DEFEAT was a bitter pill for Rina Jordana Adnan to swallow at last month's World Championships, but the silat exponent hopes to get it right at the Paris Open in March.
Rina, who packs a powerful punch despite being only 150cm tall and makes heads turn with her good looks, has remained undefeated in the National Championships since 1999.
She, however, was controversially knocked out in the early rounds of the world meet in Singapore.
The loss prevented her from fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a world champion and the silver from the 2002 World Championships remains her biggest achievement to date.
Despite her exit, Malaysia still created history when they finished above Indonesia in the standings with six gold, one silver and nine bronze medals.
Vietnam proved they were the new kingpins when they claimed nine gold, eight silver and two bronze medals to emerge champions.
Indonesia were third with four-six-five.
Rina, a sports science graduate, hopes this year will be fruitful and is targetting gold at the Manila SEA Games.
"I never seem to have much luck in international tournaments," said the 24-year-old part-time silat coach with MPPJ.
"Perhaps this year it will be different.
After all my disappointments, I hope to finally win gold in Manila." Rina, a class B (50-55kg) category exponent, comes from a family who have a deep background in silat - her parents Adnan Mohamad and Rosimah Jantan were her first teachers while younger sister Rina Juliana Adnan was formerly in the national team.
Meanwhile, National Silat Association (Pesaka) secretary Megat Zulkarnain Omar Din is hopeful Malaysia can continue their good form at the Manila Games.
"This (World Championships results) is our best ever achievement," he said.
"Previously, our best haul was five gold medals at the 2001 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
"To finish with six was a great achievement and will stand us in good stead for this year's SEA Games." The Malaysians who won gold in the World Championships were - Abang Erdie Fauzerul Abang Pauzan (Class A), Ahmad Shahril Zailuddin (Class D), Mohd Zuber Ismail (Class G), Mohd Azrin Abdul Malek (Class J) and two female exponents - Mastura Sapuan (Class E) and Suzy Mohd Sulaiman (creative solo).
Zulkarnain added Pesaka have yet to set a target for Manila but cautioned expectations should not be too high as only 14 events will be contested.
"But we are lukcy to have silat in the SEA Games as it was not in the initial list of sports," he said.
"There will only be 14 gold medals up for grabs.
So, we have to set a realistic target.
Two years ago, we only came home with two golds and perhaps we should, for now at least, aim for three.
"We will have a better idea of how we may fare closer to the Games and may be then, we may revise our targets." On Rina's defeat, he said: "All of us in the Malaysian camp felt Rina won her bout but, unfortunately, the judges did not see it that way.
There was nothing we could do.
Winning the six gold medals, however, made up for it." Zulkarnain added the national exponents will begin training on Tuesday and the Paris Open will be their first test this year.
However, instead of sending their world champions to France, Pesaka have decided to give them a rest.
"Although the Paris Open is quite a big event, with over 20 clubs and countries already confirmed in the fray, we have decided to send those who have yet to qualify for the SEA Games," he explained.
"The world champions are assured of boarding the plane to Manila - provided they maintain their form.
As such, we want to give the other exponents a chance to book their tickets to the SEA Games."
Written by GRAIG NUNIS
Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-127965150/watch-out-rina.html