Penang weightlifter Zulhelmi Md Pisol was a double gold medallist at the 2012 edition in Pahang and his team had high hopes of him in the 17th Sukma in Perlis in the below 56kg category.
However, Zulhelmi could only win the clean and jerk with a lift of 135kg achieved in his second attempt while he surrendered his snatch gold to Pahang’s Muhammad Azroy Hazal Wafie Izhar Ahmad.
Still Zulhelmi was all smiles as he will not only be richer by RM4,500 which Penang offers as incentive for each gold medal won by their athletes but he was RM1,000 richer on the spot – which Penang Chef de Mission Datuk Ong Poh Eng gave out from his own pocket.
“We targeted two gold medals from Zulhelmi but he paid the price for skipping training for one year after finding employment with JBS (Jabatan Belia dan Sukan).
“Zulhelmi was a double gold medallist in Pahang when he won the snatch and clean and jerk in the same category,” said Ong, who is the deputy director of the Penang Sports Council.
Zulhelmi, 20, had the snatch gold within his reach until Pahang’s Hazal Wafie with a lift of 111kg in his third and final attempt after he failed to do so in his second attempt while Zulhelmi was left with a 107kg total which he did in his final lift.
“Zulhelmi has a bright future in the sport and now that he has been seconded to PSC we will help to groom his career in weightlifting,” added Ong.
Hazal Wafie was more than pleased with his gold after he won the silver in the same category in 2012. The bronze was won by home favourite Mohamad Shafiq Shafie with a 103kg total.
Pahang also won the gold medal in the below 52kg category clean and jerk through 16-year-old Mohamad Taufiq Idham Razali whose 111kg total in the third and final lift beat the rest.
Penang’s Harith Lutfie settled for the silver (110kg) and Muhammad Aizat (107kg) took the bronze.
In the snatch, Pahang again took the gold medal through Mohamed Shahrizal Abdul Razak (90kg) riding on a lighter body weight (51kg).
Kedah’s Mohamad Anas who also lifted 90kg settled for the silver but had a heavier body weight (56kg) with Muhammad Aizat of Perlis taking the bronze after lifting 89kg.