JACQUELINE Sijore Jenelee and Dayang Khairuniza Dhiyana are good friends who decided to team up as a pair two years ago after Sarawak's disappointing outing in the last Sukma.
Yesterday at the Diman Superbowl in the Sultan Mizal Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak, they fought until the last frame and were rewarded with the girls' doubles gold medal with a score of 2,426. They beat Perak's Nazrinnah Mohd Kamil and Nor Atteya Zainal Abidin by just three pins.
It was the second gold medal as a pair for Jacqueline and Khairuniza in less than two months after the national schools (MSSM) championships.
“It was close in all the six games against the Perak girls. I missed a spare in the last frame but fortunately Khairuniza stepped up,” said the 16-year-old Jacqueline.
“We were able to support each other in the crucial stages and that made the difference. This is my first Sukma after being the reserve in the last two editions. I am glad that we were able to end Sarawak's wait for a gold medal after four years.”
Sarawak last won gold when they were the hosts of the 2002 Games. Then, Tang Joh Six-Caroline Chien were the girls' doubles winners and Jackson Ting, who is now the coach, was a winner in the boys' singles and doubles.
After returning empty-handed from the Kedah Games, the 17-year-old Khairuniza is happy to get her act right.
“I had a poor outing at the last Sukma. In fact, I did not do well in the singles event yesterday. “I am glad that both Jacqueline and I gave better performances today,” she said yesterday.
“We hope to continue with our good showing and try to win more medals for Sarawak in the mixed doubles tomorrow.”
In the boys' doubles, Selangor nailed their first gold in the competition through Ahmad Amiruddin Ridha Allah-Xavier Ang Xian Wen with a score of 2,541.