Sabah’s Akmal Abdullah is treated for his injured hip after winning the gold medal in Sukma BMX cycling on Sunday. - FAIHAN GHANI/ The Star
KANGAR: Sabah’s Akmal Abdullah is one tough cookie.
The 18-year-old went against doctor’s orders, enduring the searing pain from a hip injury, to compete in the final of the men’s BMX cycling event at Sungai Batu Pahat on Sunday.
He pipped favourite Ahmad Syazrin Awang Ilah of Terengganu in the last few metres to win the gold medal with a time of 52.287.
Ahmad Syazrin clocked 52.462 to bag the silver while another Terengganu rider Mohd Ibnu Hasyimie Omar clocked 55.468 to bag the bronze.
Akmal had injured his hip in the semi-finals of the event yesterday.
Akmal, who had won the bronze medal in the same event at the last Sukma in Pahang two years ago, said that he was in a lot of pain after winning the semi-finals.
“I was advised by my doctor not to compete in the final as it could risk aggravating my injury.
“I went against the doctor’s orders but it paid off as I surprised myself and everyone to win the gold,” said Akmal.
Despite being born in Malacca, he has been representing Sabah since the 2012 Sukma after Malacca dropped him from the squad in 2011.
It was double joy for Sabah on the first day of the cycling events as they also won the women’s BMX event.
Natahsya Soon clocked 59.673 to finish ahead of Siti Aisyah Alias of Pahang (1:01.288) and Terengganu’s Siti Shahirah Hashim (1:01.474).
The 19-year-old Natahsya from Kota Kinabalu said that she was confident of bagging the gold in Sukma after winning the event at the Pattaya Open BMX challenge in March.
“This in my fourth Sukma and I will be going all out to win both the cross country and downhill events as well,” said Natahsya, who won the gold in downhill in Pahang two years ago.