Hoe Thomson showing off the gold medal he won in the men's individual kata event at Sukma, after beating Johor’s Chun Jet San 5-0 in the final.
KANGAR: Every athlete gets his start somewhere. And for Hoe Thomson, it all began at Batu Lanchang in Penang.
It all happened by chance when one day his father, Hoe Inn Thye, took the then nine-year-old Thomson to the Penang Goshin Ryu Karate Association Hall and asked him if he wanted to join the class. And that was that.
On Saturday, Thomson etched his name in history when he delivered the first medal of the 17th Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Perlis.
The Penangite beat Johor’s Chun Jet San 5-0 at the Sri Kayangan Hall at the Perlis Matriculation College in Arau on Saturday for the men's individual kata gold. Perlis’ Howart Tan Jia Jie and Sabah’s Parlin Veroneym Frederick shared the bronze.
“It feels amazing. This Sukma, being my last, means everything to me. I’m so thankful and grateful to my coaches. None of this would have been possible without them,” said the 21-year-old Thomson as Penang coach and former Asian women’s kata champion Lim Lee Lee gave him a congratulatory hug as she fought back tears of joy.
“There’s some pressure going into the final, knowing that I could deliver the first medal for Penang. I’m just relieved,” added Thomson with a smile.
“I hope this is just the beginning for me and that I can go on to bigger and better things like the SEA Games and others.”
It was a clean sweep for Penang in the kata event as Celine Lee Xin Yi also bagged the women’s individual gold with a 5-0 victory over Johor’s Lim Sin Yi, with Sabah’s Vellenda Augustine and Federal Territories’ Shyamala Rubini K. Mutiah sharing the bronze.
The 20-year-old Celine was elated to win her first individual gold at the Games, having previously won the team event in the previous edition in Kuantan two years ago.
“It’s a wonderful start for Penang. Tomorrow we have the two kata team events and we’ll give it a good fight,” said Celine, who won bronze in the women’s team kata at the SEA Games last year.