ALL-England Badminton Championships men’s doubles semi-finalist Gan Teik Chai was voted the 2005-2006 Ke-dah Sportsman of the year during a glittering sports awards ceremony at the Dewan Seri Negeri in Wisma Darulaman recently.
The 23-year-old Teik Chai and his partner Mohd Zakri Abdul Latiff went all the way to the semi-finals in Birmingham before being ousted by Danish top seeds Jens Eriksen and Martin Lungaard-Hansen in straight games.
Teik Chai defeated two other contenders, 2005 SEA Games long jump silver medallist Syahrul Amri Mohd Shuhaimi and Kedah Premier Lea-gue football team skipper A. Victor to win RM5,000 in cash as well as a trophy and a certificate from the Sultan of Kedah.
“I will cherish the award all my life. It will boost my confidence to perform better,” said Teik Chai.
As expected, the Kedah sportswo-man of the year award went to pole vaulter Roslinda Samsu.
She got the award for winning the pole vault gold medal in the 2005 Sea Games in Manila.
She had previously broken the national record in the event with a 4.25m leap.
News filtered into the hall just be-fore the ceremony that she had improved on her personal best with a leap of 4.54m in a meet in Spain.
Her trophy, certificate and RM5,000 cash award was collected by her elder sister Ramzila Samsu on her behalf.
Kedah Rugby Association president Datuk Amiruddin Embi receiv-ed a sports leadership award while veteran sepak takraw player Azman Ismail was named prominent veteran sportsman.
The state weightlifting coach Mohd Noor Osman won the outstanding coach award.
Meanwhile, host Kedah’s 2006 Sukma Games medal winners and outstanding athletes were also re-warded with cash incentives.
Leading the Sukma rewards list was iron girl Rokiah Mohd Rashidi. The seventeen-year-old pocketed the biggest purse of RM9,000 for winning three weightlifting gold medals.
Cyclist Masziyaton Mohd Radzi, who contributed a total of six me-dals, received the second highest purse of RM8,250.
She won a gold in the women’s cross country race and silvers in the individual time trial and individual massed start events.
Her other two silver medals came in the team time trial and team ma-ssed start. She also bagged a bronze in the women’s criterium event.
Weightlifter Firdaus Abdul Razak topped the male athletes’ rewards list.
He was the sole Kedah athlete to break a Sukma Games record with a lift of 129kg to win the gold in the 85kg division clean & jerk.
He received RM7,000 for his one gold and two silver medals.
Controversial swimmer Linvern Lim who was disqualified on a technicality after winning one gold and a bronze was not overlooked as he too was among those rewarded.
He received RM4,500 for the two medals which was nevertaken into account in the official games statistics.
The weightlifting team which contributed six gold, six silver and 14 bronze medals took the lion’s share of the cash awards amounting to RM37,750, while the cycling as-sociation’s share for its four gold, six silver and three bronze medals was RM32,250 in all.
The wushu athletes who con- tributed six gold, two silver and four bronze medals took home RM24,000 and RM5,000 for being voted the outstanding association.
A total of RM228,125 was given away in incentives to 150 medal winners from 18 sports.
The following awards were presented:
Sportsman of the Year: Gan Teik Chai (badminton)
Sportswoman of the Year: Roslinda Samsu (athletics)
Best Sports Association: Wushu
Outstanding Coach: Mohd Noor Osman (weightlifting)
Sports Leadership: Datuk Amiruddin Embi (rugby)
Prominent Sports Veteran: Azman Is-mail (sepak takraw)
Sukma 2006 Sportsman: Firdaus Abdul Razak (weightlifting)
Sukma 2006 Sportswoman: Masziyaton Mohd Radzi (cycling)
Best Sukma 2006 Pair: Chen Liang Fang-Guy Lee Ching (table tennis)
Best Sukma 2006 Team (three-seven players): Lawn bowl team of fours (Mohd Hazmal Zainol, Faizal Mahmud, Mohd Firdaus Ibrahim, Zulhilmie Red-zuan)
Best Sukma 2006 Team (eight players & more): Sepak takraw