Malaysia 9 golds away from Hanoi SEA Games target

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HANOI: The Malaysian contingent is just nine gold medals away from achieving its 36-gold target at the 31st SEA Games here with five days of competition left.

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Malaysia will be hoping to strike gold in several events, including archery, rhythmic gymnastics, criterium cycling, weightlifting and karate.

In yesterday’s action, Malaysian athletes contributed four golds, four silvers and eight bronzes for an overall haul of 27-43-65 to remain in sixth spot in the medal standings.

The men’s golf team comprising Ervin Chang, Marcus Lim Pang Chuen, K Rhaasrikanesh and A Nateeshvar won the nation’s first gold yesterday, ending their 21-year gold medal drought in the event.

The women’s golf team of Jeneath Wong and Mirabel Ting Ern Hui did well to deliver a silver medal after losing to favourites Thailand in the final.

The national karate squad shone the brightest when they bagged two gold and two bronze medals.

Debutants H Sureeya Sankar and C Shahmalarani won gold in the men’s and women’s kumite below 67kg and below 55kg categories, respectively. S Prem Kumar snatched bronze in the men’s kumite below 60kg, and Muhammad Aiqal Asmadie in the men’s kata individual events.

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In swimming, Khiew Hoe Yean, with three silver medals already under his belt, made a splash when he delivered a gold medal in the men’s 200m freestyle.

Malaysia also won one silver and three bronzes in archery, one silver in shooting, one silver and one bronze in athletics, and two bronzes in table tennis.

However, nothing went right for the national athletics camp when Malaysia failed to defend the 100m sprint title after Muhammad Azeem Fahmi was disqualified for a false start.

Malaysia had won the blue riband event in two consecutive SEA Games through Khairul Hafiz Jantan in Kuala Lumpur in 2017, and Muhammad Haiqal Hanafi in the Philippines in 2019.

Malaysia’s domination in men’s high jump also came to an end when Nauraj Singh Randhawa could only bag a silver medal. The country had previously won the event in every edition of the SEA Games since 1977, except in the 2005 edition in Manila.

Hosts Vietnam continue to lead the medal hunt with 126 golds, 76 silvers and 74 bronzes, followed by Thailand (53-59-80), the Philippines (37-49-65), Singapore (37-39-49) and Indonesia (36-49-49).-BERNAMA