Shock as promising young athlete dies following a stroke aged 19

Shock as promising young athlete dies following a stroke aged 19. Image: Twitter @Sarawak_Aritok

MALAYSIAN sports are in shock after promising young athlete Stephanie Sim Shu Ming died earlier this week following a stroke at the age of 19.

Athlete Stephanie Sim Shu, an up-and-coming air-pistol shooter who was expected to earn a medal at the upcoming 2022 Sukma Games in Kuala Lumpur, died suddenly after suffering a stroke last week.

According to local reports, the 19-year-old suffered a stroke on June 16 and was taken to hospital where she was placed into a coma. However, Ms Sim Shu died a few days later on June 19 at Sarawak General Hospital.

The news of her death was only widely reported on Friday, June 24 when Stephanie was buried at Nirvana Memorial Park in Bau, as reported by The Star.

She was set to compete in the Women’s 10m Air Pistol individual, team and mixed team as well as Women’s 25m Pistol individual and mixed team event at the 2022 Sukma Games, officially known as the 20th Sukma Games, which is a multi-sport event to be held in Malaysia’s capital city from 16 September until 24 September 2022.

Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Hamzah, the State Youth, Sports and Entrepreneurship Minister, said: “This is a very shocking incident. I never expected a young athlete at the age of 19 years old (to pass away). She was our medal prospect in the shooting event and two days ago, she passed away.”

He added: “What puzzled me was that she was just 19 years old. I am really surprised but God loves her more, I guess. It is a very tragic and sad thing for us in the ministry to lose a promising athlete.”

“She was already in the squad [for the games] and we were expecting her to deliver medals. I wish to express my deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the family,” he said.

Stephanie won bronze in the Women’s 10m Air Pistol team and Women’s 25m Pistol team events at Sukma Perak in 2018 and her inclusion in the Sukma squad for this year’s event would have seen her compete alongside her older sister, Selina Sim Shu Siang.

Deputy Minister for Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development, Dato Gerald Rentap Jabu, said: “The shooting team and Sarawak have lost a gem in our midst. Stephanie was our air pistol athlete who represented Sarawak at Sukma Perak in 2018 and won two bronze medals.

“She was a dedicated, disciplined athlete and most importantly, a good team player.

“On behalf of the ministry and the Sarawak State Sports Council, we extend our deepest sympathy and condolence to her family on their loss.

“I pray that her soul will rest in peace and her contribution in sports will always be etched in our history books,” he said.

The Shooting Association of Sarawak (SAS) secretary Keith Kong said: “She was a talented shooter in the pistol discipline and is one of the medal prospects for Sukma Kuala Lumpur Special Edition that will be held this September.

“A very dedicated athlete who also excelled in her studies, Stephanie had enrolled in Tienjin University, China and was attending online classes and attending physical classes in September after Sukma.

“The association as well as the Sarawak Shooting team are very sad and will miss her tremendously.

“We will never forget her and her contributions to the state and sport, May she rest in peace,” he said, as reported by The Borneo Post.

Tributes flooded social media following news of the young sports star’s death.

One person on Twitter wrote: “Rest in peace, Stephanie Sim Shu Ming. Such a young life…ended in the blink of an eye. Life can be so unpredictable.”

“Condolences & RIP The bronze medalist in the Sarawak SUKMA shooting event, 19 -year -old Stephanie Sim Shu Ming died yesterday due to a stroke. She will be buried at Nirvana Memorial Park in Bau this morning (June 24).”

“With sorrow, we have to announce the death of Stephanie Sim Shu Ming on 21.06.2022. We are mourning the loss of our friend and companion, who made an impression on everyone she met. Please keep her in your daily prayers and may her soul rest in peace. She still be with us forever,” another person wrote on Facebook.

YC Karen Leong, a shooter from Sarawak Shooting Squad, wrote on Facebook: “With sorrow, we have to announce the death of Stephanie Sim Shu Ming on 21.06.2022. We are mourning the loss of our friend and companion, who made an impression on everyone she met. Please keep her in your daily prayers and may her soul rest in peace. She will still be with us forever.”

The death of the young athlete comes weeks after another 19-year-old lost their life following a sudden death.

On Monday, May 30, the family of 19-year-old Aidan Kaminska, a sophomore lacrosse player at the University of Massachusetts, died suddenly.

Recently, Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) hit mainstream news on Wednesday, June 8 and has seen an increase in deaths labelled SADS.

On the same day as the news of SADS went viral, a Year 11 student, who attended Blackburn Central High School (BCHS), died suddenly and on Monday, June 13, Nigerian footballer Akeem Omolade died suddenly days after complaining that he was suffering leg pain.

On Tuesday, June 14, a young female footballer, Marvel Simiyu, who played in Kenya’s Women’s Premier League, died suddenly and then the following day, on Wednesday, June 15, Fabricio Navarro, a young footballer from Argentinian club Atlético Tucumán, died unexpectedly of a heart attack.

Heartbreakingly, on Saturday, June 18, the fiancée of X-Factor star Tom Mann, Danielle Hampson, died suddenly on their wedding day.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


    • Gunny HiWay

      26 June 2022 • 11:07

      “Air Pistol” is NOT an ATHLETIC competition.
      She is NOT an “athlete”.
      Nevertheless, this is a typical COVID VAX death and we will see many more.
      So glad i never complied with the death vax shot.
      Carry On.


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