Evelyne Tan Xie Yie captured her maiden pole vault gold medal in the Malaysia Games, but the story of the day was not just about the congratulatory messages that poured in for the Sarawakian.

It is about the misfortune that struck national athlete and hot favorite Nor Sarah Adi from Pahang when she could find her pole just before the start of the event.

“I had it packed and kept it in the store. But this morning it went missing. I have always been using the same pole for competitions and this episode disrupted my rhythm and everything,” said a devastated Nor Sarah.

“Nothing went right for me today. The missing pole. slippery pitch due to drizzle and a few other things. Someone must have borrowed it and forgotten to return the pole. I accept this as a ‘challenge from Allah’.

“Perhaps I am destined not to win any medal today. However, I am very much happy for Evelyne as she performed well to win the gold medal,” said Sarah, her voice choking in sadness over the misfortune that befell her.

She added that this episode has been a big lesson for her.

“I will bounce back. It is a big challenge for me. The SEA Games and Asian Games are my next targets and I want to prove to all that Malaysia is capable of winning medals.”

Evelyne confirmed her status as the best pole vaulter today with a winning leap of 2.90m. Federal Territory’s Nor Anis Natasha cleared 2.80m for silver and Penang’s Ch’ng Qin Yan took bronze 2.50m.

Nor Sarah and Kedah’s Nurul Fitriyana did not record any marks.

“This victory is a big surprise for me. I have always looked at Nor Sarah and the other pole vaulters as my biggest challenge. Today’s win is incredible. My personal best is 3.01m at the KL Open this year. This is my first Malaysia Games and gold medal,” added the 21-year-old who is awaiting admission to a local university.

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