SEA Games: Concern grows over national contingent’s medal standings in Hanoi

SEA Games: Concern grows over national contingent’s medal standings in Hanoi

HANOI, May 17 — Concern over Malaysia’s standings on the medal tally chart has grown as the country dropped to sixth place at the end of the ninth day of the 31st South East Asian (SEA) Games on Monday.

The national contingent has been in the top five spots in the biennial Games, except for the 1983 edition in Singapore, where Malaysia placed sixth.

With today’s meagre haul of three gold medals in pencak silat, gymnastics and athletics, Malaysia currently has 19 gold, 24 silver and 44 bronze, and is sixth, having dropped a spot from fifth at the start of the day.

Hosts Vietnam continued to be at the top with 88 gold, 54 silver and 55 bronze, followed by Thailand in second place, with 36-38-53, the Philippines 30-34-44, Singapore 24-25-30 and Indonesia fifth with a tally of 23-36-30.

Silat provided the first gold of the day through Muhammad Khairi Adib Azhar who put on an exciting performance in the Men’s Class B (50-55 kg) silat finals.

Three other national silat exponents, however, were unable to repeat that feat at their own finals, as Siti Rahmah Mohamed Nasir, Siti Shazwana Ajak and Billage Nakang lost to their rivals and had to be satisfied with silver medals.

At Quan Ngua Gymnasium Centre, national women’s artistic gymnast Rachel Yeoh Li Wen continued to shine as she won her second personal gold medal at the Hanoi SEA Games in the balance beam event.

She had previously secured a gold in the uneven bars and a bronze in the all-around individual event.

Meanwhile, national pole vaulter Nor Sarah Adi created a welcome surprise by winning the gold medal and ended the 11-year drought for Malaysia in the event today, while national 4x100m quartet Muhammad Azeem Mohd Fahmi, Muhammad Arsyad Md Saat, Muhammad Zulfiqar Ismail and men’s 100m defending champion Muhammad Haiqal Hanafi also put on an excellent display to win the silver and shatter the national record for the event.

After a long 11-year medal drought, the national women’s mountain biking squad put on an energetic effort to win a silver through Nur Assyira Zainal Abidin and a bronze by Natahsya Soon in the Cross Country Olympic event.

At My Dinh Aquatic Centre, the national squad finally began their medal haul since competition began last Saturday with swimmer Khiew Hoe Yean winning two silver medals, in the men’s 400 metre (m) freestyle and the men’s 200m breaststroke.

National shooter Hafiz Adzha, who has not competed at the international level for five years, celebrated his return with a surprise silver medal in the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event.

The Hanoi SEA Games continues today with the possibility of medals in several events, including taekwondo. — Bernama

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