KUALA LUMPUR – There was no resting on their laurels for the Malaysian contingent with martial arts exponents and a crop of youngsters including nine-year-old Adam Yoong Hanifah rising to the occasion on the penultimate day of the 29th SEA Games to march ahead for a landslide victory.
Having achieved their 111-gold target yesterday, the hosts were in no compromising mood and returned their highest daily collection of 29 to boost their count to a stunning 140 gold so far in their best Games performance ever.
But the day ended in heart-break for the hosts when an own goal by goalkeeper Haziq Nadzli handed Thailand a 1-0 win for the coveted men’s football title in a repeat of their final clash in the 2001 Games also hosted by Malaysia.
The hattrick achieved by their football team lifts the sombre mood for Thailand, overall Games champions in 2015, but struggling this time in a distant second with 70 gold, ahead of Vietnam 58, Singapore 57, Indonesia 38, the Philippines 24, Myanmar seven, Cambodia three and Laos two.
Before the Games closes tomorrow night, seven more gold will be presented and Malaysia are almost certain of grabbing the last two diving events and also pose a challenge in the short track speed skating programme with four gold.
Continuing their winning streak at the National Velodrome in Nilai, Malaysia pedalled away with five more gold spearheaded by Olympic bronze medallist and world keirin champion Azizulhasni Awang who was striking in his world champion jersey as he defended the event for his second in the Games gold with teammate Mohd Shariz Efendi Mohd Shahrin taking silver.
Woman cyclist Fatehah Mustapa broke her own national record to clinch her second Games gold in the 500m time trial clocking 34.52s, faster by 0.125s of her previous 2014 mark set in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, after shrugging off a spirited late charge from Indonesian riders Crismonita Dwi Putri and Santia Tri Kusuma.
Fatehah returned to the velodrome in the evening to pip teammate Farina Shawati Mohd Adnan for the keirin title in a repeat of the outcome of their tussle in the sprint yesterday.
Muhammad Fadhil Mohd Zonis also took his second gold after bagging the men’s 1km time trial in 1:01.889s ahead of teammate Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom in 1:02.356s.
In pencak silat, Malaysia emerged with a fistful of seven gold with Muhammad Faizul Nasir and Mohd Al Jufferi Jamari defending their titles in the men’s Class B (50kg-55kg) and Class E (65kg-70kg).
The other winners were Razak Ghazali who upstaged previous winner Pornteb Pool Kaew of Thailand for the men’s Class D (60-65kg) gold, Mohd Fauzi Khalid (Class F 70-75kg), Muhammad Robial Sobri (Class H 80kg-85kg) and women exponents Siti Rahmah Mohmed Nasir (Class E 65kg-70kg) and Siti Shawana Ajak retaining the women’s Class D (60kg-65kg) gold for Malaysia which was won by Siti Rahmah in Singapore.
As expected Malaysia were streets ahead of their rivals to maintain their grip on three more diving titles contested at the National Aquatic Centre before it all ends tomorrow with the men’s and women’s synchronised 10m platform competitions.
In the 3m springboard synchronised events, Nur Dhabitah Sabri paired Ng Yan Yee for the women’s gold with 304.71 points leaving Singapore’s Ashlee Tan Yi Xuan and Fong Kay Yian a distant second on 236.76 point.
Ahmad Amsyar Azman and Chew Yiwei commanded the men’s event before veteran Leong Mun Yee and upcoming 16-year-old Jellson Jabillin returned from the mixed synchronised 10m platform to add a third to give Malaysia 11 of 13 diving gold so far.
The Hanifah siblings accounted for three gold today. Aaliyah Yoong stretched her personal count to three, adding the women’s individual jumping and tricks titles to her defence of the overall jump gold three days ago, and also took silver in the slalom.
Shrugging off a nagging fever, the 14-year-old cleared 32.6m in the jumping contest to upset previous winner Rossi Amir of Indonesia who finished on 30.8m for the silver.
Aaliyah, whose younger siblings Aiden and Adam are appearing in the Games, was the clear winner in the tricks, amassing 5,880 points compared to second placed Sabelle Kee of Singapore with 3,450.
Adam rose above his tender nine years to prove himself a man in the tricks, winning gold with a score of 3,860 to push his older Indonesian rivals Dimas Ridho Suprihono for silver with 3,440 and Fabrianto Kadir for the bronze on 3,140 points.
“I’m so happy with the win. I gave the best that I could … Thank you for all the support and I will continue to do my best in the future,” Adam told reporters later.
In Langkawi, the Optimist sailing events crowned two young Malaysian champions, Nurul Shazwanie Mohd Saad in the girl’s race and Muhammad Fauzi Kaman Shah in the boy’s event before his elder brother Ahmad Latif Khan followed suit with the men’s Laser Radial gold.
Malaysia captured two of five titles in Muay through Ain Kamarruddin in the 54kg-57kg category and Mohd Ali Yaakub wrapping up the 51kg-54kg class.
Malaysia took a solitary gold in badminton and it was 17-year-old Goh Jin Wei who triumphed over the more fancied Soniia Cheah 21-11, 21-10 in the women’s final. Mixed doubles pair Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Lai Jemie took silver after losing to Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattananchai 15-22, 20-22.
The four remaining gold came from Anja Chong in the women’s ice skating 500m short track speed race, men’s polo team which beat Thailand 9-8 in the final, national men’s hockey team defending their title ousting Myanmar 14-0 and sepak takraw bagging the round robin men’s regu event. — Bernama