SEA Games: Silat chief Sheik upset over judges' decision

He may have retired from the sport but former world champion and current Singapore Silat Federation chief Sheik Alau'ddin was in a fiery mood yesterday when he protested vehemently about the umpires, delaying the first match of the SEA Games' silat competition by an hour.

And even when yesterday's three events had ended at the Singapore Expo, he was still upset that Singapore's Iqbal Abdul Rahman did not win a gold in the men's artistic singles competition despite what he deemed a worthy performance.


He added that the make-up of the judging panel could be more neutral, instead of having judges from just the "four founding countries of silat - Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, and one umpire from one of the seven participating countries".

"I proposed having 10 judges ballot for five umpiring spots but the referee council and International Technical Delegate refused," he said. "We could also have judges from countries who are not participating like the Philippines, Pakistan, South Korea and India but they would not accept it.

"I just want a fair judging panel and I am very disappointed."

Sheik pointed out that Iqbal, who won a silver in January's World Championships and gold in April's South-east Asian Championships, deserved the gold for his performance yesterday.

Over three minutes, the 21-year-old got the crowd cheering loudly with a confident performance, executing his moves with his bare hands, keris and staff with aplomb.

The judges awarded Iqbal the bronze with a score of 462, two points behind Vietnam's Hoang Quang Trung and Indonesia's Sugianto Sugianto, who both scored 464. Hoang was awarded the gold by virtue of a better score in technical merits.

Indonesia won the women's team final. Singapore's trio of Nur Fazlin, Nur Shafiqa and Nurul Khairulnnisa took the silver and Vietnam came in third.

Singapore's pair of Sheik Ferdous and Shakir Juanda won the artistic doubles bronze, finishing behind Vietnam and champions Indonesia.

This article was first published on June 11, 2015.
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