Perlis closes Sukma with a smile - despite rain threat
Sarawak contingent all smiles during the closing ceremony of Sukma
Perlis at Tuanku Syed Putra Stadium. Sarawak will be hosting the next
Sukma in 2016. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star
KANGAR: After two weeks of spoils – tumbling national (five) and
Malaysia Games (30) records, great valour and sportsmanship – a downpour
threatened ruin the closing ceremony of the Perlis Sukma at Stadium
Tuanku Syed Putra here.
But, in true Sukma spirit, the closing ceremony – with its theme of unity and harmony – got under way after a 30-minute delay.
Throughout the two-week long Games, Perlis proved that despite being the
smallest state in the country, it can stand proud at having hosted the
Games for the first time.
And who else better than to bring the curtains down on the 17th edition
of the Games than legendary rocker Amy Search in thrilling performance
also witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Youth
and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Federal Territories emerged as overall champions of the Games for the
second time after a 28-year wait with 147 medals – 55 golds, 38 silvers
and 49 bronzes. Terengganu were second with 137 medals (51-55-31) and
Sarawak third with 115 medals (48-32-35).
Negri Sembilan’s Muhammad Irfan Shamsuddin, who re-wrote his own discus
national record of 53.16m (set at the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games) with a
throw of 54.26m en route to winning the gold medal, was named Sportsman
of Sukma 2014.
“I really didn’t expect to get the award. Yes, Negri targeted me to win
it and I also came here with that intention ... it came true so, thank
God,” said Irfan with a smile.
“Actually, I heard a Sabah weightlifter (Constantine Clement) was in
contention ... that’s why I left Perlis on Monday. But they told me the
news yesterday and so I’m here now. I’m very happy.”
Irfan’s effort also rewrote the old Sukma mark of 45.89m set by Mohd Hasrolnizam Yaakob in Kedah in 2006.
Sarawak weightlifter Jelinie Empera, who won the gold in both the
women’s 75kg snatch and clean and jerk events, was named Sportswoman of
She bettered the Games record in both events by 1kg – lifting 85kg in the snatch and 107kg clean and jerk.
Though the 20-year-old will not be competing when her homestate hosts
the biennial Games in 2016, she was still happy to receive the honour.
“Like Irfan, I didn’t expect this. I thought Grace (Wong), who broke a
12-year-record in discus, would surely get it. But I guess it’s my luck.
It’s a great start for me to go after bigger dreams and, hopefully, get
a national call-up again,” said Jelinie.