SEPANG: The national men and women's dodgeball teams walked tall at the World Championships in Los Angeles last week.
The Malaysian men's team successfully defended their world title with a heart-stopping 5-4 sudden death win over hosts the United States in the final on Sunday.
The women's team, who had won the world championships in 2016 and 2017, put up a strong fight but lost 8-5 to the Americans in the decider.
While his teammates may be happy to soak in their success, senior national player Robert Ng is not resting on their laurels.
Robert stressed that the Malaysian team must continue to work hard if they are to defend their title at the World Championships in Mexico next year for a hat-trick.
"It was not easy for us as we had to adapt to the cold weather as well as the parquet courts in Los Angeles instead of the (artificial) turf we are used to in Malaysia. But the team did a great job," said Robert.
"I have been in the national team for five years and I believe this is our best team so far. We lost to the US in the round robin stage but showed great team spirit and discipline to bounce back and beat them in sudden death in the final.
"Obviously, it means a lot to us to win this world title but we cannot afford to relax. The hard work has to start from today if we are to defend our title again. This applies to the players, committee members as well as the association."
Women's team captain Siti Nur Alia Mohamaed Azmi said their second placing has given them a burning desire to come back stronger next year.
"We were down 0-3 but we tried to fight back. Unfortunately we lost 8-5," said Alia, who was making her debut in Los Angeles.
"I felt sad but my teammates were more disappointed as they had won it before. I realise it (defending the title) meant a lot to them.
"We will work hard to come back stronger and win back the title for Malaysia."
Apart from Malaysia and the US, the other teams competing in the men’s competition were Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Italy and Argentina.
The women’s event featured Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, USA and Malaysia.
The 2017 and 2016 editions were held in Toronto and Melbourne. Malaysia hosted the 2012 World Championships in Kuala Lumpur.
The men and women's teams were received by their family members as well as Malaysia Association of Dodgeball (MAD) president Datuk Samson Maman, general secretary Yeo Wai Tat, deputy vice president Yuzamri Yusof and other MAD members at KLIA today.