Monday, 2 June 2014 | MYT 6:50 PM
Ira Fazierah delivers Perlis' first taekwondo gold
Nur Ira Fazierah (right) took out Sarawak’s, Shirley Kua in the women’s 73kg category to win Perlis’ first taekwondo gold. - FAIHAN GHANI / The Star.
KANGAR: Her name may sound like local actress Erra Fazira, but the similarity stops there. There was certainly no drama or acting when Nur Ira Fazierah delivered Perlis’ first ever taekwondo gold.
Up against favourite Shirley Kua of Sarawak in the women’s above 73kg category, Ira fed off the boisterous support of the home crowd at the Perlis Matriculation College in Arau to score an emphatic 7-2 victory to win the gold.
Pahang’s Nur Ailin Rusla and Perak’s Nadia Musa picked up the bronze.
“Can you believe it? I never imagined an ending like this ... It’s like going from zero to hero in just two minutes,” said Ira, fighting back tears of joy.
“Winning gold means everything to me. All the hard work and training ... the effort by my coaches ... it has all paid off. This is for them, for my taekwondo family. This is for Perlis!”
The 20-year-old, who started out with netball and taekwondo, opted to take up the latter seriously in December when she underwent intensive training for six months before making her debut at the Games here.
“I just thought I’d give the sport a chance and see if I could cut it. Winning Sukma gold has been a long-time dream of mine and now I’ve done it,” said Ira, who hails from Sandakan, Sabah.
“Everyone always says you have to sweat blood and tears before you can taste success and I agree. It was all worth it,” said Ira, who is of Bajau descent.
Meanwhile, Sarawak’s Mohd Amirul Juwanda put on a commendable performance against a tired Abu Amir Ubadiah Norizan of Terengganu, pulling off a grand 20-7 victory to clinch the gold in the men’s above 87kg category yesterday.
The bronze went to Federal Territories’ Tey Yen Khai and Mundanraja Naraumalu of Perak.