Say What

Published: Tuesday December 17, 2013 MYT 7:30:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday December 17, 2013 MYT 9:42:30 AM

More heroes than zeroes… thankfully

Khairul Anuar Mohd (right) overcame personal adversity to win the archery gold on Monday, which is one of the many success stories of Malaysian athletes at the ongoing SEA Games in Myanmar.

Khairul Anuar Mohd (right) overcame personal adversity to win the archery gold on Monday, which is one of the many success stories of Malaysian athletes at the ongoing SEA Games in Myanmar.

ARCHER Khairul Anuar Mohd will definitely not forget the SEA Games in Myanmar.

Just days before coming to Naypyitaw, his family’s house in Kemaman, Terengganu, was submerged by flood waters due to heavy rain.

It took three days before he could establish communication with them, only to find out that all their belongings had been lost.

Despite the anxiety and worry, the 22-year-old managed to stay focused and went on to win the men’s recurve individual SEA Games gold medal for the first time.

What a display of commitment and perseverance!

Then, there is swimmer Khoo Cai Lin. She was down with fever but did not give up on competing. She went on to win the 800m freestyle gold.

That’s true grit.

Poverty did not stop kata exponent Lim Chee Wei from chasing his dream – to become a gold medallist at the SEA Games.

That’s determination.

There are several others with similar stories of courage.

Indeed, some Malaysian athletes have stood tall here at the SEA Games.

Some sports officials too have given us reason to smile for their sheer dedication.

Take for instance the soft-spoken coach of billiards and snooker Ong Sze Wey.

A pep talk by him during a short break made all the difference for his charge – Thor Chuan Leong. The chubby lad came back from a 1-4 deficit to beat Laotian Sithideth Sakbieng 5-4 for a gold in the snooker singles.

Not only did Chuan Leong break down after winning ... his coach was also inconsolable - sharing the moment of victory in each other’s arms.

In pencak silat, karate and sepak takraw - their coaches put the interest of athletes first by standing up for them when their rights were violated.

It is, however, a different story when it comes to some other Malaysian sports officials.

Some are just full of excuses.

They jump on the bandwagon if their athletes succeed. But when their athletes flop, they are the last ones to be seen at the venue.

Some are freeloaders.

They come to Myanmar in the name of being observers – but all they do here is “lepak” (hang out).

Fortunately, they form just a small group in this edition of the SEA Games.

To me, this incident-free Games (so far) will be remembered mostly for the Malaysian athletes’ display of true spirit and sportsmanship in their attempt to go faster, higher and be stronger.

And with Myanmar doing its best to be a good host despite all their political, economical and social constraints, it gets a thumbs-up from me.

Tags / Keywords: SEA Games, Naypyitaw, Myanmar

advertisement

  1. Qingchen wins big at World Juniors
  2. Larrazabal stung by hornets at Malaysian Open
  3. Busanan aiming to follow in Ratchanok's footsteps
  4. German woman falls to her death from Mt Kinabalu summit

advertisement

advertisement