Md Izzuddin Irfan Md Faizal (right) from Brunei clinched the Sukma karate gold after beating Johor's Julius Goh in the over-84kg class on Tuesday. - BERNAMA
KANGAR: Nineteen-year-old Md Izzuddin Irfan Md Faizal is one barista you should not mess with.
The karate exponent clinched Brunei Darussalam’s first medal and first gold of the Malaysia Games (Sukma) after he defeated Johor’s Julius Goh Uai Ee 9-2 in the men’s individual kumite +84kg at the Sri Kayangan Hall, Perlis Matriculation College in Arau on Tuesday.
“I can’t believe I did it! It’s my first Sukma. I never expected this to happen. Our hope was to win a medal ... It feels amazing to be holding the gold medal,” said Izzuddin, who hails from Belait, about an hour’s drive from the capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan.
Izzuddin picked up the sport in late 2011 and only started training for the Games three months ago. Having joined a coffee chain late in 2012, he credits the hours making coffee to helping him improve in his karate.
“I’m a fast worker. I think that’s become my strong point especially when I’m making ice-blended drinks because I get them out quick. So I try to incorporate my speed and agility in karate,” he added with a grin.
The Sultanate’s best ever outing at the Games was a decade ago in Negri Sembilan when they bagged one gold, five silver and five bronze medals.
Izzuddin hopes his win will encourage his team-mates to win more medals.
“I hope my win can spur them on to try and better our previous tally. Nothing is impossible and all you have to do is give your best effort.”
Meanwhile, Penang continued their fine form by bagging two more gold medals via Chew Han Tiong (men’s -84kg) and Thor Sin De (women’s +68kg) on the last day of the karate competition.
The impressive islanders amassed a total of 14 medals (eight golds, one silver and five bronze) out of 11 events.
Federal Territories finished second on the medal standings with nine medals (3-3-3) while Perak completed the top three finishers with five medals (2-1-2).