Sunday, June 8, 2008

Terengganu Are Overall Champions

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 8 (Bernama) -- Host Terengganu emerged as the overall champion of the 12th SUKMA after opening up an inaccessible lead over second placed Selangor on the penultimate day of competitions here Sunday.

With 400 of the 404 gold medals on offer for the games decided, Terengganu lead the rest of the teams with 58 gold, 39 silver and 46 bronze, comfortably beating defending overall champion Selangor who have 53 gold, 46 silver and 51 bronze.

Tomorrow, three gold medals will be up for grabs in cycling, sepak takraw and weightlifting, but even if Selangor win all three, it will not threaten Terengganu's position.

The host who moved into the lead with 51 gold medals yesterday, collected seven gold medals today, four from pencak silat, two from boxing and one from rugby.

The chunk of the gold medals for Terengganu came from canoe (14), cycling (seven), athletics (six), pencak silat (six), taekwondo (four), swimming (three), two each from shooting, fencing, archery, judo, boxing, weightlifting and squash, while lawn bowls, equestrian, rugby and beach volleyball contributed one each.

Selangor meanwhile, came good with six gold medals today from tennis (two) and one each from badminton, cycling, lawn bowls and petanque but was not enough to overtake the host whose previous haul in Kedah was only 15.

Selangor were dominant in sports like swimming, taekwondo, gymnastics, shooting and sailing but Terengganu's prowess in winning 14 gold medals from canoe events turned out to be a major instrumental factor in the overall title.

Apart from the race for medals, the 12th SUKMA also saw four new national records and 24 new games records in swimming, two national and 12 games records in weightlifting, one national record and 15 games records in athletics and two games records in archery.

Meanwhile, Sarawak with 52 gold, 52 silver, 42 bronze are in third place while 1996 SUKMA host Pahang are fourth on 31 gold, 26 silver, 24 bronze, ahead of Federal Territories who are fifth with 29 gold, the same as Perak and Kedah who are in sixth and seventh places.

The only team that did not win a gold medal in the games was Brunei who only managed two silver medals.


Brenda Bags Second Gold, Sets Sights On 2010 Asian Games

SECOND GOLD…Federal Territories gymnast Brenda Yap won her second gold in 12th Sukan Malaysia (SUKMA) rhythmic gymnastic individual all-round apparatus event at the Gong Badak Indoor Stadium, Kuala Terengganu. Pix: Arjasneh Ahmad

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 7 (Bernama) -- Federal Territories gymnast Brenda Yap who clinched her second gold in rhythmic gymnastics at the Gong Badak Indoor Stadium today by winning the individual all-round apparatus event, has set her sights firmly on the 2010 Asian Games.

"I am looking at representing Malaysia in the 2010 Asian Games," said Brenda who was not too happy with her overall performance despite winning the gold.

Brendas gold with 94.125 points means Federal Territories have maintained their stranglehold on the sport at SUKMA as they had also won the team event yesterday where she played a major role.

"I won the gold today but it was not a good performance from me as I wanted to give my best in this SUKMA. The ball is my favourite routine but I made mistakes in the ropes," said Brenda who made her debut at the Kedah SUKMA in 2006, winning two silvers and one bronze.

Compatriot Elaine Tan made a 1-2 for FT when she won the silver with 89.250 points and Amy Kwan of Selangor took the bronze with 87.450.

FT will be counting on Brenda, 15, to deliver four more gold medals tomorrow when she competes in the four individual apparatus finals.

Brenda came into the competition here oozing with confidence after having won four gold medals -- in the rope, hoop, ball and individual all-round -- at the SportsExcel Championships in Kuala Lumpur in early April.

Gymnastics (rhythmic) will come to a close tomorrow after the four individual apparatus finals.


Terengganu Thrashes Perlis For Soccer Gold

KUALA TERENGGANU, Jun 9 (Bernama) -- The Terengganu soccer squad thrashed Perlis 5-1 to win the gold medal at the 12th SUKMA (Malaysia Games) held at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium of the state sports complex in Gong Badak here Sunday night.

Coached by Khalid Mohd Dahan, the squad gave a brilliant display, backed by support from its 45,000 local supporters. Terengganu began its goal fest in the 20th minute through striker Wan Mohd Aliff.

Eight minutes later, his squad mate, Mohd Ashari Samsuddin, added anoher goal and in the 44 minute, mid-fielder Ismail Faruqi hammered home the third goal from outside the penalty box.

In the second-half, Terengganu scored its fourth goal through a penalty shot by Abdul Manaf Mamat in the 52nd minute. However, Perlis replied with a goal by Azmizi Azmi in the 78th minute.

Terengganu continued to attack and got its fifth goal through Abdul Manaf Mamat, eight minutes from time. The bronze went to Kedah after it beat Penang 3-0.


Kedah's Gold Snatched By Young FT Bowler

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 8 (Bernama) -- Federal Territories bowler Cheong Pui Yee snatched the gold medal from Kedah bowler Tengku Emanina Laily Tengku Zahri in the women's master final at the Gong Badak sports complex here Sunday.

Tengku Emanina led the competition from start until the last game when she failed to produce her best.

That was when Pui Yee took full advantage to put a strike in the last game and chalked up a grand total of 3,525 pinfalls, two pinfalls ahead of Tengku Emanina to win the gold.

Tengku Emanina who could only manage 3,253 pinfalls, took the silver while Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi of Perak settled for bronze with 2,408 pinfalls.

The 17-year-old Pui Yee said although she was confident in her game, she did not expect to win the gold medal as she only began training for SUKMA last November, after recovering from an injury in the right wrist.

"I was very nervous in the last game when Tengku (Emanina) failed to produce a strike, and this give (me) the room to overtake her," said the former national junior bowler.

Pui Yee, who trains under coach Zulkarnain Sapian, joined the national junior squad in 2006, but quit after only a year.

She claimed that the programme under the national junior squad was not suitable for her.

"Although I am not in the national team, I will continue to train hard to improve my game and win more competitions," she said.

Meanwhile, Fahmi Bahri Sulaiman won the men's master event for Johor when he recorded the grand total of 3,487 pinfalls to beat Pahang bowler Tong Juinn Chuan who knocked down 3,398 pins for silver.

Tengku Ariff Mahmood took the bronze with 3,392 pinfalls.


Terengganu, Pahang Rule Silat

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 8 (Bernama) -- The last day of pencak silat at the 12th Sukma edition saw host Terengganu winning four gold medals at the Silat Complex in Gong Badak here Sunday.

Siti Rahmah Mohd Nasir set the ball rolling by clinching the women's Class D 60kg-65kg gold after beating Pahang's Mazatul Haniza Zakaria while Mohd Hafiz Mahari added the second from the men's Class A 45kg-50kg category by beating Mohd Faizul Nasir from Selangor.

Salahuddin Shafie later gave the host their third gold medal of the day, edging Mat Nazri Mat Khalil from Perak in the men's Class H 80kg-85kg category before Mohd Ariff Sukir swept aside the challenges of Pahang's Samiruddin Shaari to bag the fourth gold in the men's Class I 85kg-90kg category.

Terengganu exponents who made it to five finals however failed to produce a 100 per cent record when Zul Effendi Yusoff lost to Mat Sabar Nordin of Penang in the men's Class E 65kg-70kg event.

With the four collected today, the host hauled in six gold medals from silat, the same number won by Pahang, considered a powerhouse in pencak silat competitions.

Pahang who won two gold medals on June 3 and June 4, added four today with Mohd Hazwan Mahamad Hemdan leading the charge in the men's Class J 90kg-95kg gold after beating Selangor's Azrul Abdullah.

Muhamad Saiful Shafiq (men's Class G 75kg-80kg), Amir Ikram Abdul Rahim (men's Class D 60kg-65kg) and Amir Ikram Rahim (men's Class D 60kg-65kg) were the other contributors for Pahang.

Kedah were also big winners today with five gold medals, Penang picked up two while Sarawak, Perak, Kelantan and Negeri Sembilan won one each when the curtains came down on silat events today.


Pahang Beat Terengganu For Women's Hockey Gold

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 8 (Bernama) -- Pahang were crowned women's Sukma hockey champions after beating host Terengganu 2-0 in the final at the Terengganu City Council Hockey Field in Batu Burok here Sunday.

They scored a goal in each half to seal the victory and disappointed a huge local crowd who gathered at the venue long before the start of the match.

Terengganu conceded a penalty corner in the 33rd minute and it proved costly when Siti Shahida made no mistake to beat goalkeeper Nur Nasyrah.

Terengganu pulled up their socks after conceding the lead but simply could not breach the tight Pahang defence.

Instead, Pahang scored again in the 67th minute through another penalty corner set piece, this time through Fifi Maizura.

Penang won the bronze with a 2-0 win over Johor in the third placing playoff with goals in either half through Nurul Nadia's field goal in the 14th minute and skipper Siti Noor Amarina in the 48th.


Graceful Brenda Dances Her Way To Six Golds And Sukma History

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 8 (Bernama) -- Graceful Kuala Lumpur schoolgirl Brenda Yap etched her name in SUKMA history by making a clean sweep of all six medals at stake in rhythmic gymnastics which came to a close at the Gong Badak Indoor Stadium here Sunday.

The previous record of a five-gold-medal haul was held by Thye Chee Keat, also of FT, in the Pahang Sukma in 1996.

With her six-gold-medal haul, Brenda became the only athlete who won six gold medals in the 12th edition of the Games here and would certainly be the top most candidate for the best overall athlete.

On Friday, Brenda, 15, from the Bukit Jalil Sports School, helped FT win the team event before helping herself to the gold in the individual all-round event.

Brenda is obviously the darling at this years Sukma and a firm crowd favourite, drawing loud applauses, whenever she came on stage to perform her routines.

Undaunted by the attention and expectations, she continued to mesmerize the crowd, scoring 24.1000 points in the hoop, 23.6500 points in the ropes, 24.2250 points for ball which was her pet event and 22.9250 points in the ribbons.

While Brenda was virtually speechless with her feat, FT chief coach Elena Kholodova from Russia had nothing but praises for her charge.

"Brenda has everything in her... beauty, skills and brain.

Barring any injuries, Brenda is destined for a bright career in gymnastics, both at national and international level," she said.

"Give her one more year and she will be able to display her true potential. Her main weakness is the ribbons but she is coming along well. Brenda has been using the six-metre long ribbon instead of the normal five for the juniors," she said.

Elena said Brenda was currently Malaysia's hottest rhythmic gymnastics property who would be able to do well in Sea Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and even the Olympics. Incidentally, Brenda won a gold in the ribbon -- her weakest event -- to end Malaysia's 12-year gold drought and added a silver in the Pacific Alliance championships in America in March.

"Today, I was scared in the ribbon. Elaine (Koon of Selangor) was my strongest rival in this discipline. Still, winning six gold medals is beyond my dream.

"I am shocked and at the same time happy. I don't want to say that I am ready to take over from the big names Crystal Lim, Fong Seow Ting and Durratun Nashihin, but I am looking forward to donning national colours," said Brenda.


Wei Feng Stuns Thomas Cupper Arif

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 8 (Bernama) -- National back-up shuttler Chong Wei Feng clinched the gold medal for Kedah in the penultimate day of badminton after defeating Thomas Cupper Mohd Arif Abdul Latif in the men's singles final event of the 12th SUKMA at the Kemaman MPK Hall here Sunday.

The 21-year-old cruised to a comfortable win of 21-17, 21-11 over Negri Sembilan's Arif who just returned from the Thomas Cup final in Jakarta last month.

Wei Feng's most memorable win this year was during the India Open in Hyderabad in April, when he dumped world No. 4 and All-England champion Chen Jin of China out of the tournament in the second round. However, the 19-year-old Arif said he did not play well today and that Wei Feng deserved the gold medal.

"I did not play my best but I am satisfied that I managed to enter the final with a silver medal," said the youngest among the three Abdul Latif brothers.

The others are Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif and Mohd Razif Abdul Latif. Both players are in coach Rashid Sidek's Project 2010-2012 squad and still waiting for an opportunity to break through the senior squad.

The men's doubles title was won by the Perak pairs of Chow Pak Chu/Mek Hee Chun who beat Cheah Liek Hou/Chin Chuan Jue of Federal Territories (FT) 17-21, 21-11, 21-19.

Meanwhile, national second women's singles Julia Wong, of Malacca, defeated her national team-mate Lydia Cheah of Federal Territories in the women's singles final.

Julia, the world No. 27, edged past Lydia in straight sets 22-20, 21-14 to win the first gold medal for Malacca in badminton competition.

In the women's doubles event, Uber Cup pair of Ng Hui Ling/Woon Khe Wei from Selangor swept aside Amelia Alicia Anscelly/Ng Paou Leng of Sabah 17-21, 21-13, 21-19 to win the gold medal.


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