesia's Haris Nugroho has a different opinion. "By having other countries practicing here, we can see their real strength. Some of the athletes from these countries are practicing in different weight categories but we didn't give them a full fight," he said.

"It's not good if Indonesian athletes are too dominant in pencak silat. If we have equal rivals, it will give us new challenges," said Haris, who competes in the 65 to 70 kilograms division. Haris said he must be wary of Singaporean Abdul Kadir in this division.

"I met him during the training here last month and I know that he wants to avenge his 1997 SEA Games defeat here," said the 1997 SEA Games gold medalist, adding that he was well prepared to compete in the biennial event. In the SEA Games from Aug. 7 to Aug. 15, pencak silat will feature two divisions of fighting and arts.

Fighting is divided into 10 weight categories: A (45-50kgs), B (50-55kgs), C (55-60kgs), D (60-65kgs), E (65-70kgs), F (70-75kgs), G (75-80kgs), H (80-85kgs), I (85-90kgs) and J (90-95kgs). The arts are divided into men's and women's wiragana (single), men's and women's wirasangga (doubles) and men's and women's wiraloka (team).

In the arts events, athletes are judged on their fighting choreography using one or two weapons. Athletes are allowed to choose from a sickle, dagger, bolo knife, sword, toya (a long stick), trident, whip and lancor (traditional Madurese spear).

"It's not easy to compete in the arts events because we must totally concentrate on our performance to avoid being hurt by the weapons," arts specialist Heni Marhendrawati said. IPSI deputy of athlete development Puji Handoko said he arranged to have athletes focus on individual training.

"Athletes' training programs were based on each individual's strengths and weaknesses. The programs also include work on their mental preparation," he said. National athletes were involved in domestic training in Yogyakarta and Bali last month. "Generally, the results of the training were satisfying but we are still working on athletes' weaknesses, particularly their speed," he said.

Team members
Men: Abas Akbar, Abdul Rochim, Agus L, Cecep Aziiz Ramdhani, Eko Wahyudi, Hans Luther Manam, Haris Nugroho, Hendro Wardoyo, Jeje Nursabah, Joko Suprihatno, Nur Iskak Al Jufri, Rony Syaifullah, Samuel Mallo, Sukma Satria, Torikul Anwar Women: Alfana, Heni Marhendrawati, Hermy Setya Wati, Marniati Siregar, Ni Made Suparmi, Ni Made Wahyuni, Permata Kemalasari, Rina Dwi Astuti, Siti Dwi Astuti, Siti Sudiharti, Widya Astuti

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Indonesian debutants want SEA Games gold

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesian pendekar (fighters) Heny Marhendrawati and Widya Astuti will make their international debut at the 20th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Brunei Darussalam from Aug. 7 to Aug. 15.

As newcomers, they have the burden of upholding Indonesia's dominance in its traditional sport of pencak silat at the biennial event. "We were surprised when we were called to join the national training program for the SEA Games. But we are proud to do so. We'll do our best to win gold as our seniors did," said Heny, who was born in Surabaya on April 8, 1978.

Heny and partner Widya, born in Surabaya on Sept. 22, 1978, will compete in the women's wirasangga (doubles arts event) at the Games. They will display their fighting choreography using two sickles and a knife.

"We are working hard to improve our choreography. In arts, you must totally concentrate on the performance because you are using real weapons. My right leg was hurt twice by Heny's sickle during practice because of my lack of concentration," Widya said while showing her wounds.

Both athletes joined the national training program on June 14 after several tough selection tournaments in their hometown. They have managed to overcome their homesickness during the training and concentrate on their preparations for the Games. Heny and Widya competed with Pamur in their hometown of Surabaya.

With three of their teammates, they won the women's wiraloka (team event) gold medal at the 1997 World Championships in Kuala Lumpur. They also won the gold in the team event at the 1997 Nusantara Silat Festival in Trengganu, Malaysia. Heny, who is about 15 centimeters taller than Widya, expressed hope that they could have a match to evaluate the progress of their training.

"We still have no idea where our weaknesses lie. Of course, our coach has told us but that's not good enough," Heny said, adding that she knew nothing about the strengths of her rivals. Both Heny and Widya named Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Games host Brunei as their toughest rivals.

Heny began studying pencak silat in 1994 with her two older brothers.

"I just wanted to learn it. I never thought I would turn into an athlete," said the youngest of Soeharto and Rusmidah's 10 children. Widya was born into a family of pencak silat athletes. Her grandfather was a pendekar with the Bajing Loncat club in Pamekasan, Madura.

"It runs in the family. All family members learn pencak silat, but I am the only one who is serious in the sport," said the third child of Choidi Djajoes and Ariati. Neither Heny or Widya intend to switch to the fighting events. "We love the pencak silat arts. We will continue partnering until we are unable to compete," Heny said.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-55259587/indonesian-debutants-want-sea.html

14 July 1999

Brunei hope for more silat medals

Silat is one sports that officials in Brunei Darussalam believe would contribute a lot of medals to the Brunei team at the 20th SEA Games. Over the past few appearances, silat had been the mainstay of Brunei's outing in the biennial Games.

Brunei acquired its first SEA Games gold medal from the Malay traditional martial art-turn-international sports event in 1987 in Jakarta through the skills of Awg Zabidi Ali.

In 1993, Dyg Umikalsum, another silat exponent, brought further glory to Brunei with another gold from the Singapore SEA Games.

Brunei silat participants in the previous SEA Games also typically came home with a handful of silvers and bronzes.

Currently, 27 exponents, under the watchful eyes of coach Awg Hassan bin Hj Tuah, are undergoing intensive training to prepare for the up-coming SEA Games.

According to sources, the training involves improving the exponents' physical and mental fitness, and enhancing their stamina.

The training programme also include participation in competitions locally and overseas, which included a recent 10 days spell in Surabaya, Indonesia.

Brunei invited the Vietnam and Sarawak silat teams over for the Brunei Open not so long ago, and came up top of the table with seven gold medals. So, the potential for the Brunei silat team to do well in the 20th SEA Games is there; it is all a matter now of turning that potential into reality.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-55222938/sports-brunei-hope-more.html