12th July, 2012
TOP SAILORS … Nicole Chan, Connie Tsen, Rufina Tan, Shoon and Haji Ahmad Yusof and others with their medals.
KUANTAN: Gymnast Mohd Hamzarudin Nordin and lifter Freanceay Titus were the toasts of the Sabah contingent when they created history of sorts, thus adding four more gold medals to nine so far in this ongoing 15th Sukma here yesterday.
Gymnastics team manager Isgau Abdullah and coaches Liew Tung Er and Zamri Din had put all hopes for the national prolific gymnast to achieve their four-gold medal target, but their ambitions were cut short when Hamzarudin was forced to pull out during his third apparatus (high bar) during mid-air in competition.
However, the Sandakan-born gymnast managed to make nostalgic golden feats in his earlier events, floor exercise, rings and parallel bar, where he showed his prowess against all odds to win two gold medals and a silver medal respectively at the Sukpa Gymnasium.
Sabah gymnastics team had to wait for a very long time for a gold medal in the Sukma since Kun Swee Siong took the first, way back in the 1996 Sukma also in Pahang, thus team officials described it as a nostalgic affair for Hamzarudin to repeat such a feat, but this time he did a double.
In his first apparatus event (floor exercise), he dominated the floor with fluent classic difficulties to beat his national teammates to post the highest points of 14.70, despite his back and wrist injuries.
In his second apparatus (rings), he again proved his mettle as the number one, again making various 1-T, 2-D and E-solo difficulties to beat the rest in contention and garnered 12.67 points for his second gold medal on the final day for gymnastics.
He looked worn-out and in pain when he entered to compete in his third apparatus (parallel bars), where with grit, determination and will power, he went on to compete but then the strain on him was taking its toll, where he managed to settle for the silver medal instead, losing to his Selangor national teammate.
His final apparatus (high bar) was where things got worse when he fell to the floor mat after his wrist gave way in mid-air, where doctors and medics rushed to his aid and applied ice to his wrist.
After his events, though a little disappointed for not being able to contribute the four expected gold medals, he was however, happy that he was able to help Sabah with two gold medals and one silver medal.
“In fact prior to the Sukma, doctors at the National Sports Institute (ISN) and also from the ISN Satellite Centre and the Sukma doctors as well as our contingent officials were against my decision to compete despite my back and wrist injuries, which I sustained two years ago during the SEA Games,” he said.
“I have been undergoing treatment after treatment and physiotherapy while I was school in Bukit Jalil Sports School and things seemed to be getting better and that was why I insisted to compete against all the advice, but I am happy that I was able to contribute two and not four gold medals as expected from me.”
“In my last apparatus, I was feeling the pain in my wrist but I really wanted to finish my events, but when I was in mid-air on the bar, that was the time I could not take it anymore as the pain was so intense that I almost slipped, but I decided to let go and forego the event.”
At the Dewan Konvensyen Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah in Pekan, Kundasang-born lifter Frenceasy Tituis, who is also an elite national lifter and SEA Games athlete, also created history that earned her a total of RM9,000 cash incentive from the State Government from her two gold medal feats plus two records in the Girls’ 58kg division.
The 21-year-old broke her own national (80kg) record, when she lifted 1kg more at 81kg in the snatch and in the process, she again broke the Sukma record (90kg) in the clean and jerk with a super lift of 95kg, which warranted her to earn an extra RM3,000 cash (meet record – RM1,000 and national record – RM2,000), apart from the RM3,000 for each gold medal feat.
When met after her event, the elated lifter told the New Sabah Times Sports that she initially expected to lift for two gold medals but she never thought of breaking two records at the same time.
“When I first broke my own record in the snatch, I was in the mood to go for it and I went all out to try (fell in two attempts) to break the national record in the clean and jerk but I failed, but I managed to break the meet record anyway,” she said.
“I have been training very hard in my preparations for a few national meets and also the Sukma after my SEA Games assignment, and I want to thank my coaches, especially those in Sabah like coach Nicholas Wong who have been very supportive towards my lifting endeavour,” she said.
“For the RM9,000 I received from the Ministry and Sabah Sports Council, I really thank them because I am able to send some money for my family back home which means a lot to them in the Kampung.”
Apart from Hamzarudin’s and Nursafwan Kaslan (vault) silver medal feats in gymnastics, the other silver medals as of yesterday came from sailor Connie Tsen in the optimist class, lawn bowls in the girls’ triples (Fatin Aqila Amran, Siti Solehan Halim and Nur Syafiqa Johanna Tan) and Girls’ swimmers in the 4×400m relay (Chris Tan, Trini Wan, Elly Wong and Baveliana Wong).
The bronze medals came from swimming in Chris Tan (Girls’ 400m freestyle), Evon Heng (100m butterfly), Elly Wong (Girls’ 200m backstroke), Boys’ 4×400m freestyle (Randel Pan, Wong Ka Sheng, Eric Tan and Eugene Er).
Sabah added another four bronze medals from the track and field events at the Stadium Darul Makmur through Anchois Aron 48.64s (400m men), Fathin Faqihah Mohd Yusof 58.11s (400m women), Eddie Edward Jr 10.93s (100m men) and Stefbilce Sandy Stephen 12.50s (100m women).