ASPIRING teacher Faiz Aniq Fazly’s difficult decision to postpone his studies at the Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris has paid off handsomely.
At the Malaysia Games (Sukma) yesterday, the 20-year-old Pahang pencak silat exponent fought his way to the gold medal in the men’s 85-110kg freestyle category after beating Federal Territories’ Nazreen Ahmad Imran 56-10 at the Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia in Nilai.
Faiz, who is from Temerloh, said it has been his dream to win a Sukma gold medal after watching the competition as a spectator at the Ipoh Games four years ago.
“I knew I had to prepare well to become a medal contender. But my training was badly affected when the country went through the movement control order (MCO).
“I then had serious doubts whether I will get a chance to compete. However, the Games’ postponement was a blessing in disguise as I had more time to train properly,” said Faiz.
“And it was around this time that I decided to put my studies on hold so that I can focus fully on my preparations.
“I want to thank my parents who have supported me and also the team as we went through all the hardships together.
“Thankfully, all my sacrifices have been rewarded,” added Faiz, who entertains hopes of representing Malaysia in next year’s Cambodia SEA Games.
“I will resume my studies after this but I may also join the national squad as I heard gold medallists will be considered for the SEA Games.”
Meanwhile, Vietnam SEA Games champion Khairi Adib Azhar, representing Federal Territories, oozed class as he swept to victory in the men’s 50-55kg category final.
The 20-year-old Khairi overpowered Penang’s Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah 49-6 in the final.
The curtains came down on the silat competition with Terengganu emerging as overall champions with 5-4-4 ahead of Kedah (5-2-4).