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PENANG are still within reach of their target as the 19th Sukma (Malaysia Games), currently being hosted by Perak, reached its halfway stage although the race is getting tougher by the day.

No golds came their way today but the sepak takraw regu team (men’s trio) and karate kumite exponent Muhammad Arif Afiffuddin Ab Malik (-67kg) performed creditably to win silver medals.

Other karate kumite exponents like M. Parvin (-55kg), S. Sharventharan (-84kg) and M. Saswin (+84kg) contributed a bronze medal apiece.

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A Penang player leaps to defend as a Kelantan player executes a smash in their sepak takraw regu final at the Sultan Azlan Shah KKM Training Institute in Ulu Kinta.

With six days of competition left, Penang, who have managed 12 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze medals, are now in third place overall. They are behind Terengganu (18-16-18) and Federal Territory (14-8-16).

The going looks tough for Penang to hit their target of 36 golds and a fifth place overall finish, but they can still pull it off.

FT, who were placed third overall with 12 golds the previous day but had an inferior silver medals compared to Penang, have overtaken Penang after winning two gold medals today.

Following closely behind are hosts Perak (10-16-17), Sabah (10-8-8), Sarawak (9-8-13) and Melaka (8-7-8).

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M. Saswin (right) of Penang forcing Muzahid Asyraff Yusoff of Sarawak to a corner in their karate kumite +84kg repecharge 2 bout.

The Penang sepak takraw regu team came close to winning the gold against Terengganu, but lost concentration at crucial moments to lose out 1-2 in the final.

In the semi-finals, Penang scored an emphatic 2-0 win over Selangor while Terengganu crushed Perak 2-0. Terengganu were highly charged after a dominant display by triple gold medallist cyclist Nur Aisyah Mohamed Zubair and a Games’ record performance by shooter Qamarul Naim Abu Aziz in the 50m pistol event on Saturday.

The only thing that marred their success was a bad tempered football match between Terengganu and Johor on Sept 10 in Tanjung Malim, which later resulted with the FA of Malaysia suspending three players from each side for three matches.

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Penang Youth and Sports Committee chairman Soon Lip Chee (fifth from left) and Penang State Sports Council director Frederick Tan Teck An (sixth from left) rejoicing with the karate kumite team officials and players for their success.

Penang got another chance to land a gold medal today when Muhammad Arif fought with confidence to beat L. Davaras of Malacca 9-4 in the semi-finals of the kumite -67kg category.

It was, however, not to be his day when he lost merely by a point at 7-8 to an equally determined S. Rubhan of Federal Territory in the final.

Source: Buletin Mutiara