There were good times and bad times for Malaysians in 2018 but if there’s one thing we can always agree on uniting us besides food is definitely sports.
From online gaming to shattering world records at the international arena, we’ve had plenty of excellent achievements we could be proud of.
So, to jog your memory and remind you of the amazing things some of our outstanding fellow countrymen and countrywomen have done for us this year, let’s look at the best moment in sports for Malaysia in 2018.
#1 Julian Yee
Julian Yee became a household name in the country after he successfully qualified for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February. He skated his way to his dreams and became Malaysia’s first ever Olympic figure skater in history. Although he didn’t make it to the final round, he recorded a new personal best and finished 25th place.
He recently went viral for his performance when he dressed up as a janitor for the 2018 Skate America tournament which earned him the seventh overall spot. Not bad huh, from skating at the Sunway Pyramid ice rinks to the Olympics. You can read our interview with him here.
#2 Hafizh Syahrin
When it comes to MotoGP, the names that will only come to mind are Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez. Well that has changed for us Malaysians because a Malaysian has joined the ranks of these legendary riders – Hafizh Syahrin.
The 24-year-old not only became the first ever Malaysian to compete in the MotoGP but he’s also the first Southeast Asian to do so! Nicknamed ‘El Pescao’, he’s currently part of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team and rides alongside French teammate Johann Zarco.
#3 Mushi and Moon of Mineski
Gone are the days where video games were seen as a waste of time because as of right now, it’s a very lucrative field to be in. Just take a look at Dota 2, an online multiplayer game which garnered millions of fans all over the world and also millions of Ringgit for some Malaysians.
Team Mineski won the 2018 Dota 2 Asian Championships and two of its members – Chai Yee Fun (Mushi) and Kam Boon Seng (Moon) are Malaysians. The boys were also part of a historical moment after their team became the first Southeast Asian team to win a major Dota competition.
#4 Yap “xNova” Jian Wei
Just months after Mineski’s historical feat, another Malaysian also succeeded in a Dota 2 tournament. Yap “xNova” Jian Wei is part of the PSG.LSD team that won second place at The International 8 Dota 2 tournament. The team took home US$4.1 million (RM16.8 million) which means xNova walks away with roughly RM3.36 million! Okay lah, maybe all of us can consider becoming a professional e-gamer soon.
#5 Latif Romly
Malaysians and the world came to know about Latif Romly when he managed to set and break his own record at the 2016 Rio Paralympics in the long jump event. And this year, he’s done it once again. #TerbangLatifTerbang definitely happened at the 2018 Asian Para Games when he set a new world record of 7.64m shattering his previous record of 7.60m which earned him the coveted gold medal.
#6 Ridzuan Puzi
This superhuman Paralympian gold medalist also displayed an extraordinary performance at the 2018 Asian Para Games. Ridzuan Puzi broke not one but two records at the games. He clocked in a new world and Asian record of 11.87s for the men’s T36 100m event and then snagged another gold medal for Malaysia in the men’s T36 long jump event with a new Asian and games record of 5.49m.
#7 Dodgeball National Team
In 2017, the national dodgeball team made headlines when they emerged as the grand prize winners at the World Championships. And this year, they’re here to defend their title. The men’s team managed to reign supreme by retaining their world title and also their ranking as the #2 team in the world while the women’s team came in second.
#8 Mat Redho
If someone were to tell you that there was a ninja-inspired tournament, you’d probably be curious or laugh it off and take it as a joke. Well, being a ninja is no joke for Mat Redho especially after he won the Ninja Challenge League Finals 2018 (NCL) in Perth recently.
The 30-year-old not only became the first Malaysian to win the title, but he also became the first non-Australian to do so. To top it off, he was awarded the ‘Last Man Standing’ award after being the only contestant to complete the obstacle course in the finals.
#9 Rafiq Ismail
Imagine being 21 years old and becoming the beacon of hope for our country? Not only did you achieve your mission, you also helped end the 39-year-old gold draught which is almost twice your age. This was the case for national bowler Rafiq Ismail.
He bagged the gold medal at the Men’s World Championship in Hong Kong beating out his opponent with just one point. Rafiq is also the second Malaysian to win gold at the world championship.
#10 Harimau Malaya
Now who could ever forget our Harimau Malaya? Our national squad managed to make it to the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup finals against Vietnam in an attempt to reclaim the championship title. Although we were so close to winning and came in second, the boys put on a wonderful footwork display and roared their way in the pitch especially on our turf. Many pundits and fans also acknowledged that this was the team’s best performance since 2010.
So, which was your favourite sports moment of 2018? Did we miss any memorable moments? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.