Sabah's First Olympian Datuk Gabuh Piging Dies

>> September 02, 2010

Datuk Gabuh bin Piging, PBs LJ: 7.15m, TJ: 15.38m



Sabah’s first Olympian, Gabuh bin Piging passed away during the 53rd National day on the 31st of August 2010 at his hometown Tambunan, Sabah, after fighting with a series of illnesses. He was 78 years old.

Gabuh bin Piging was one of the most illustrious and successful athletes from the land of Borneo. His athletics career started in the early 1950’s, and a few years later he took part at the World's major athletics events.

Gabuh represented North Borneo (now known as Sabah) at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne in triple jump. Out of 28 participants, he finished 24th after clearing a distance of 14.55m. His teammate, Sium bin Diau leaped 14.09m to place in 28th. Both athletes became the first men of Sabah to compete at the Olympics.

In 1958, he attended the VI British Empire and Commonwealth Games at Cardiff, Wales and competed in two events (triple jump & long jump). In the triple jump, he finished 6th in a distance of 15.10m. Australian Ian Tomlinson won in 15.74m, with the second place winner in 15.69m distance, and followed by next finishers with distances of 15.45m, 15.45m and 15.40m, respectively. In the long jump, he finished in 17th position.

During the Police Championship at Jesselton (now known Kota Kinabalu) in June 1959, Gabuh who at the time was the best triple jumper in the region (15.25m) had a great form to break his marks. He leaped 15.38m in the triple jump, which was 13cm better than his previous mark. This mark was subsequently recognized as Malaysian national record when the federation of Malaysia was formed in 1963. It remained the national record until in 1986 when a another Sabahan Sidik Sahak (19 years) renewed the mark in a 15.45m distance during the 18th Borneo Games  at Kota Kinabalu. In the long jump, he leaped 23ft 2 ¼  (7.07m) distance which was retrospectively (1963) recognized as a new national record, surpassing the 21-year-old Malayan’s long jump record of 23ft 2in (7.06m) that was set in 1938 by Lee Fun.

Just two months later at the MAAU Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Gabuh renewed his long jump record with a distance of 7.12m, and also a new national record. Unfortunately for Gabuh, he actually had four foul jumps (out of six jumps) and one of the jumps seemed exceded 24ft (7.3+m), a distance that he had already achieved multiple times during training.

In his favorite hop step and jump (now known triple jump), Gabuh was in the best form to break another record but he ended up setting 15.11m as he injured on his thigh muscles.

Tom Rosandich of the United States who was coaching Gabuh quoted , “it was pity that Gabuh had a pulled thigh muscle, otherwise he would have brought off a big surprise as he had jumped more than 52ft (15.85m) during training session”. This is significant as the statistics show that the winner of the 1958 Commonwealth Games had only jumped 15.74m.

At age of 30 in 1962, Gabuh competed in the Asian Games at Jakarta in both the long and triple jump events. Once again, he broke the long jump record with a distance of 7.15m. In the triple jump, he managed to register 14.64m.

These results enabled him to compete at the VII British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth, Western Australia. In Perth, he finished 10th in the triple jump and again 17th in the long jump.

At age of 42 in 1974, Gabuh took part again in the Police Championship held at Gurney Road, Kuala Lumpur. He cleared 14.45m in the triple jump to add another gold medal in his collection from the first ones in 1950's. This performance remains Malaysia's veteran national best performance.

In 2003, Gabuh was conferred the Datukship in recognition for his all-time avhievements. This award is equivalent to a British’s Knighthood.

As of today, his personal record of the triple jump remains one of the Malaysia's All-Time best performances.

Following are the All-Time lists of the triple jump for Malaysia:

16.29 Zaki Sadri 1989
16.24 Sidek Sahak 1991
15.80 Firdaus Salim 2007
15.80 Hakimi Ismail 2009
15.65 Chai Song Lip 1997
15.57 Zulkifli Salleh 1991
15.47 Ammar Fitri 2010
15.38 Gabuh bin Piging 1959
15.36 Mazlan Mahmud 1984

*photo courtesy of YAKEB

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ASIAN LEADERS (Men)

100m 9.91 Su Bingtian CHN, Madrid
200m 20.16 Xie Zhenye CHN, Osaka
400m 44.07 Abdalelah Haroun QAT, London
800m 1:45.65 Jinson Johnson IND, Guwahati
1500m 3:34.55 Sadik Mikhou BRN, Paris
5000m 13:01.09 Birhanu Yemataw BRN, Lausanne
10000m 27:38.16 Hassan Chani BRN, Maia
Mar 2:06.11 Yuta Shitara JPN, Tokyo
3000 Sc 8:22.00 Kosei Yamaguchi JPN, Abashiri
110mh 13.36 Ahmad Al-Mouaed KSA, Praha
400mh 46.98 Abderrahman Samba QAT, Paris
HJ 2.40 Mutaz Barshim QAT, Doha
PV 5.71 Xue Changrui CHN, Shanghai
LJ 8.47A Wang Jianan CHN, Guiyang
TJ 17.22 Dong Bin CHN, Eugene OR
SP 20.24 Tejinder Singh IND, Patiala
DT 68.85 Ehsan Hadidi IRI, Chula Vista CA
HT 78.18 Dilshod Nazarov TJK, Chorzow
JT 87.43 Neeraj Chopra IND, Doha
Dec 7948 Keisuke Ushiro JPN, Gotzis
20kmW 1:17:26 Eiki Takahashi JPN, Kobe
50kmW 3:44:25 Hiroki Arai JPN, Taichang
4x100m 37.85 Japan Team JPN, Osaka
4x400m 3:04.05 India Team IND, Gold Coast
RED = World Leader

STATISTICS

STATISTICS

ASIAN LEADERS (Women)

100m 10.99 Wei Yongli CHN, Resisprint
200m 22.73 Viktoriya Zyabkina KAZ, Almaty
400m 49.08 Salwa Eid Naser BRN, Monaco
800m 2:02.23 Manal Bahraoui BRN, Duffel
1500m 4:11.55 P.U Chitra IND, Guwahati
5000m 15:10.91 Rina Nabeshima JPN, Eugene OR
10000m 31:52.42 Mizuki Matsuda JPN, Yamaguchi
Mar 2:22.44 Mizuki Matsuda JPN, Osaka
3000 Sc 9:10.74 Winfred Yavi BRN, Monaco
100mh 13.08 Wu Shuijiao CHN, Shanghai
400mh 55.54 Aminat Odeyemi BRN, Goleniow
HJ 1.91 Nadzehda Dusanova UZB, Tashkent
PV 4.60 Li Ling CHN, London
LJ 6.64A Xu Xiaoling CHN, Guiyang
TJ 14.25 Olga Rypakova KAZ, Paris
SP 20.38A Gong Lijiao CHN, Guiyang
DT 67.03 Chen Yang CHN, Osterode
HT 75.02 Luo Na CHN, Halle
JT 67.69 Lu Huihui CHN, Halle
Hep 5898 Purnima Hembram IND, Guwahati
20kmW 1:26:28 Qieyang Shenjie CHN, La Coruna

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