Monday, January 30

Para athletes’ win remarkable feat

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KUCHING: State shuttlers, Nabila Ahmat and Suhaili Laiman winning two out of the nine gold medals for Malaysia at the 2010 Guangzhou Asean Para Games was considered remarkable feat.

GOLDEN MOMENT: Nabila (2nd left) and Zambri (3rd left) paying a courtesy visit to the Director of the Sarawak State Sports Council, Francis Nyurang Ding (left) at his office recently. Accompanying the athletes is Johnny Ng (right).

The victory was a great toast for Sarawak and put the Malaysian state well in the international stage.

Nabila bagged the gold medal in the singles event and dedicated her win to the undying support from her families and friends.

“I am very happy for the win. All the strenuous trainings that I have gone through since 2008 paid good dividend,” said Nabila, 35, yesterday.

Currently working at Kuching Specialist Hospital (KPJ), Nabila added that she usually trained under Johnny Ng for international tournament because his coaching technique suites her game style.

In 2009 during the Asean Para Games in Kuala Lumpur, she won two gold through the singles and mixed doubles events, repeating the success of the 2006 Asean Para Games in Korat, Thailand.

Another gold medallist was Suhaili, 49 from Tanah Puteh, Serian who started representing Malaysia since 2001.

In Guangzhou, Suhaili paired with Chia Liaw How to bag the men doubles gold beating the Indonesian pair in the finals scoring 21-6, 21-8 in straight sets.

“Most of the time I trained on my own but God willing I managed to win medals, ”said Suhaili in jest.

Currently working at Simunjan Agriculture Department, Suhaili added that he was a regular shuttler for the Sarawak contingent for the singles and doubles event.

His partner for the double, Zambri Yusof, 40, who made his debut in the Asean Para Games in Guangzhou, managed to win the bronze from the doubles.

“I am happy for the win as it is my first time in the Asean Para Games,” said Zambri who also trains under Ng.

He added that he competed in 2006 Korat Game and won bronze in the singles and doubles event.

But in the 2007 World Championship in Bangkok, Zambri was a proud winner by winning gold in the doubles and successfully repeated the feat by bagging gold also in the double at the 2008 Asian Cup in Bangalore, India.

In Kuala Lumpur, for the 2009 Asean Para Games, he took the silver in the singles and gold in the doubles partnering Suhaili and earned them as the nation number one pair tag in badminton.

“It is not so much of the coach, but it depends solely on our commitment in training and the urge to succeed. The coaches can only guide us and we cannot rely hundred per cent on them,” Zambri commented.