The year 2016 was a year of achievements for Sabah tennis. The year started with suspense as there was no confirmation whether the state will send a tennis team to SUKAN MALAYSIA ( SUKMA) in Kuching.
As late as March there was still no breakthrough, although STA President Johnson Koh kept on knocking on all the doors for the decision.
Juniors Ryan Chee, Clarissa Sofia, Luke Guansing, Hiew Kee Jun and Nurshaneem Shamsuddin are those who showed better results in 2016.
Nurshaneem won several singles and doubles national titles and qualified for the year end masters that consist of 8 top players in the Malaysian girls junior circuit.
Of course, Christian Didier Chin is by far the most improved junior and the best Sabah has ever produced.
Christian won several ITF doubles titles around Asia. He represented Malaysia in the junior Davies Cup in Australia. Christian would have been the youngest champion had he won the KL Open singles title.
Christian will be awarded the most improved player by LTAM in the LTAM Awards dinner in mid-December.
At home, the Sabah juniors circuit was completed by November.
STA also had coaches meeting with those who are interested to attend to discuss the coaches timetable and win-win allocations of the tennis courts available.
The yearly state inter affiliates tournament to fight for the trophies of the Minister of Sports Men’s trophy, the minister of Tourism ladies trophy, the President STA veteran’s trophy, the Ajit Mannan juniors trophy and the most prestigious Chief Minister trophy for the overall champion.
KK won all the trophies at stake in the 2016 inter affiliates tournament held in Sandakan.
The 9th Sabah Team Tennis Invitational 1 Malaysia Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor Challenge Trophy 2016 saw an upset when KL Hytech Blended team defeated six time winners Wilson Lakeview in a thrilling final 3-2.
2016 saw the most teams participating – 16 teams.
STA wants to thank all the authorities, ministers and all parents and individuals who have assisted in kind, thoughts and monetary contributions towards STA’s success.
STA wants to thank the Sabah state government for approving the roofing of the Likas tennis courts which was applied in 2012. It came to fruition in 2016 when the Chief Minister approved the roofing contract in June and to be completed by year end. However the resurfacing of the courts are still much desired. Appeals and requests have been forwarded and hopefully will be in 2017.
STA would like to thank all the authorities in helping STA in promoting tennis, the media, the parents, coaches, sponsors and officials who all help and sacrifice their time and finance. A special mention for Datuk Sam Mannanwho continued with his late brother’s, legacy – Ajit Mannan.
The best ever news for the year 2016 was when Sabah Tennis captured the GOLD medal in the mixed doubles in Kuching for the SUKAN MALAYSIA – SUKMA GAMES. Sabah also won the bronze in the singles.
Christian Chin partnered Nurshaneem Shamsuddin in the mixed doubles while Christian took the bronze in the singles.
History was created in Kuching and the whole tennis fraternity was abuzz with pride and happiness. This news was carried in all newspapers, especially New Sabah Times which carried a full colour page of the historic fete headlined “SABAH TENNIS CREATES HISTORY”.
This story was written by Fred Leong with photos from Mohd. Esmal Badri Japar ( MSN ).
For STA the year ended sweet, happy, bitter and sad.
Sad when Fred Leong succumbed to a heart attack on the 29th November. Fred covered most of the tennis events and wrote convincingly for STA.
Happy when the roofing appeal was granted by the state Chief Minister and Sabah sports minister announced that tennis is included in the SUKMA games and ecstatically elated when Sabah Tennis won the medals in BRONZE & GOLD.