THE national sepak takraw team departed from the Brunei International Airport for Bangkok, Thailand, yesterday to compete in the inter-regu event at the International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) Super Series from June 28 to July 1.
The squad comprising Ismail Ang, Mohd Azri Tahir, Mohd Shukri Jaineh, Abdul Amin Mahari and Nur Alimin Sunggoh had just returned from the 3rd Asian Beach Games in Haiyang, China with a bronze medal after finishing joint-third in the inter-regu event on Sunday.
"We only had one day training ahead of this tournament and I do not think it is enough. We tried to get used to this playing style (indoor sepak takraw) yesterday, and train wearing a shoe. It is different from beach takraw," said Mohd Shukri.
"We need to improve on our receiving and ball control for this tournament and we are going to continue our training once we reach Thailand," said the motivated captain.
"To be honest I only fear Thailand in this tournament. They are the world's best. Malaysia and Indonesia are the stronger teams too but we can still challenge them," he said.
Abdul Amin Mahari who took part in both Asian Beach Games in Muscat, Oman and Haiyang, China hopes that the team will be able to carry their good form in the tournament.
"We just got home on Sunday and were called up to go for this tournament. This is different from the Asian Beach Games in China but we hope we can continue the good form in the tournament," said Abdul Amin.
A total of 12 teams will be competing for top honours at the competition and the national squad will be looking to further improve their rankings in the standings.
"If we are in the same group with Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia, it is going to be difficult and we would not be able to improve our rankings. But if we are in the same group with US or Chinese Taipei, then we will have a chance," said national sepak takraw coach, Ittiphol Chomchaissak.
The national team will then compete in the 27th King's Cup Sepak Takraw World Championship to be held on July 2-8, also in Bangkok.
Present to bid farewell to the team at the airport was Pestabaru president, Pg Hj Ali Hassan Pg Dato Hj Abas.
The Brunei Times
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
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