Records keep falling as Malaysia’s gold medal tally rises at SEA Games

KUALA LUMPUR, 26 Aug 2017: 

Bowling icon Shalin Zulkifli and young star Muhammad Rafiq Ismail rolled up a storm yesterday to wrest a double in a tensed battle for the women’s and men’s Masters titles to cap a day of five gold for Malaysia and boost its overall number one spot to 68 gold,  46 silver and 44 bronze in the 29th SEA Games.

It was the perfect momentum for the hosts leading into today – headlined by the all-important men’s football semifinal clash against Indonesia and a galore of gold expected from the start of diving and rhythmic gymnastics.

Vietnam powered by more victories in swimming and athletics remained second overall with 43 gold trailed by Singapore with 39. 2015 overall champions Thailand, the 2015 Singapore SEA Games overall champions, are fourth with 34 ahead of Indonesia (22), the Philippines (15), Myanmar (six) and Cambodia (one).

The 39-year-old Shalin captured the women’s Masters gold in a nail-biting final to pip Indonesia’s Tanya Roumimper 223-222 for her third gold in this Games applauded by a delirious crowd at the Sunway Mega Lanes packing the final day of the bowling contest.

Muhammad Rafiq, 20,  stepped up next and coolly turned the tables on defending champion Yannaphon Larp-Apharat 213-190 avenging his defeat to the Thai also in the Masters showdown at the last Games and land his fourth gold, one more than his debut outing in Singapore two years ago.

The lawn bowls team did the expected to snatch the men’s and women’s triples and in silat, Malaysia claimed the women’s ganda event.

In the men’s triples final, Malaysia whipped Brunei 19-9  and ousted the Phlippines 19-11 in the women’s final to bag three of four gold contested since Thursday and leaving them the favourites for the pairs and singles contests next.

Silat exponents Nur Syazreen A Malik and Nor Hamizah Abu Hassan clinched the women’s ganda event with Singapore taking silver and Indonesia bronze. Malaysia captured the men’s ganda title earlier.

Games organiser MASOC announced a change of venue for silat from the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre to the larger 3,000-capacity Juara Stadium to accommodate the hordes of fans who have turned up to watch the sport that has 20 gold at stake, the third highest after athletics and swimming.

On the penultimate day of athletics, Vietnamese woman sprinter Le Tu Chinh completed a treble when she anchored her team to the gold in the 4x100m after her sweep of the sprints.

Malaysia arrived fourth in both the men’s and women’s 4x100m relays but the men’s quartet broke the national record with a time of 39.27s despite the absence of 100m gold medallist Khairul Hafiz Jantan who is nursing a hamstring injury.

 In the heptathon, Norliyana Kamaruddin earned the applause despite not winning any medals. Her total of 5,247 points to broke the 36-year-old national record of 5,175 points set by current Sports Commissioner Datuk Zaiton Othman at the 1981 Manila Games.

Two gold winners were declared in the women’s high jump that was completed yesterday with all three top finishers clearing 1.83m. In the results announced today, Vietnam’s Duong Thi Viet An and Singapore’s Michelle Sng shared the gold and the bronze went to Malaysia’s Yeap Sean Yee on countback.

It is the second time a double gold was awarded in the Games. The artistic gymnastics pommel horse final had two winners on same points, Tan Fu Jie and Jeremiah Loo for Malaysia.

In speak takraw, Malaysia again ended up with another bronze in the men’s quadrant won by Thailand and Myanmar taking silver.

Fifty one gold medals will be decided today with swimming, athletics, basketball, golf, shooting, table tennis and tennis competitions drawing to a close.

– Bernama

MALAYSIA 68 46 44 158
VIETNAM 43 30 34 107
SINGAPORE 39 33 39 111
THAILAND 34 48 55 137
INDONESIA 22 35 45 102
PHILIPPINES 15 21 35 71
MYANMAR 6 8 12 26
CAMBODIA 1 0 6 7
BRUNEI 0 2 6 8
LAOS 0 1 7 8


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