Saiedah Bte Said
Always known as a ‘tomboy’, petite and gentle Saiedah Said came from a family of martial arts experts. So, it was no great surprise that she began to show an early interest in Silat when her grandfather took her to his coaching sessions. She was only 14 years old when she emerged as champion in an Inter-Club Friendly Match. Saiedah’s career in Silat had begun.
At 15 Saiedah took part in the National Silat Championship, only to be disqualified for being slightly over the weight limit. However, she persevered and earned her place on the team at the next National trials.
The medals soon followed. In 2002, Saiedah won gold in the Sijori Pencak Silat Championship, bronze in the Kuala Lumpur International Invitation and silver in the Asia Pacific Pencak Silat Championship. In 2003, she took a bronze medal at the SEA Games in Viet Nam and a gold in the Sijori Pencak Silat Championship.
However, it was Saiedah’s unstoppable performances in 2004 that generated new international recognition for the young Singaporean. At the World Pencak Silat Championship, Saiedah defeated opponents from powerhouses Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. She also won gold in the Swiss Open Silat Championship, bronze in the UK International Pencak Silat Championship and golds in the Belgium Open, Sijori, and France World Open Pencak Silat Championships.
Her victories through the year culminated in her award as Sportsgirl of the Year in 2004.
Saiedah says that her family is always there to support her in competitions, win or lose. Without the support of her family, her friends and the national coaches, Saiedah says she would not have come as far in the sport as she has. When she retires from competing, she plans to give back to the silat community becoming a coach.