SELANGOR, powered by two internationals, snatched the first gold medal in the Malacca Sukma when they won the men’s artistic gymnastics team event at the Dewan Politeknik Merlimau, Jasin last night.
Selangor also created history by winning the event for the seventh consecutive time since the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games.
Internationals Mohd Azzam Azmi and Daniel Iskandar Richard led the Selangor team of Tan Fu Jie, Raja Firdaus, Choo Yinn Haur and Subhan Sudarshan chalked up a total of 296.1 points in six apparatus – floor exercise, high bar, rings, pommel horse, vault and parallel bars.
Ten teams took part in the men’s team event and Penang bagged the silver with 284.4 points while Sabah grabbed the bronze with a score of 272.8 points.
Selangor team manager James Ng said that they are overjoyed after winning the gold medal by a big margin.
“Our gymnasts did well in three appartus – the floor, parallel bars and pommel horse – against the other state gymnasts. However, in the last Sukma in Terengganu in 2008 we scored more than 300 points because we had Cheong See Teng then.
“But he has retired and this is one reason we failed to get more than 300 points. Our top gymnast Azzam also failed to do well in the rings appartus after he got a hit on his head while doing his routine in the rings,” said James.
“We are happy to have won the gold for the seventh straight time. However, we have to watch out for Penang who have shown a lot of improvement compared to the last Sukma in Terengganu.
“We also look forward to winning more gold medals in the artistic individual events,” said James.
James added that the men’s effort in retaining the gold would definitely inspired the Selangor women’s team to go for the gold medal.
“We have three national gymnasts (Chan Sau Wah, Farah Ann Abdul Hadi and Nur Eli Ellina Azmi) and stand a better chance to win the gold this time against defending champions Malacca.
“Malacca will not have international Chong (Shi Theng) who injured her elbow in training,” said James.
Seven teams will compete in the women’s team event.
Besides Selangor and Malacca the other teams are Penang, Sarawak, Federal Territories, Pahang and Sabah.