THE largest ASEAN-based sporting event in 2014 saw Malaysia emerge triumphant over most of the other ASEAN countries. Faridah Wu wraps up the three day sports tournament.
The ASEAN Games Australia kicked off on September 12 and concluded on September 14. Organised by the athletic arm of MASCA Victoria (Malaysian Students’ Council of Australia), the Malaysian student representative council based in Melbourne, this year’s theme was “Embrace Diversity, Celebrate Victory”.
While it generally attracts international students, ASEAN Games Australia is open to all athletes aged above 13 of any level from ASEAN countries to participate and exhibit their prowess.
This was the third year of this event, and was aimed at strengthening the relationship of members of the ASEAN community.
Participants from 10 ASEAN nations competed in nine games, namely badminton, basketball, futsal, netball, squash, table tennis, tennis, ultimate frisbee and volleyball. Touch rugby however, was no longer included in this year’s line-up.
Malaysia emerged as the overall champion plate with 14 gold medals, 14 silver medals and 13 bronze medals for a total of 41 medals.
Singapore and Indonesia were the runners-up with seven medals each.
In squash, it was an all-Malaysian affair with Min Yi Teh defeating her opponents in the Women’s Singles to take the gold medal. Sue Yin Chong and Nurul Husna Mohmad Fuzi placed second and third respectively.
There were a total of four participants for the Women’s Singles and three participants in the Men’s Singles. Wei Keen Yong was victorious in the Men’s Singles with Jin Wei Lo and Devon Kong in second and third place.
Squash director Anna Chan said she was looking forward to having more people compete in the sport next year.
“Squash is underrated, there is more to it than just hitting a ball to a wall. Strategy, accuracy, precision and speed are some of the few things squash players need. I hope people would change their perception and start picking up this exciting sport!” she said.
In netball, Singaporean team Reign Rovers took the gold medal from Malaysian team Phoenix after losing two years in a row. It was a bittersweet moment for Phoenix as this was the final year they would be playing together as a team with most members graduating next year.
In volleyball, a total of six teams participated with Malaysian team Generation V winning the champion title.
Malaysian teams LGI and Marshmallow won second and third respectively, with Philippines team Hella Pinoy coming in fourth.
Indonesia emerged victors in Women’s Basketball as team Merah Putih beat Malaysian teams Corruptors and Ace.
Director Joe Yee Sham was pleased with the participation rate and enthusiasm of participants who formed teams solely for the event.
“I hope next year we could reach out to more women of other nationalities who play basketball like Philippines or Vietnam!” she said.
For project director Sheh Tyne Yeo, she echoes this year’s theme of embracing diversity and believes ASEAN Games Australia was a great opportunity to promote cultural interaction.
“ASEAN Games Australia is a blessed occasion where we celebrate our differences and also our similarities as we bridge the cultural gaps between the ASEAN communities by creating a platform on which people that share the same drive can excel in the sports they are passionate about.” she said.
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