I think the following have strong cases:
Lim Keng Liat
Probably Malaysia’s most successful swimmer ever:
- He was the first Malaysian to win a gold medal at an Asian Games (?); he won a gold and a silver medal in the 100m and 200m backstroke at the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games.
- He was the first Malaysian to win a medal in swimming at a Commonwealth Games (?); won a silver and a bronze medal in the 50m and 100m backstroke respectively at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.
- He was the first Malaysian to reach the semifinals at an Olympics (?); reached the semi-finals of the 100m backstroke in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
- He was the first Malaysian to qualify for a World Championship swimming final; he qualified for a world championship 100m backstroke final in Barcelona in 2003 and there scored a new national record of 54.77, a time to far ahead of other Malaysians’ that it’s unlikely to be broken for some time.
In 1994, she placed 5th in kata at the World Karate Championships.
In 2010, he became the first Sabahan ever to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. His performance would’ve earned him 11th place at the 2008 Olympics and 14th place at the 2010 World Weightlifting Championships.
At the time of writing, they’re all still so young that they might still need that face wash for acne…