MALAYSIAN GAMES (SUKMA) hosts Melaka are going to leave their mark in the 3rd Borneo Games. As of yesterday, the team invited by hosts Brunei have six gold, three silver and one bronze medals.
At the opening ceremony of the Games, Melaka delegation chef de mission, Darmawan Samsudin, had told The Brunei Times that they were optimistic of winning medals at the eight-day tournament.
With seven athletes competing in lawn bowls, four in athletics and five in sepak takraw, Darmawan had said that they were aiming for at least two medals from lawn bowls, three gold medals from athletics and one gold from sepak takraw and they achieved more than that.
"We were hoping for medals but didn't expect as many gold medals. We were using the Games as a chance to prepare for SUKMA and didn't know how the competition will be like," said Mohd Nizam Bongsu, deputy chef de mission of Melaka.
"We had 17 penalty corners and we only scored on one, so that is a new record for us, "said Siva Subramaniam.
"We came from far and didn't know what to expect but it's a good result to win those medals," added Mohd Nizam.
Melaka, invited by the Sultanate who are hosting the tournament for the first time from Nov 29 to Dec 6, are the only one of the seven competing contingents not from Borneo island.
The deputy chef de mission also pointed out that they had achieved their aims for the athletes to gain exposure and experience and also for promotion of the upcoming SUKMA.
"These athletes will gain all the experience needed from competition and being in the Borneo Games is a way for good for us to promote SUKMA," said the deputy chef de mission.
In addition, Mohd Nizam mentioned that the Borneo Games have given them a rough idea of who they will compete against in the 2010 SUKMA Games.
"At least now we have seen some of the athletes that the other States (of Malaysia) and also Brunei, so we it will give us a rough idea of how competition will be like next year," explained Mohd Nizam.
Darmawan was expecting long distance runner Karthik Jayaraman to deliver the gold medals in athletics and he did just that.
Karthik dominated the 3,000 metres steeplechase, 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres events. What more, he also set new records in all three events.
Narendran A/L Thura Raju also contributed to Melaka's medal haul by bagging two silvers in both the 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres events as well to set up the one-two finish for Melaka.
The duo of Nabilla Ain Zailany and Alyaa Syazwani Abd Rahman delivered their gold medal from the lawn bowls doubles event after defeating Labuan 22-6 in the final and they found the competition to be very good.
"This is a good tune up for us before SUKMA and this is an added boost for our confidence as we aim for gold once again at the Games which we will be hosting," said Nabilla..
Parameswaran A/L Selva Rajoo won two gold medals in the 800m and 1500m in athletics to complete their gold medal haul while Azman Azlin Zainal Aznan the silver in the women's 100m.
The men's lawn bowls triples team of Muhammad Firman Shah Mutalib, Muhammad Mustaqim Abd Aziz and Muhammad Effendy Shah Abu Bakar won the bronze.
"We would like to thank Brunei for being such good hosts and inviting us here as everything went smoothly," concluded Mohd Nizam.
Other participating teams in the 3rd Borneo Games are East Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, Sabah and Sarawak.
Courtesy from Brunei Times