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'Heartbreaking' SEA Games loss a 'speed bump' but kickboxer Nazri Sutari resolute in quest to be world's best

'Heartbreaking' SEA Games loss a 'speed bump' but kickboxer Nazri Sutari resolute in quest to be world's best

Singapore's Nazri Sutari competes at the 31st SEA Games. (Photo: Andy Chua/SportSG)

SINGAPORE: After his 1-2 loss to Cambodia's Chhoeung Lvay in the men's Under-71kg low kick quarter-finals on Monday (May 9), kickboxer Nazri Sutari gestured to reporters that he needed a moment.

There was disappointment, anger and a sense of injustice. The pain of defeat stung for Nazri, and the manner of it even more so.

While Nazri admittedly took some time to adjust in the first round of the fight, the Singaporean felt that he had done well enough in the next two rounds to win the match.

But victory was awarded to the Cambodian instead.

"In the second round, I found my groove, I was outscoring him, clearly. But I was surprised that on the third round, my coach said I was losing," Nazri explained.

"(As athletes) ... we do our part to prepare, we sacrifice a lot just for this moment. And to have that taken away ... it's actually heartbreaking and disappointing."

This is Nazri's second appearance at the SEA Games. In the 2019 edition, he won the country's first gold in the martial art of sambo. 

NOT THE 'END OF THE ROAD'

A gifted athlete, Nazri has competed across a range of sports. He started off as a fencer, and went on to represent the country in a number of combat sport disciplines.

But Nazri has always been passionate about kickboxing. His goal is to one day become Singapore's first world champion in the sport.

And this has meant sacrificing time, raising money and investing lots of effort to pursue his dream.

Earlier this year, he clinched two medals at the Serbia Open - silver (men's Under-74kg kick-light) and bronze (U-69kg). Those were the first medals won by a Singaporean at a meet sanctioned by the World Association of Kickboxing Organisations (Wako).

Prior to the SEA Games, Nazri had also trained in Serbia as part of preparations.

But Nazri is not letting Monday's loss get him down. After all, the next kickboxing world championships are just a year away.

And his time will come, Nazri said.

"This is not the end of the road. Like what I said a few months back, my ultimate goal is still world champ. This is one speed bump ... and it is something that I cannot control," said Nazri.

"If it's meant to be mine, it will be mine."

Catch the 31st SEA Games Vietnam 2021 LIVE on meWATCH. Sign in now at www.mewatch.sg/seagames and get into the action with Mediacorp. Or catch highlights on Mediacorp Entertainment on YouTube.

Source: CNA/mt(gr)

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