29 July 2002

Easy start for SEA Games champs

THERE were no surprises on the opening day of the 12 National Silat Championships at the KLBA Stadium yesterday. After more than 120 bouts, the national trainees had an easy time with all the gold medallists from last year's SEA Games impressing the most with easy 5-0 victories over their respective opponents.

Ismail Darus, who overcame world champion Abd Karim Al Djufrie in the SEA Games A division 10 months ago, did not have many problems against Singapore's Moh Sadhli Karim in the first round. Mohd Azrin Abd Malek, the two-time category I SEA Games champions who also had to defeat a world champion in Nyoman Yamadhi Putra at the SEA Games, brushed aside Riza Laizi Azali while veteran Ahmad Faizal Omar, who recieved a walkover in the SEA Games final, defeated Abdul Yazid in the J category.

Despite the predictable results, National Silat Association (Pesaka) secretary Megat Zulkarnain said: "The most important aspect of the competition is to see over 200 participants. "This is indeed a good sign for the future as well as our aspirations to become the overall silat champions in the next SEA Games."

For the record, Indonesia finished with nine gold medals and Vietnam six. Singapore with one gold was the only other country to win a title at the last Games. Today, meanwhile, will see the first gold medals awarded with the start of the silat seni competition.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-9983396_ITM

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