Wednesday, March 20

Sarawak emerge overall champions in swimming at Perak Para Sukma

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File photo of Sarawak’s Julius Jeranding in action at the Tuanku Zara Aquatic Centre in Ipoh. — Bernama photo

IPOH: Sarawak made a huge splash at Tuanku Zara Aquatic Centre here to bag a total of 48 medals and emerge as overall champions in the three-day swimming competition of the 2018 Perak Para Sukma.

Sarawak collected 18 golds, 23 silvers and seven bronzes to top the chart while Penang came in second with a haul of 7-6-4. Sabah (6-3-4) were third.

In yesterday’s final day, Sarawak raked in seven of the 17 gold medals at stake.

Para Sukma debutant Rusdianto Rusmadi got the ball rolling with a 1-2-3 finish for Sarawak in the men’s 200m individual medley SM7-SM8 (SM5-SM6) (physical impairment).

Rusdianto clocked 3:31.63s to finish ahead of David Wangyu Kulek (3:37.10s) and Muhd Nur Syaiful Zulkafli (3:48.96s).

There was another Sarawak clean sweep in the men’s 50m freestyle S13 (impaired vision) when Stanley Jeranding captured the state’s second gold in 32.15s. His brother Donny was second in 32.83s, followed by Mohd Khairullah Nasrullah Pragash (47.44s).

Their other gold medals came from David (men’s 50m freestyle S7-S8 in 33.07s); Ardiles Benson (men’s 50m freestyle S6 in 48.48s); Muhd Nur Syaiful Zulkafli (men’s 50m freestyle S4-S5 in 35.41s); Fraidden Dawan (men’s 100m butterfly S10 in 1:08.84s); and the men’s 4x100m medley (34 pts).

Sarawak para swimming coach Sarini Kedri was happy they managed to meet their target by beating 10 other states to become overall champions in the pool.

“We knew from the start that we could rule the pool. Although we faced many challenges, our athletes did their best,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rusdianto, 25, was delighted to have contributed a gold to Sarawak in his first Para Sukma outing.

“I will train harder for future Sukma,” he said.

National para swimmer Muhd Nur Syaiful Zulkafli, 23, said he was proud of his achievement despite losing to teammates Rusdianto and David. — Bernama