Johor steals show as curtain drops on 20th Sukma

Johor steals show as curtain drops on 20th Sukma

Maiden success sees state athletes crowned best male, female sportsmen

KUALA LUMPUR – After witnessing more than a week of drama as 6,643 athletes competed in various types of sports, the 20th Malaysia Games (Sukma), which drew its curtains last night, witnessed the biggest surprise when Johor was named as the overall champions.

Johor’s maiden success, which surpassed the initial target of 40 golds by winning 77 golds, 52 silvers and 43 bronzes, saw them emerge as a new powerhouse since the games were first organised in 1986.

Sukma was often dominated by nine-time champions Selangor, in addition to Terengganu (five), Sarawak (three), and Federal Territories (two).

Two Johor athletes, rower Muhammad Fakhrullah Mohd Rumaize, 21, and 16-year-old swimmer Tan Rouxin were crowned the best Sukma male and female athletes.

Not only did Fakrullah bag nine golds, he also broke two national records for the K2 500m event with a new record of one minute 43.045 seconds and the K2 1000m (3:35.500s), while Rouxin showed an excellent performance by bringing home six golds, one silver, and one bronze.

Johor contingent chef de mission Datuk Mohamad Najib Samuri issued an early warning for the next games when met at the closing ceremony, saying that the team was looking to collect 70 golds to win the overall title for the second time in a row.

Despite the games being postponed for four years following the Covid-19 pandemic, the 6,643 athletes who participated in 31 sports here showed an encouraging overall performance, breaking a total of 21 national records.

Canoeing athletes broke 13 national records, while five were broken in shooting, two in cycling, and one in aquatics.

The presence of several champions such as national 100m record holder Muhammad Azeem Mohd Fahmi from athletics, Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games silver medalist Ng Tze Yong from badminton, and 2021 SEA Games shooting champion Nurul Syasya Nadiah Mohd Arifin did not disappoint.

Azeem, representing Perak, emerged as the Sukma sprint king with a record of 10.25s, while Tze Yong, who was unwell, beat Federal Territories player Leong Jun Hao 18-21, 21-19, 21-12 to contribute gold for Johor. Nurul Syasya, also from Johor, collected four golds.

– Bernama, September 25, 2022

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