TROPHY .....Karate exponent Ricky Leong Tze Wai (left) and Weightlifter Frenceay Titus (right) posing with their winning trophy as the Sportsman and Sportswoman of Sabah.
By : FIZAH YUSOF
THE 25TH Sabah Sports Awards crowned karate champion Ricky Leong Tze Wai and weightlifter Frenceay Titus as Sabah's Sportsman and Sportswoman of 2011/2012, on Friday night.
Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, accompanied by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, presented the duo their trophies.
The awards were decided by a selection panel led by Permanent Secretary to the Youth and Sports Ministry, Datuk Suzannah Liaw and were given to the deserving recipients whose athletic performance brought pride and honour to the State at national and international level championships in 2011 and 2012.
Reigning Asian champion Ricky Leong Tze Wai, who is from Kota Kinabalu retained his Asian Karate Championships title last year by beating Japan’s Oki Itaru 5-0 in Uzbekistan.
A month after that, the 26 year old became the first Malaysian exponent to win gold in the World Karate Federation (WKF) premier league series as he clinched the men’s individual kata (non-sparring) gold medal in the WKF K1 World Cup in Busan by beating South Korean Park Hee-jun 5-0 for the gold.
Despite his outstanding achievements, Ricky said receiving the Sabah Sports Awards is an honour and at the same time a hard task.
“I am really happy to receive this award but to be honest; receiving this award is really hard compared to the tournaments that I compete in.
“Because to receive the Sportsman title you must compete with the other best athletes from different sports and winning this is just an honour for me,” he said.
His target for the future is to win gold in the Asian and SEA Games.
For Frenceay Titus the Sportswoman title is an energizer for her to strived forward especially in the SEA Games that will be held in Myanmar in December this year.
Freanceay made history when she was crowned Sportswoman at the SUKMA Pahang in 2011, the first Sabahan to receive the title.
The Ranau girls also competed in the Women’s 58kg at the Asian Weightlifting Championships at Yichung Culture & Sports Center in Pyeongtaek, South Korea last year. She also managed to defend the current national record at the 26th SEA Games in Palembang.
“This is an honour for me when people recognised the hard work of athlets. I will focus and do my best to prepare myself for the SEA Games and also the Olympics in 2016,” she said.
She also hopes that more people will join the weightlifting sports as she believes that this sport can go further.
The other contenders for the Sportsman and Sportswoman title are: Best Sportsman Award - Adam Nicholas Lindbichler (fencing), Adam Wong (archery), Bryan Jr. Kinson (taekwondo), Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian (athletics), Lee Kin Lip (archery) and Stefan Walter Sundang Alex (tennis). For the Best Sportswoman Award - Aretha Pan Herng (golf), Diedre Aprille David (karate), Cheryl Ye Ai Chun (tennis), and Soong Fie Cho (badminton). (Insight Sabah)