By Ashley Sim
KUCHING, May 19: A sizeable crowd gave a rousing welcome to returning 31st Southeast Asian (Sea) Games bodybuilding medallists, Buda Anchah and Dr Malvern Abdullah, this afternoon at the Kuching International Airport (KIA).
Among those waiting to welcome the athletes were Sarawak Sports Corporation (SSC) head of corporate management division Wong Yen Yen and SSC bodybuilding sports development officer Villaivan Jee who were representing SSC chief executive officer (CEO) Morshidi Frederick and SSC head of sports development division Ahmad Rodzil Hashim.
When contacted by the media, Buda, who won silver in the Men’s Lightweight (70kg) category, stated that he was quite pleased with his achievement.
“Although I had initially hoped to win a gold medal, my competitor was better than me,” the 50-year-old said.
He thanked the Sarawak government for assisting him with his preparations, particularly Minister for Youth, Sports, and Entrepreneur Development Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and Deputy Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts Datuk Snowdan Lawan, among others.
“This is my third time competing in the Sea Games; my first was in 2007 in Korat, Thailand, followed by 2013 in Myanmar, where I won bronze, and 2022 in Hanoi, where I won silver.
“I’m going to compete again, and the Mr Asia Championship will be in the Maldives this July, and the Sea Games will be in Cambodia next year,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Malvern, the bronze medallist in the Men’s Bantamweight (65kg) and Mixed Pairs categories of bodybuilding at the games, said he was happy with his win. Although he had hoped to win gold medals in both categories but the competitors from other countries were stronger.
He also thanked Sarawak Bodybuilding Association (SBBA) president Dato Wee Hong Seng, Abdul Karim, SSC, and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UITM) for their support.
“My next plan would be to compete in the Mr Asia Championship on July 15 and the World Bodybuilding Championship in Phuket, Thailand in December 2022.
“Regarding the Sea Games, I will compete again in Cambodia next year, and we will definitely do better than this year,” the 47-year-old said. — DayakDaily