Md Izzuddin Irfan Md Faizal sprang a surprise by winning Brunei’s first gold medal in karate-do at the 17th SUKMA competition at Kolej Matrikulasi Perlis, Arau.
The 19-year-old beat Julius Goh of Johor 9-2 in the 84kg category final to achieve the historic feat for his country while V. Devaraj from the Federal Territories and P. Navin from Negeri Sembilan were awarded bronze medals as losing semifinalists.
“Thank you to the team and coaches who assisted and supported me in SUKMA this time, I am very excited after contributing the first gold medal to Brunei in my debut at SUKMA.
“I also hope the athletes of Brunei will not easily give up and spring a surprise or two in their respective sport. They must be confident and work hard,” Md Izzudin told reporters.
Md Izzudin who is waiting to further his studies after completing his school days at Sekolah Menengah Pengiran Jaya Negara, Brunei, now works part-time at a Coffee Bean cafe back in Brunei.
“After completing school, I started working part-time at Coffee Bean. I started karate-do at the end of 2012, now I am a back up athlete in Brunei,” said Md Izzuddin, who aspires to become a pilot.
In the meantime, Penang emerged overall champions in karate-do collecting eight gold medals, one silver and five bronze.
The winner of the gold medal in the under 84kg category, Chew Han Tiong said, team spirit spurred his team to be more consistent and exemplary in every event contested.
Han Tiong clinched the gold medal by beating challenger R. Navindran 6-0 while bronze medals were awarded to AB Burrahman Adha Jamaludin of Terengganu and S. Manesh from Negeri Sembilan. — BERNAMA