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Singapore Silat Gear Up for Sea Games 2011


Singapore have much to be confident about after winning the recent Sijori Pencak Silat Championship in March. (Photo: Singapore Silat Federation)

In the world of Pencak Silat, Singapore is counted as one of the powerhouses of the sport. This right to claim the title will be challenged on home ground from 14 to 17 April when seven other nations face-off at the Bedok Sports Hall for the 1st Asian Pencak Silat Championship.
 
Doing the Republic proud will be no easy task for the Silat practitioners as they will be up against tough contenders like Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand, among others. Guiding the team will be just as difficult. This job however, falls on the broad shoulders of coach, Hidayat Hosni. 
 
Hidayat, a former Singapore silat world champion, is confident about Singapore’s chances, a sentiment that seems to be justified by the team’s recent performance at the Sijori 2011, which was held in March. Team Singapore walked away with 12 gold medals, four silvers and five bronzes from the competition. 
 
“Team morale is currently high after the win and we are very much looking forward for the upcoming championship,” said Hidayat.
 
Hidayat is a man with a clear-cut goal for his team; he wants his athletes to see the glint of a medal in their hands. According to him, he wants his team to perform valiantly and showcase their potential. All these goals seem well within their reach at this point and being the host nation also helps.
 
“It’s an honour and pleasure for us to host the event,” explained the national head coach, who was also a world champion in Match Class ‘C’. “It’s not pressure but it’s a challenge for us!”
 
Many of the exponents participating at the 1st Asian Pencak Silat Championship will also be present at the SEA Games in Indonesia and this would give Team Singapore an early gauge and help with their preparations for the upcoming SEA Games.
 
“The team have been training hard since last year - twice a day, six times a week,’ said the former SEA Games gold medallist as he revealed about the teams preparations. “We have also organized trials with other countries and teams so that our team is match-ready.”
 
Hidayat might have reason to be confident, but there is also much on the line. There is no doubt that his team will do all it takes because, in the coach’s words, “It’s an honour to be taking part in the championship and a morale boost. It is going to lift up the name of our Federation.”