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Christian set to spearhead Sabah’s gold medal quest

28th February, 2020


KOTA KINABALU: Fourteen tennis players are set to don the Sabah jersey for the upcoming 20th Sukma Games to be held at Johor in July.

In a statement on Thursday, Sabah Tennis Association (STA) President, Johnson Koh announced the finalised name list of the players, including the coaches and officials.

“The good news is that tennis has been reinstated as an official medal sport in Johor, even though it is only for the singles events for both men and women.

“Therefore, I believe that all competing states will send their best players for the Sukma Games as there are two gold medals up for grabs,” he said.

Leading the pack for Sabah is Christian Didier Chin, who is looking to emulate his gold medal success in the mixed doubles event during the 2016 Sukma Games in Sarawak.

“Christian is surely one of the pre-tournament favourites for the men’s singles gold medal. Hopefully, he is able to maintain his fitness level and avoid any injuries considering that he will be competing in some national and ITF tournaments before Sukma,” said Koh.

Meanwhile, his mixed doubles partner in 2016, Nur Sharneem Iman is also registered for the women’s singles event and will fly back from the United States to compete.

“She is currently training in the United States to prepare for the Sukma Games and is expected to be in her top condition before flying back to Malaysia,” added Koh.

Other players selected are Ryan Chee Shao Yang, Darius Wong Yui Qian, Xerxes Wilson Lim Wei, Harish John Shailendra Dunil Manoharan, Gao Euno Dares, Mohd Nooh Lasalama and Bonaventure Billy Ballay for the men’s singles.

Jashnavissri Uigneswaran, Kenwyn Chan Kai Wei, Kyra Vamsikrish, Nurul Afiqah Batrisyia Azisa and Sabrena Eniola Obafemi David Onasanya will compete in the women’s singles event.

Koh stated that the selected players will undergo training sessions in their respective districts and a final centralised bootcamp in Kota Kinabalu is expected to take place before departing to Johor.

Tito Latoja and Shamsuddin Mustamin are appointed as the contingent’s official coaches, while Koh will be the team manager.

“We recently held a meeting and received good news as the likes of William Lo, Asis Atoh, Mohd Firdaus Sukor, former Sukma player Stephen Alex and France Nick Boura volunteered to help the players to prepare for Sukma.

“Hopefully, the players are able to prepare well and play good tennis later in Johor,” he said.

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