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Thanks to the girls
Published on: Thursday, June 05, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Nobody can deny that it was girls power that helped Sabah achieve their 20-gold target at the just concluded Perlis Sukma Games in Kangar.

Of the 21 gold medals collected, 15 were from women athletes and only six came from the men.

Individually, compound archer Roniza Syafiqah was the most prolific of them all with her individual success in the 30m as well as the team gold with Camily Cybthia Louis and Diana Tsin.

Three others contributed two gold medals each with long distance runner Salesnalla Gabi the surprise package as she beat the odds by taking both the women 5000m and the 3000 steeple chase events at the expense of the defending champions.

Cyclist Natahsya Soon did not disappoint by successfully defending her downhill title and also took another gold in the BMX event while swimmer Chris Tan grabbed two gold medals in the 100m and 200m backstrokes events as well as four silver and two bronze medals.

Pencak silat exponents Nurul Ain Sohrab and Rosenidah Mohammad both lived up to the expectations by winning the class D (60-65kg) and Putri F (70-75kg) titles respectively.

Another women individual gold came from lawn bowl through Siti Solehah Halim in the women singles.

In sepak takraw, the Sabah women teams made a clean sweep by taking the regu 3s, doubles and the team gold.

The best male athlete came from weightlifting through Glasgow Commonwealth Games-bound Constantine Clement who took the gold and also broke the national as well as the Sukma record in the men's -62kg as well as gold in the clean and jerk event.

Three other individual gold medals came from cyclist Akmal Abdullah in the BMX event, E Said Abdel Aziz in the triple jump event and boxer Faizarian Kusin in the 81kg while the men recurve team of Mecedger Edie, John Reginald Mau and Wong Co Wan took the inter-team gold.

Apart from the 21 gold medals, Sabah athletes also won 31 silver and 44 bronze medals in this year's competition.

The biggest disappointment for the Sabah contingent must be the golf teams where they were expected to deliver at least two gold medals.

Instead, they failed to win any and Solomon Emilio Rosidin only came in seventh in the men's individual event while Nurul Syahirah Afiqah finished eighth in the women's individual.

The women team could have at least won a podium finish but unfortunately for them, Vivienne Chin suffered from dehydration on the second day and was unable to continue the following day.

Other sports that failed to achieve their targets were karate, sailing, petanque, taekwondo and tenpin bowling.

The football team also failed to defend their title won two years ago with the extra time defeat by eventual losing finalist Johore in the quarterfinal stage.

Sabah's Chef-de Mission Datuk Suzannah Liaw acknowledged the shortcomings of some associations and promised a post mortem will be carried out by the task force immediately after their return to the State.

She credited the athletes who have outperformed themselves and said it was them that saved the day for the Sabah contingent by compensating for the missed gold medals.

As for those who have achieved or over achieved their targets, she cautioned them that they should not rest on the laurels and must continue to build on their momentum.

The best quotes came from Sabah sepak takraw team manager Awang Ibrahim, who said the players must train even harder with the titles they have won as defending them is more difficult than winning, especially with three gold medals at stake.

The best example was the golf teams who made a clean sweep two years ago but returned empty-handed this year even with the same men's line-up.

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