SINGAPORE: In a strong affirmation that indicates their readiness for the upcoming World Pencak Silat Championships next month, Team Singapore emerged as the overall champions in two recent tournaments held in the United Arab Emirates – the 7th Asian Pencak Silat Championship (APSC) and the 1st Middle East Open Pencak Silat Championship (MEPSC).

Held concurrently from Nov 9 to 12 at Rashid Bin Hamdan Hall, Al-Nasr Club, in Dubai, both competitions showcased Singapore’s silat exponents’ exceptional skills and determination for success. Singapore’s contingent secured a remarkable 21 medals at APSC (11 gold, five silver, and five bronze) and an astounding 41 medals at the inaugural MEPSC (31 gold, seven silver, and three bronze).

Since Singapore hosted the first competition in 2011, the Asian Pencak Silat Championship has become a prominent event in the sport’s calendar. The Singapore Silat Federation has demonstrated an upward trajectory, consistently increasing its gold medal tally each edition. This year, the national team surpassed its previous gold medal haul, bringing home three more gold medals compared to 2022.

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Photo credit: Singapore Silat Federation

“We hope to showcase more of Singapore’s talent for the upcoming World Championships as we see the potential for the team to increase the number of medals for Team Singapore,” shared Noor Rafili, Singapore national silat head coach with The Independent Singapore.

The Singapore Silat Federation will host the 20th World Pencak Silat Championships and the 5th World Junior Pencak Silat Championship at the OCBC Arena, Singapore Sports Hub, from Dec 1 2023 to Jan 1 2024.

At the APSC, Singapore clinched four gold medals in the artistic events. Iqbal Abdul Rahman and Mustafar Isa won their final matches in the artistic male single and the artistic male solo creative category, respectively. Mustafar added a second gold medal in the artistic male team category competition with fellow silat exponent Nazrul Kamal and Affiz Zakri. Singapore also won the gold medal in the artistic female category through Amirah Sahrin, Nur Ashikin Zulkifli, and Iffah Batrisyia Noh. 

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The 2023 Sportsman of the Year, Sheik Farhan Sheik Alau’ddin and his brother Sheik Ferdous, contributed a gold medal each in the Class J and I categories, respectively. Sheikh Farhan, a multiple world champion, also won the gold medal at the 2023 SEA Games. Sheik Ferdous was pleased with his improved performance after winning the silver medal twice in the Class G category in the previous two SEA Games.

“Winning this competition upped my confidence and tells me that my preparations and daily routine are moving me in the right direction. I am really happy that I am reaping the fruits of my labour. I hope to win at the world championships and remain victorious for many years to come,” shared Sheik Ferdous with The Independent Singapore.

For his gold medal-winning performance, Sheik Ferdous was named the best athlete for the APSC competition and fellow Team Singapore silat exponent Aura Aydria Putri Soffian, who won the gold medal in the Junior Female <39 category, was named as the best athlete in the Middle East Open Pencak Silat Championship. The other gold medals in the class matches won by the Singapore silat exponents at the 7th Asian Pencak Silat Championship are Dhani Andika Razali, Shaiman Johanis, Ahmad Hanin Abdul Rahim, Nurshahfareeq Shahrudin, and Nur Tuhfah Izzah.

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PAP’s Sengkang East branch chairperson Marcus Loh congratulated fellow resident and Singapore athletes for making the nation proud and winning medals in both competitions.

“Big congratulations to Putri Zara for clinching two gold medals – one in the Artistic Singles and the other in the Match (Combat) category at the 1st Middle East Open Pencak Silat Championship! Thank you – and your fellow Team Singapore athletes for representing Singapore, and the aspirations of your fellow residents in Sengkang East, so brilliantly on the world stage!”

Below is the list of medal winners for the 7th Asian Pencak Silat Championship:

Photo credit: Singapore Silat Federation