KUCHING, March 5 — Watson Nyambek, who holds a 17-year Malaysian record for the fastest 100m, has been declared a bankrupt over a bank loan he took to pay for his late father’s medical expenses.
A notice, published in The Borneo Post yesterday, was issued by the Insolvency Department officially declaring the 40-year-old a bankrupt for failing to settle the loan from Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad.
Watson, dubbed the “Flying Dayak” for his 1998 speed run, related his sad descent into insolvency when contacted by Malay Mail Online yesterday.
“Some years ago, I borrowed RM80,000 from the bank to pay for the medical bills of my late father who was suffering from ear cancer.
“The ear cancer later spread to his eyes. He passed away two years ago,” he said.
The Miri native is employed by the Sarawak Sports Council as an athletics coach in his hometown but said he was unable to settle the loan plus its interest due to low pay. His bank loan debt, including interest, is over RM100,000.
“I have to pay other bills as well,” he said.
He added that he had sought help from a senior Sarawak minister for financial assistance to ease his burden two years ago.
“I have not heard of anything from him,” he said.
Now married, Watson said he and his wife Phyliss are both actively involved in coaching the next generation of athletes.
Phyliss runs the Flying Dayak Club which also trains athletes for the Paralympics.
Watson clocked 10.30s to create the national record for the 100m sprint at the 1998 Malaysian Amateur Athletics Championships when he was 22. That record still holds today.
The closest anyone came to breaking it was Malacca teen Badrul Hisyam Manap who clocked 10.29s at the Asean School Games in Brunei on November 23 last year.
However, the 18-year-old’s time was not recognised by the Malaysian Athletics Federation as it was set with a tailwind exceeding 2.0m/s that bars it from being accepted as a record.