Young Malaysian sailor Muhammad Fauzi Kaman Shah, 16, has described his gold medal win at the Asian Games as the best gift to the country in conjunction with the nation’s 61st National Day celebration today.
The teenager became the youngest medal contributor to the national contingent's haul after winning the 4.7 Open Laser event at the Indonesian National Sailing Centre in Jakarta with a score of 20 after 12 races.
The silver and bronze medals in the event were won by China's Wang Jianxiong, 42, and India’s female sailor Tomar Harshita, 62, respectively.
"I did not expect to get the gold medal because today’s challenge was very stiff, and I had only recently changed events from the Optimist to Open Laser 4.7. I think this is the best gift I can give to our country in conjunction with our National Day today.
"I'm really happy to win the gold, and I want to dedicate this victory to my parents, coaches, the Malaysian Sailing Association and Malaysians who have been very supportive of the country’s athletes," he told Malaysian media after the race today.
Muhammad Fauzi said he planned to bring his parents to perform the Umrah from the prize money he will receive under the National Sports Incentive Scheme (Shakam) based on today’s achievement.
Under the scheme, athletes who win gold medals in the Asian Games will receive RM80,000 while silver and bronze medallists will be rewarded with RM40,000 and RM20,000 respectively.
"I also plan to buy new equipment for my boat, and the rest is up to my parents," said the native of Kedah.