KUANTAN, 9 September – Pahang paddler, Mohd Adib Kamaruzrizan gave another superb performance today.

He is now half way to be crowned the overall champion in the men’s TK1 national category when he won Stage 3 race of the Pahang Ocean Paddle International Challenge 2022 (POPIC 2022) at Pantai Balok here on Friday.

Adib recorded a time of 1 hour 19 minutes 21.95 seconds to once again leaving his two nearest challengers – Daing Sulaiman Daing Suhaimi (1:19:57.33s) and Freddy Anggang (1:21:09.43s) in the 13 kilometer race.

“Before this tournament started, I realized that Daing and Freedy would be among my main challengers. Freddy can be considered a legend in canoeing because he has extensive experience but Daing and I are still new.

“So for the remaining two stages, I try to maintain the momentum and if possible, continue to increase the gap. I will try my best and the rest I will leave it to God to emerge as the overall champion,” according to Adib who won Stages 1 and 2 before.

The Pahang pairing, Ahmad Azfaruddin Lukman-Imam Sujadi Satta also maintained their status as the leader of the men’s TK2 category by being strongly challenged by another Pahang representative, David Bong Xia Shing-Aderian Adek and the Terengganu duo, Muhammad Adhwa Danish-Muhammad Mustaqim.

In the Stage 3 race, Azfaruddin-Imam Sujadi, who initially emerged as the first winner, was given a two-minute penalty for following the wrong route, resulting in them falling to second place.

The same fate also befell David Bong-Aderian who fell in third place despite crossing the finish line in second place while the luck of the ‘champion’ belonged to Adhwa Danish-Mustaqim who had previously finished the race in third place.

“With two stages left, our strategy is just to maintain the momentum. Firstly, right from the start, we will try to position at the front or second place, we will try our best to leave other competitors behind,” said Azfaruddin.

Meanwhile, the representatives of Terengganu who are also a pair of siblings, Norazita-Nursaibah Syahida Ibrahim continued to top the women’s TK2 category chart as the overall leader when they emerged as champions with a time of 1:26:29.13s.

The sibling duo representing Outdoor Addict, Dayang Nur Sakinah-Dayang Nur Hanisah Awang Ali, took second place when they recorded 1:30:54.19s while Siti Normah Abdul Rahman-Mustika Ayuni Mustofa came in third (1:30:57.37s).

For the men’s inter-varsity category, the defending champion status belongs to Tuan Muhamad Hidzam Tuan Dolah-Mohd Azman Ibrahim (UNISZA); runner-up Muhammad Farhan Haqimi Abdul Latiff-Mohamad Faiz Rosdin (UTHM) and third place Mohamad Izzat Anam-Muhammad Hafizi Ab Aziz (UNISZA).

For the women’s inter-varsity category, UTHM representatives, Ain Syuhadah Zulkifli-Nur Amira Syafiqah Rosli emerged as champions followed by Nur Aleya Nafisha Norhanafi-Alya Athirah Shaharaziz (UTHM) and Nor Natasha Mohd Yusuf-Yusriyah Athirah Yusof (Outdoor Edit UPSI).

The POPIC 2022 highlight of the international category once again saw former world champions Dawid Mocke from South Africa and Danielle McKenzie (New Zealand) defend their status as leaders of the men’s and women’s competition.

However, the main podium of the men’s international category Stage 3 was grabbed by the Under-23 world runner-up, MacKenzie Hynard, thus promising fierce competition in the hunt for the overall champion crown with two stages remaining.

POPIC 2022 – the first-ever international canoeing tournament held in Pahang will continue at Stage 4 at Pantai Cherating, Kuantan (Saturday) before ending at Stage 5 at Pantai Teluk Cempedak, Kuantan (Sunday).


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