HISTORY was created at the 56th annual Kedah combined schools track and field championship at the Darulaman Stadium in Alor Setar when the Baling-Sik contingent emerged as champions for the first time in 56 years by beating powerhouses Kota Setar, Kuala Muda-Yan and Kubang Pasu.
They edged former multiple champions Kota Setar by a single gold medal and held a three-gold margin against defending champions Kuala Muda-Yan in the final count on Saturday.
Baling-Sik collected 17 gold medals, 15 silver medals and 16 bronze medals while Kota Setar who vowed to dethrone defending champions Kuala Muda-Yan could only tally 16 gold medals, 19 silver medals and 29 bronze medals to become runners-up.
They collected a challenge trophy and RM7,000 while runners-up Kota Setar and Kuala Muda-Yan received RM5,000 in prize money respectively.
Baling-Sik which had never finished better than third over the years sent shock waves among the competing contingents by steadily keeping pace with leaders Kota Setar and Kuala Muda-Yan which were involved in their own battle to outdo each other for pole position.
On the first day of competition, Baling-Sik only had one gold medal to show while Kuala Muda-Yan had five and Kota Setar three. They did better on the second day by collecting four gold medals while Kota Setar collected five and Kuala Muda-Yan added three more gold medals to their tally.
A record seven gold medals on the third day of competition set the momentum for Baling-Sik to move to second spot with 12 gold medals behind Kota Setar which raced to 15 gold medals after picking up seven gold medals of their own.
But there was drama on the fourth and last day of competition as Kota Setar could only manage one more gold medal from the 19 finals as Kuala Muda-Yan (three), Langkawi (four), KBB (three) and Kubang Pasu (two), Padang Terap (one) and Baling-Sik (five) made inroads to stake their claims on the gold medals.
With the five gold medals on the final day, Baling-Sik managed to pip Kota Setar by a single gold medal.
The final standings of the contingents are: Baling-Sik 17 gold 15 silver 16 bronze (17-15-16), Kota Setar 16-19-29, Kuala Muda-Yan 14-16-17, Kulim-Bandar Baharu 13-10-12, Langkawi 12-5-7, Kubang Pasu 11-17-16, Padang Terap 4-3-9, Pendang 2-4-1.
Meanwhile, the champion female athlete of the championship was won by 11-year-old Fatin Ilyana Mat Nayan from SK Kuala Teriang, Langkawi, for breaking the girls Under-12 100m and 200m records, She clocked 28.5s in the 200m to break the 2003 record of 28.6s and also the 100m record of 13.45s by returning with a new time of 13.30s.
The champion male athlete was won by 16-year-old Mohdd Zul Azri Md Zain of Kuala Muda-Yan for breaking the long standing Under-18 triple jump record of 16.64m created in 2001 with a leap of 16.66m.
A total of 15 records were re-written during the meet, eight of them were by boys while the girls accounted for seven.
The records are (former records in brackets)
Under-18: Shot Putt: Yee Heng Khai 14.54m (12.85m), Triple jump: Mohd Zul Azri Md Zain 14.66m (14.64m), 400m : Mohd Afiq Ikhmal Ramali 49.9s (50.2s, Heptathlon : Mohd Luqman Mohd Zuki 3915 points (3876 points), Discus throw : Mohd Ariff Johari 45.84m (45.05m);
Under-15: 5000m Walk: Shambahgan Ganesan 25:41.6s (27:15.05s), Long Jump : Mohd Nazri Mustafa 6.52m (6.36m), Discus throw: Izzat Fahmi Saidin 48.06m (46.63m).
Under-18 : 5000m Walk: Shuganiyah Supaya 29:37.8s (31:17.8s), Pentathlon : Nurul Izzah Md Nazri 2238 points (2153 points), Hammer throw : Noor Imanina Idris 34.95m (28.29m),
Under-15 : 200m hurdles: Nur Amirah Syakirah Zulkifli 30.5s (32.15s) Shot Putt: Siti Aishah Md Khaid 9.64m (9.10m).
Under-12 : 100m : Fatin Ilyana Mat Nayan 13.30s (13.45ts), 200m : Fatin Ilyana Mat Nayan 28.5s (28.6s).
Roll of honours (Best athletes) Girls: Under-12 : Fatin Ilyana Mat Nayan (Langkawi), Under-15 : Siti Aishah Md Khaid (Kulim-Bandar Baharu), Under-18 : Noor Imanina Idris (Kota Setar); Overall champion female athlete: Fatin Ilyana Mat Nayan (Langkawi).
Boys: Under-12: Hasnawi Mohamad (Langkawi), Under-15: Mohd Nazri Mustafa (Langkawi), Under-18 : Mohd Zul Azri Md Zain (Kuala Muda-Yan), Overall champion male athlete : Mohd Zul Azri Md Zain (Kuala Mudsa-Yan).