Australian Masters Games

Malaysia's lone athlete in a league of his own in Adelaide

by Dan Crouch - 9 October 2015

Malaysia's lone athlete in a league of his own in Adelaide

After starting the week at the track, the race walkers yesterday took to the road for their longest race of 15th Australian Masters Games – with participants 89 years and under competing in the 10km event.

First across the line at Victoria Park was 43-year-old Sunesh Kumar who rounded out a perfect walking week. Malaysia’s only representative at the Games, Kumar added further gold to his 1500m, 3km and 5km walk wins and not only claimed gold in his age group, but came first overall in all four races.

Kumar has walked competitively since the age of 13, though took a six year break in his mid-twenties. His fitness has started to decline by the time he was 30, however, and he rediscovered his passion for race walking as a result.

After hearing about the World Masters Games in Sydney in 2009, Kumar set himself the goal of competing at the 2013 World Masters Games in Torino, Italy. He achieved his goal, and placed fourth in the 5km walk and fifth in the 10km walk.

“I have loved my time here,” said Kumar.

“Adelaide is a beautiful city and this has been an amazing experience. I will be back, and I hope when I come back next time I can bring more athletes from Malaysia and surrounding countries.”

“I have loved competing and I have also loved making new friends, I came here all on my own but I will leave with new friends who I hope can keep in touch.”

World-class walking judge and coach Bob Cruise was also finishing up today after judging every walking event across the Games. The 74-year-old is no stranger to overseeing the big races, with experience as a chief judge at both the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2004 Athens Olympics, as well as five Commonwealth Games and countless national championships.

As a coach, Cruise has a history of moulding junior walkers into champions on a world stage. He currently coaches roughly 30 athletes of all ages, two of whom competed in several walking events during this year’s Australian Masters Games.

The 15th Australian Masters Games are being held in Adelaide, October 3-10, featuring more than 10,000 participants from across Australia and around the world.

For further information regarding the Australian Masters Games, please visit www.AustralianMastersGames.com.

The Australian Masters Games is proudly sponsored by the South Australian Tourism Commission through Events South Australia. 

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