KUCHING: Sarawak’s failure to retain their title in the Third Borneo Games in Brunei last week had nothing to do with sub-par performance.
The state lost because of the point system used to adjudge the overall champions.
Sarawak State Sports Council (MSN) director Francis Nyurang Ding said on the contrary, Sarawak put up a good showing by winning more gold medals than the overall champions Sabah.
“We just lost by points to Sabah. It’s not because our athletes were lacking performance,” he added yesterday.
Moreover, he pointed out, Sarawak only sent their second team to the Games because many of the first team athletes had to stay back for their exams.
Sarawak bagged 20 gold, 16 silver, 20 bronze and 14 fourth place medals for a total of 244 points from nine events — a mere eight points behind Sabah which amassed most of the points through their 22 silver medals.
Nyurang, however, noted that the Borneo Games were all about friendship and most of the games contested were of a recreational nature such as gasing and lawn bowls.
This year, the Games were held at Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex Indoor Stadium in Berakas, Brunei Darussalam, from Nov 29 to Dec 5.
Hosts Brunei finished in third place with 198 points followed by Kalimantan Timur (114), Labuan (50) and Kalimantan Tengah (10).
Melaka, invited to take part as Sukma hosts next year, managed only 47 points.
Sarawak’s women’s hockey team won their third consecutive gold medal by beating the hosts 4-0 while the men’s team also won the gold medal, beating Brunei 4-2 and drawing 2-2 with Sabah.
In athletics, Sarawak’s Ambrose Jilom won the 200m gold medal in 22.35 seconds while teammate Syurani Sikember clinched the javelin gold with 37.98 metres.
The state’s other field event gold medals came from Laura Huang and Kevin Sia Sie Hong in the high jump.
Only nine sports were contested – badminton, lawn bowls, cuesports, gasing, hockey, athletics, pencak silat, sepak takraw and tennis.