Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Jeng Tzan Hogs Limelight With New National Mark In Discus

By Jaiarajo Letchumanan

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 4 (Bernama) -- Yap Jeng Tzan provided the only sparkle on the first day of track and field action at the 12th SUKMA athletics competition by smashing her own national record in women's discus at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium at the Gong Badak Sports Complex here Wednesday.

The 21-year-old Jeng Tzan, representing Negeri Sembilan, hurled the discus to a distance of 46.66m on her second attempt to erase her week old mark of 45.80m set at the Chinese Taipei International Athletics Meet.

This is the third time Jeng Tzan has broken the national mark in the space of a month as she had initially set a new record at the Negeri Sembilan Open in May by bettering the 43.94m mark set by her in the second National Women's Games in June last year.

The sturdy Jeng Tzan who hails from Bahau, an equally competent shot put thrower and who will be taking part in the event as well, said that with the discus gold in the bag, she hoped to do well in the shot put event scheduled for Saturday.

"I have noticed a marked improvement in my throws since training under Petrovic Frank of Slovakia for the past four months.

Apart from Jeng Tzan's feat, there was not much to shout about despite the presence of some national athletes although the men's 400m race did provide some excitement for the fans.

In the race which featured one half of the 4x400m quartet that won the gold medal at the Korat SEA Games last year, Mohd Zafril Mohd Zuslaini pipped R. Amran Raj to the tape by the narrowest of margins to win the gold after a neck- -to-neck race.

Zafril clocked 47.68s while Amran's time was 47.69, a mere 0.1 second slower.

In the women's 400m, Nurul Faizah Asma Mazlan gave host Terengganu their first gold medal for athletics after winning with a time of 57.50, beating Teong Sui Men of Federal Territories who clocked 57.96.

Thursday, athletics continues with 10 gold medals on offer and the highlight will certainly be both the men's and women's blue ribbon events (100m).


Saidatul Hits The Bulls Eye For Perak

By Hilary Sebastian

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 4 (Bernama) -- Perak shooter Saidatul Ashikin Roslan helped her state to two precious gold when the shooting events in the 12th Sukma opened at the Gong Kuin Shooting Range in Tok Jembal near here Wednesday.

In the 50m individual Air Rifle, the 19-year-old lass shot overall 392 points to defeat 32 other contestants for the gold.

The silver and bronze were also won by Perak shooters namely Noraishah Mohd Jamil (391 points) and Nur Farah Afiqah Mohd Taufek (389).

Saidatul went on to help her teammates Nur Zaida Abdul Rashid and Nurul Husna Mohammad Raudzi to win the team gold of the same event after they fired a total of 1154 points.

Selangor picked up the silver with 1152 points while Melaka the bronze (1146 points).


Norrusuhila Eager To Walk Into Top Bracket

By Jaiarajo Letchumanan

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 4 (Bernama) -- Kelantan can be proud of 16-year-old Norrusuhila Mohd Rusni who walked away with the women's 5,000m walk gold in sweltering heat at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium when the first day of athletics competitions started Wednesday.

The gold means a lot to this daughter of a farmer from Bachok.

Nurrusuhila wants to be next best woman walker in the country after China-born Yuan Yu Fang who incidentally was watching the race from the terraces.

The hot and humid conditions saw Norrusuhila clock 26:39.23 - far below her personal best of 26:18.84 she set at the Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM) sports carnival in Selangor earlier this year.

The silver went to Song Gie Chee of Penang with a time of 27:16.08 and the bronze to Yap Kwee Kee of Federal Territories (27:34.20).

Now, Norrusuhila is looking for her second gold medal when she competes in the women's 10,000m walk on Friday.

This is the second SUKMA for Norrusuhila and she is determined to break "into the top bracket" in the next two years with her sights firmly set on donning national colours in the next SEA Games.

"I am still very young and learning the tricks of the trade. But it wont be long. I have improved tremendously since I enrolled at the Bukit Jalil Sports School two years ago," said Norrusuhila.

"I believe this is the right place for me to pursue my athletics career. With proper diet and proper coaching I am making good. I hope that it will not be too long before I break into the national team."

The third child in a family of seven, Norrusuhila caught the eye of the National Sports Council (NSC) who took her under their wings after coming in second in the Asean Schools Championships in Jakarta last year.

For her efforts in winning the gold Tuesday, Norrusuhila will get RM1,000 as incentive from the Kelantan Sports Council.


Hairi, Jonathan Awarded Gold In Floor Exercise

By Jaiarajo Letchumanan

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 4 (Bernama) -- In a first of its nature in the 12th SUKMA, Kelantan's Hairi Zaid Saruji and Sarawak's Jonathan Chien were both awarded the gold medal for the floor exercise in the individual apparatus events for gymnastics at the Gong Badak Indoor Stadium here Wednesday.

Hairi, 19, the defending champion in the event and Jonathan, winner of the individual all-round gold Tuesday, were both awarded identical 13.925 points by the judges.

The bronze medal in the event went to Mohd Azlan Shah of Federal Territories with 13.875 points.

Though Jonathan was deemed as the early favourite, Hairi who sustained a thigh injury in the team event on Monday, put up a determined performance despite enduring much pain to complete his routine.

Hairi who quit the national team in 2003 while studying at the Bukit Jalil Sports School wants to re-launch his bid to get into the national team again after the SUKMA.

"I joined Bukit Jalil in 2001 but I was not comfortable training under a Chinese coach because I am more suited to Russian coaches as I learned my basics in gymnastics based on the Russian style," Hairi told reporters after the prize presentation.

"This win will definitely spur me on to get back into the national team. I aim to go far in my gymnastics career as much has improved since I came under the wings of a Bulgarian coach."

A fulltime gymnast now, Hairi is currently training under Bulgarian Pavel Tadorov who is attached to the Kelantan State Sports Council.

"My thigh still hurts but it never occurred to me to give up as the floor exercise, my favourite event, was the only event left for me to win gold. I did not qualify for the other events because of the injury.

"I was determined to win and I am glad that I did not let my state down. This is the first gold for Kelantan from gymnastics," added Hairi.


Melaka's Petite See Teng Is New Darling Of Gymnastics

By Jaiarajo Letchumanan

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 4 (Bernama) -- The Melaka state anthem was heard loud and clear at the Gong Badak Sports Complex Indoor Stadium three times Wednesday and it was all due to 15-year-old Cheong See Teng who emerged as the new darling of gymnastics in the 12th SUKMA.

Her three gold medals in the individual apparatus events Wednesday took her tally to five golds for her best ever haul since making her SUKMA debut in Negri Sembilan in 2004.

She popped onto the elite stage during the last SUKMA in Kedah two years ago, after winning two gold medals.

After winning gold in the women's team on the first day and the all-round on the second day, See Teng, who stands at only 1.43m tall and weighs a mere 35kg, added three more titles Wednesday afternoon, in the floor exercise, beam and vault to take her personal tally to five.

This led her father Cheong Ann, a painter, to say: "My daughter is much richer than me."

The Melaka State Sports Council had pledged to pay RM1,500 for each individual gold medal, which will make her RM7,500 richer.

"I did not know that she was this good in the sport. Her talent was spotted by a talent scout team which went to all the schools. I am glad that she has coped well so far.

"I don't earn much as a painter but I go to every competition she competes locally. It is heavy on me but that is the least I can do for her as she is very keen on the sport," said Cheong Ann, who came with his wife to Terengganu.

The Cheong family will return to Melaka Wednesday - fully satisfied with the success of their darling daughter and knowing that their sacrifices was worth its weight in gold.

They are ready to do more for See Teng to succeed at international level.

As a parting shot, See Teng, a student at Canossa Convent at Kampung Portuguese, Melaka, had this to say: "I thank my coach, my family and my friends who have made all this possible."

Her coach is Mikhail Gulsalyuk from Uzbekistan who has been with the Melaka gymnastics team for 10 years.


Marellyn Sets New National Record In 100m Butterfly

By Kenny Teng Khoon Hock

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 4 (Bernama) -- Rising star Marellyn Liew of Sabah splashed her way to a new national record in the women's 100m butterfly en route to the gold in the event at the 12th Sukma (Malaysia Games) at the Batu Burok Aquatics complex here Wednesday.

The 19-year-old Liew clocked one minute 01.82 seconds to rewrite the previous national record of 1:02.08 set by Luisa Los Santos during the Korat SEA Games last year.

Hii Siew Siew of Sarawak and Cheng Karmen of Perak took the silver and bronze respectively.

Coached by former Malaysian backstroke king, Alex Lim Keng Liat, Kota Kinabalu-born Marellyn's record-breaking effort follows her rewriting of the Games record in the women's 50m butterfly on Tuesday.

Marellyn said she did not expect to break the record here and her target was only winning the gold medal.

"I did a mistake on the final 50m but managed to correct myself," she told reporters after her feat.

Liew will enter the Singapore Open later this month which is her last chance to make it to the Beijing Olympics in August.

Beijing-bound Daniel Bego and Khoo Cai Lin also created new Games records in the men's 100m butterfly and women's 400m freestyle respectively.

Daniel, 17, from Sarawak, swam his heart out to win the gold in a time of 55.27 seconds to rewrite the previous record of 56.24s set by Anthony Ang during the 1996 Sukma in Kuantan.

The silver and bronze were won by Selangor's Foo Jian Beng and Brian Derrick Lim of Sarawak respectively.

Daniel will be competing in August Beijing Olympic in the men's 100m and 200m butterfly and also the 200m freestyle.

Cai Lin, 19, from Selangor, won the 400m freestyle in 4:18.94s to erase the previous record held by Negeri Sembilan's Lew Yih Wey. Chan Kah Yan of the Federal Territories (FT) and Cheng Karmen of Perak took the silver and bronze respectively.

In the women's 200m breaststroke, Carmen Ooi, who won the Individual medley Tuesday, added another gold medal for hosts Terengganu today after she won the event in 2:43.90s ahead of Selangor's Raja Azlina Izzah and Sarawak's Erika Kong, who settled for silver and bronze.


Curiosity Did Not Kill Cat But Pays Golden Dividends For Zulkifli

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 4 (Bernama) -- Going by the old adage, curiosity might have killed the cat.

In archer Mohd Zulkifli Tahil's case, it bagged golden dividends.

His victory at the 90 metre Recurve event of the 12th SUKMA archery competition at the Universiti Darul Iman has re-launched his archery career in style.

It has also erased the 20-year-old's memory of having suffered a career-threatening shoulder injury at Sukma 2006 in Kedah.

Mohd Zulkifli, a full-time archer from Labuan, has now set his sights firmly on qualifying for the Olympics, one day. It has been a long, winding road for the young man, since the days he first became interested in archery while at home in Kampung Merinding, Labuan.

It was all due to a millionaire, Captain James Anggang, who set up a private archery range on a plot of land, next to Mohd Zulkifli's home.

"I was watching the people there shoot arrows daily. I became interested and went over there often.

"One day, Captain James asked if I wanted to try out archery, and I said 'yes' and have not looked back," said Mohd Zulkifli.

He became part of the national junior team until he was told to take a rest due to his shoulder injury two years ago.

Even bigger than his SUKMA gold is his dream of one day representing Malaysia at the Olympic Games.


Zaira Breaks Her Own National Records

MARANG, June 4 (Bernama) -- Zaira Zakaria, the national women's weightlifter who is representing Kedah, re-wrote three national records in the below-48kg category at the 12th Malaysian Sports (SUKMA) today.

The 21-year-old broke the 'snatch' national record when she successfully lifted 72kg in her second attempt, and later, again re-wrote the national 'clean-and-jerk' record with a lift of 93kg, also in the second attempt.

Hence, Zaira who has represented Malaysia at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006, smashed the national overall record with a total lift of 165kg.

The previous national 'snatch', 'clean-and-jerk' and overall were 68kg, 86kg and 154kg, respectively, where the three records were set by Zaira during the National Open in Kuantan in July last year.

Weightlifting is one of 31 sports which offers nine gold medals for men and seven for women.


Gomagan Wins Gold As Opponent Lands In Hospital

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 4 (Bernama) -- Kedah karate exponent Gomagan Sony Rajaa was probably the luckiest gold medal winner of the 12th SUKMA held here when he did not have to lift a finger or lose any sweat to win the men's Under 65kg Kumite gold at Wakaf Tapai, Marang near here on Tuesday.

Gomagan who was supposed to face Mohd Hussaimie Hussein of Sabah in the final received a walkover when the latter could not feature in the final due to an injury suffered during his semi-final encounter against Pahang's S. Kannaan.

Mohd Hussaimie dropped to the mat just minutes into his bout as Kannaan landed an illegal kick or in karate terms known as uncontrolled kick to his rib and had to be rushed to the Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital in Kuala Terengganu for a suspected broken rib.

Kannaan who initially thought he had won the bout was later disqualified.

Technical delegate for the 12th SUKMA karate competitions Clement Soo said that since Mohd Hussaimie was unable to fight in the final, Gomagan received a walkover and was awarded the gold medal.

Meanwhile, the result of an x-ray revealed that Mohd Hussaimie's injury was not as bad as initially thought and that brought about a big relief to his father Hussein Moin who was together with his son at the hospital.

"Thank God, there was no broken rib as feared earlier. The rib is badly bruised and swollen by the impact," Hussein told Bernama when contacted.

Apart from the men's Kumite Below 65kg, Karate offered three more gold medals through the men's Kumite Below 80kg, women's Kumite Below 60kg and Kumite Below 70kg.

In the men's Below 70kg, Melaka's R. Jayaraj stopped Brunei's Mohd Nabil Malik in his tracks to take the gold while the women's Below 60kg gold went to Chin Fang Yin of Penang who beat G. Nagashangkari of Federal Territories.

Despite the defeat Mohd Nabil can still walk tall in the Brunei contingent as it was the first medal of the Games for the oil rich Sultanate.


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