Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Like Father Like Son

KORAT, Dec 15 (Bernama) -- The Moh family has kept the Malaysian flag flying in the snooker and billiards competition of the Sea Games since the '90s.

It was Moh senior, the 53-year-old Loon Hong who started the proud tradition with his victory in the English billiards singles in the 1991 Games in Manila and then followed it up with his second victory in the 1995 Chiangmai Sea Games.

Meanwhile, Moh junior, Keen Ho, who was still in primary school in his hometown of Penang then, did not know what the fuss was all about. He was only five when dad won his first Sea Games gold medal and nine when the second gold came.

But on Friday in this northeastern Thai city, Keen Ho got his first taste of victory after two Sea Games and one silver and one bronze medal later.

The 21-year-old keen Ho beat Thailand's Napadon Sangnil 4-1 in a best of seven-frame final to win the men' singles gold medal to give Malaysia their first gold medal in snooker and billiards in the Korat Sea Games.

"When I was a small boy I remember people talking about my father winning the Sea Games gold medal. I wondered why everyone was so excited? I only saw the medal and it was a nice piece of metal.

"I was too young to understand," said Keen Ho.

But now he knows the joy of winning a Sea Games gold medal. More so after two attempts, at the 2003 Vietnam and 2005 Manila Sea Games, where he won a silver in the doubles and the bronze in the singles respectively.

"It's a nice feeling, really nice and now I know how my daddy must have felt when he won the two gold medals. To stand on the rostrum and hear the Negaru Ku being played made it even better," added Keen Ho, who picked up the game when he used to help his mother at the cashier's counter in the family's snooker centre in Penang.

"It's only natural that I play the game as I spent a lot of my free time at the centre. Infact, my younger sister is also quite good but she is not serious about it," said Keen Ho, who was also the 2005 Asian Junior champion.

His next target is the Asian Games in Guangzhou in 2010 where he hopes to a medallist there too.


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