This year, Malaysia has seen many outstanding, phenomenal, and promising athletes emerge, bringing forth a new sports legacy for the nation. Here are a few of the Malaysian athletes of Indian descent that have given great pride and glory to not only themselves but the country as a whole.
1. Thinaah Muralitharan
25-year-old Thinaah Muralitharan, half of the Pearly-Thinaah dynamic duo, is one of the top athletes in Malaysia. Her and her partner Pearly Tan are currently reigning as the country’s foremost women’s doubles pair; their vigour and prowess have also reached the international sphere, as they are currently ranked at world no. 12. Thinaah has brought exceptional pride to Malaysia by making history as the reigning champion at the 2022 French Open, a huge achievement in Malaysian women’s doubles. Along with that, some of her most notable wins have been being awarded gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games for Women’s Doubles and Mixed Team and winning the championship at the 2021 Swiss Open. She has also received numerous awards, such as the 2022 Selangor Sports Awards for the 2021–2022 Selangor Sportswoman, the 2022 National Sports Awards for the National Women’s Team, and the 2023 Nambikkai Star Icon Awards for Best Sports Personality. Her most recent award has been receiving the Bintang Kecemerlangan Sukan Selangor (BKS) from the King of Selangor.
2. Sivasangari Subramaniam
Ranked at World No. 15, 24-year-old Sivasangari Subramaniam is one of Malaysia’s most notable and up-and-coming squash player. Born in Kedah, this young sportswoman has brought immense glory to her nation through her many national and international wins. The most astounding thing about this athlete is her unwavering spirit to achieve, despite the struggles of life. In June 2022, Sivasangari was involved in a brutal car accident that required her to undergo two surgeries. Although it was harrowing at first, her dedicated spirit bounced back and won her nation two gold medals at the 2023 Asia Games. She had also been awarded the Anugerah Khas at the Anugerah Perdana Belia Negara 2023. The young star has also won the 2022 College Squash Association (CSA) National Collegiate Individual Championships, which is her first individual championship for Cornell University, the educational institute which she has successfully graduated from.
3. Shereen Samson Vallabouy
US-based, Ipoh native Shereen Samson Vallabouy is a track and field rising star. Born to the sports legacies of former national athlete Samson Vallabouy and former Olympian Josephine Mary Singarayar, this 25-year-old has been steadily rising to the top of the international league since she set foot in it. Some of her most notable achievements had been winning gold at the 2023 Phnom Penh and winning two bronze medals at the 2022 Asian Games. This rising star has just recently graduated from Winona State, which she has the opportunity to attend due to the generous scholarship from the Better Malaysia Foundation. This dedicated Malaysian athlete has expressed her gratitude towards all those who have aided her throughout her journey as a student athlete and has stated that her drive for achievement remains the same, giving much hope to the world of Malaysian sportsmanship in the future.
4. Letshanaa Karupatheva
20-year-old Selangor native Letshanaa Karupathevan is another one of the most exciting and rising stars in the world of Malaysian sports. This professional badminton player previously held the title of National Under-18 in 2019 when she was fourteen years old. The dedicated team has also joined many international tournaments, bringing Malaysia several medals, such as the bronze medal for the 2021 and 2023 Sudirman Cup (mixed team) and another bronze medal for the 2018 Asian Junior Championship (mixed team). She had most notablely been the winner at the 2018 Mauratious International and 2023 Uganda International.
5. Prabudass Krishnan
Negeri Sembilan, born Prabudass Krishnan, is one of the most shining stars Malaysia has in the sport of long-distance running. This 33-year-old has recently come in 17th place in the men’s category, beating his own half-marathon national record during the 2023 Gold Coast Marathon in Queensland, Australia. This is a phenomenal win for an athlete coming back to this tournament after four years. Previously, in May 2022, the athlete had to pull out of a tournament in Haoi due to an unidentified illness, but the young man, although initially disappointed that he had to withdraw from participating in the games, bounced back through his resilience to pursue greatness in his sports legacy.