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Judokas bag two silvers, one bronze
Published on: Thursday, September 13, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: State judokas opened Sabah's Perak Sukma Games medal account with two silvers and one bronze at the SMJK Krian Hall on Wednesday.

After years out of the limelight, it was a great return to the Games for the sport with the women delivering the silver through Matronati Mel in the women's +70kg and Haani Annatasha in the women's 70kg while the bronze came from Kenji Choi in the men's 73kg.

Team manager Tay Yun Lai said it was a very good result and encouraging performance from his athletes on the first day of competition.

"Our opponents were very strong, but our athletes fought very well and in the end we managed to win two silvers and one bronze.

"Kenji had actually lost in his first match due to unexpected execution from his opponent although he has full control of the match initially, nevertheless he was able to fight in the semifinal and get bronze with a full score against his Terrengganu opponent.

"Mel had also lost in the first match, however with mental strength and encouragement from coaches, she won a silver medal by defeating her Sarawak and Perak opponents in the end.

"Haanii on the other hand, managed to get into the final, unfortunately, she lost to a very strong opponent who had participated in the last SEA Games.

"Another member Razhmani also did well to reach the semifinal but lost to his opponent from Federal Territory," he said.

Earlier in the day, the State contingent missed out on another unexpected bronze in cycling. Although coach Louis Pang was cautious about their chances, 16-year-old Waldron Chee almost made it to the podium with a fourth place finish behind winners Nur Aiman Zariff, Shaiful Adlan Shukri and Muhsin Al Redha Misbah with his time of 45:45.926, while Lim Chun Kiat also did very well with a time of 47:13.317 to take the sixth place.

It was Sabah's best ever result in individual time trial and Louis who received congratulatory messages from other coaches was full of praise for his boys after the race.

"How can I not be proud of them? We sent them to do a man's job and they stepped up to the challenge and proved how good they were. They even managed to beat two Asian Games and Commonwealth Games riders (Zahrol Aidil Adha Abd Rauh and Muhd Abdul Hadi Azhar) who finished in 8th and 10th place.

"We have to take into account that Waldron was beaten by three full time cyclists who ply their trade with professional teams. In fact, it was a narrow miss as the difference between his time and bronze medallist Muhsin's time was only 10 seconds, which was razor sharp thin margin in a 45-minute race," he said.

Meanwhile, the State badminton men's team are out of the team competition following their 1-4 defeat to Federal Territory on Tuesday.

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