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Dream of 40 golds is over
Published on: Saturday, September 24, 2022
By: GL Oh
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The jubilant sailing contingent after the closing ceremony.
The jubilant sailing contingent after the closing ceremony.
Kuala Lumpur: Sabah’s deam of a record breaking 40 gold medals at the 20th Malaysian Games (Sukma) is over as they have so far only managed 30 with a day of competition left.

Four golds were won on Friday with sailing contributing two through Nascar Chong Na Jia in the women’s optimist individual and Muhd Asnawi Iqbal Adam in the ILCA (International Laser Class Association)  men’s 4 category.

Another gold was from Joel Evekly Jain who captured the first boxing title for the contingent with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Johor’s Sharol Nizam in the men’s bantamweight category.

Loo Yie Bing then won her fourth in the pool by taking the gold in the women’s 50-metre freestyle.

Apart from the two golds, sailing also won five silvers on Friday from Mohd Syahieradham Raiman (men’s optimist individual), Nur Awatif Safri (women’s ILCA 4), Gabrielle Marygrace Yong Poquita (women’s ILCA 6), Marcella Wilson Villaceran (women’s techno 293), Mohd Syahieradham Raiman, Nascar Chong Na Jia with reserves Zeti Irdina Zainal, Bibi Qeesha Mohd Faizal, Nur Hafizanah Zailan (Optimist mixed) in addition to one bronze from Mohd Shahieran Raiman (ILCA 6).

Joel (left) with (from right) coach Adzlin Ganis Apap, Steve and Sabah Sports Council officer Fatin Yusof who is in charge of the team. 

Sabah Sailing Association President cum coach Zainal Madi when contacted was delighted with the team’s achievement despite the poor condition from lack of wind.

“It was a very good performance from the team as a whole. We have 11 athletes and only one without a medal from the nine out of 14 events competed.

“We will work hard to prepare them for the next Sukma as most are still eligible in two years’ time,” he said.

Meanwhile, squash also added another silver from Lai Wen Li and Yee Xin Ying after losing the women’s doubles final to Kedah’s siblings pair Aira and AIfa Zaman 10-11, 6-11.

The match watched by a capacity crowd saw both pairs battling hard in the opening set and Wen Li-Xin Ying were at one point holding a 9-6 lead before the Kedah pair caught up to 10-10 followed by a long and gruelling rally for the final point before the Kedah girls prevailed and they went on to take the second set and the title.

The runners-up spot was the best ever achievement by the squash team in the Games and Wen Li also took home a bronze in the women’s singles earlier.

The US-based player, who is flying back to the United States to continue her studies on Sunday, said she was happy with their performance in the final.

“We tried our very best and the first set was very important for both teams. We had our chances but unfortunately we made some errors in crucial moments.

“It was part of the game and we are still happy to win the first ever silver medal in squash for the state, “ she said after the prize presentation.

Meanwhile, seven bronzes were collected with four from the pencak silat team after Awangku Tarmizal Aw Tamin (class D), Muhd Helmi Basrol (class E), Mohd Sahrul Zecky Sulaiman (class F) and Riezynn Edelya Edtasha Ahmad Rozi (class B) all bowed out in the semi-finals.

The other bronzes came from the men’s volleyball team after beating Johor 3-0 in the play-off and boxer Steve Yosores in the light flyweight 46-48kg category in addition to sailor Mohd Shahieran Raiman in the ILCA 6. 

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