JUWAIDI Mazuki is the star of the show by winning golds in the individual and mixed team compound with Fatin Nurfatehah Mat Salleh. He came up with a plan and executed it well, especially in the individual final. As for the recurve team, debutant Syaqiera Mashayikh got a taste of the SouthEast Asian scene in her silver achievement with Olympian Khairul Anuar Mohamad in the mixed team. She has vowed to do better in the Cambodia SEA Games.
MIXED doubles pair Chen Tang JiePeck Yen Wei saved the blushes by winning the solitary gold after beating compatriots Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See. A young men’s team did well to win silver but it was their rousing 3-2 comeback win over reigning world champion Loh Kean Yew-led experienced Singaporean in the semi-finals that stole the show. Men’s doubles pair Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun were unlucky with injuries. The women’s team were a letdown after losing to Vietnam.
THE women’s team showed remarkable resilience to win the bronze in the round robin format. The win against the Philippines in the last group game showed that they have what it takes against the region’s best. They could have done better with longer preparation. The men’s team finished fifth in the 5×5 while the 3×3 teams fired blanks. The top four nations had mixed heritage or naturalised players in their ranks, maybe time for Malaysia to consider too.
BILLIARDS AND SNOOKER
MALAYSIA proved yet again that their snooker players can match the best in the region where Lim Kok Leong secured six-red singles gold and silver in the 15-red singles, while Moh Keen Hoo contributed a bronze (six-red). The success is despite Vietnam dropping snooker doubles where Kok Leong-Keen Hoo are defending champions. Target surpassed but more effort needed in the pool, billiards and carom events.
THE bodybuilding team did well to reach the one gold target won through debutant Mohd Syarul Azman Mike Mahen, who needed to pass five Covid-19 tests before he was allowed to compete. They also managed to surpass the silver and bronze medal targets. The silvers were won by Buda Anchah (men’s 70kg), Zmarul Al-Adam Pulutan (men’s 75kg) and Azri Sefri (men’s 55kg).
NONE of the boxers made it to the final. The bronze medal winners were Mohd Aswan Che Azmi (men’s 69kg), Khir Akyazlan Azmi (men’s 81kg) and Mohd Akram Rasit (men’s 63kg).
CYCLING aimed one gold but surprisingly, that target was met from the most unlikely discipline – mountain bike. Ahmad Syazrin Awang Ilah, Zulfikri Zulkifli, Nur Assyira Zainal Abidin and Natahsya Soon came under Category B but delivered Malaysia’s first gold in mountain bike in the mixed team cross country. It has potential to be developed in future. Later, Nur Aiman Mohd Zariff helped the sport surpass the target by winning gold in the men’s road race.
DIVERS stole the early limelight by sweeping all eight golds, three silvers and one bronze at stake for before the opening ceremony. Seniors won all their events while the juniors also contributed. Nur Dhabitah Sabri delivered the first gold in the women’s individual 1m springboard. The SEA Games, however, is not really the stage nor playground to gloat as the standards are lower. The better place to gauge is at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games (July) against the British, Canadians and Australians.
OUR fencers did slightly better than their target where United States-based Hans Yoong guided Malaysia to the foil silver with Cheng Xing Han, Chong Hong Li and Kaerlan Vinod Kamalanathan. Hans and Ko I Jie were silver medallists in the individual foil and epee respectively in 2019 but had to settle for bronze in both events. Chance to improve in Cambodia.
IT will be an achievement hard to match for the Malaysian golf team in the future editions after the huge success enjoyed by Ervin Chang and company in Hanoi. Ervin, who became the first to win an individual gold, will turn pro later this year. He was also in the team that dethroned defending champions Thailand as well. The newcomers Jeneath Wong, Mirabel Ting and Ng Jing Xuen did well to defend the women’s team silver.
THE women’s team, though a small one, stole the show thanks to Rachel Yeoh Li Wen. The 23-yearold proved to be the star in the making by winning the uneven bar and balance beam golds. Tan Fu Jie looked like he was robbed of a gold medal in the pommel horse, but he graciously accepted the silver. It was a good exposure for youngsters Ng Chun Chen, Mohd Sharul Aimy, Luqman Al-Hafiz Zulfa and Teoh Chuen Feng, and coach Ng Shu Liang has plans laid out for them.
NO doubt, the girls were the favourites to win and they did so in style by capturing the two golds on offer. Koi Sie Yan showed she is still the best by winning the individual all-around and the 16-yearold Ng Joe Ee proved to be in the right track too by taking the silver. The team of Yi Tung Yap, Jingle Shak Qi, Maia Xiao Han Ong, Shak Yuki and Ashley Xin Yi Li retained the gold they won three years ago, but this time they had a much better score.
KICKBOXING contributed five bronze medals although the target was just one. Mohd Rifdean Masdor (51kg), Seaw Wei Sheng (57kg), Athachai Saiprawat (67kg) won bronze in the men’s full contact category while Awangku Abdul Rahman took bronze in the men’s low kick 54kg event. Hayatun Najihin Radzuan gave the women something to cheer when she won the low kick 60kg event.
MUAY thai was the surprise package where Ahmad Nor Iman Aliff Rakib, inspired by his father Rakib Ahmad who was a former national boxer, contributed gold despite targeting just one bronze medal. Ahmad Nor Iman shocked Vietnam’s Huynh Hoang Phi to win the men’s 54kg event. Nur Amisha Azrilrizal’s silver medal effort in the women’s 51kg is expected to further popularise the sport in Malaysia.
NO more glory days in takraw as the team settled for three silver medals. The men’s team did well to defend the silver won in the 2019 edition in the team regu after overcoming Vietnam in the final round-robin match. They, however, could not break Thailand’s dominance in the inter-regu event.
THE pistol team coached by Mohd Firdaus Abdul Rahim stole the show. Debutant Nurul Syasya Nadiah Ariffin shocked the region by smashing the SEA Games record en route to winning the 10m air pistol. Johnathan Wong, who contemplated retirement after the 2019 Manila SEA Games, triumphed in the 10m air pistol. Alia Sazana Azahari was just a point away from the 25m pistol gold. It was not a fruitful outing for rifle team but Haritz Ikhlil Hessly Hafiz has the potential.
MALAYSIA barely overcame their target of two bronze medals by winning three in kurash. Yousuff Daniel Fauzi Cruz (men’s 60kg), Mohd Razlan Rohaidi (73kg) and Ezzat Mohamed Noor (90kg) secured the bronze medals in the men’s event.
Syafiq Zuber kicked up storm where he changed from his original category – lightweight (below 74kg) – to a heavier welterweight (below 80kg) category two months before the Games. The gamble paid off and he captured gold. It helped taekwondo exponents to surpass their target (0-2-4) by registering a 1-1-3 haul. Jason Loo contributed the silver in the men’s individual poomsae.
THE national tennis players achieved the target of 2 bronze medals. The medals were won through the women’s doubles and men’s team. The players can be proud after performing better than in the 2019 edition where they returned home empty-handed.
KARATE kept their promise to contribute the goods but missed out on defending their overall top position. Malaysia, who were the overall champions in 2013 (Naypyidaw), 2017 (KL) and 2019 (Manila) had a medal haul of 4-0-6 but hosts Vietnam had 7-3-5. Three individual golds came from C. Shahmalarani, H. Sureeya Sankar and R. Sharmendran but the icing on the cake came on the final day when the men ended 29-year wait for team kumite title and delivered Malaysia’s 36 gold target.
TAHIRA Najmunisaa Muhammad Zaid, a mother to four young kids, did Malaysia proud by finishing a gruelling duathlon race in Quang Ninh, consisting of a 10km run, 40km cycling and 5km run in 2’14:22 for a silver medal and her feat is set to inspire others to follow in her footsteps. Malaysia did not win any medals in duathlon and triathlon at the 2019 Manila Games.
DEBUTANTS Tan Zhi Yan and Clement Ting stepped in the absence of their seniors to come out tops in taijiquan and changquan respectively. They team had been cautious to set a high target as their best did not come to Hanoi because their main events were not contested. Reigning world champions Tan Cheong and Wong Weng Son’s events in nanquan and jianshu had been dropped from the programme this time.
THE team contributed one more than what they targeted but it’s understandable considering that Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines had world class athletes. Aznil Bidin won a silver in the men’s 61kg while Aniq Kasdan, Erry Hidayat and Mohd Hafiz Shamsuddin were the bronze medallists. Three national records were broken and this augurs well for the lifters ahead of the Commonwealth Games mission in Birmingham next.
THE Xiangqi or Chinese chess team had more bronze medals but they could not turn their silvers into golds. The silver medal winners were Jee Xin Ru (women’s standard single) and Sim Yip How-Yeoh Thean Jern (men’s rapid team).
IT wasmixed fortunes forMalaysia. They won all five gold in the field events. Nor Sarah Adi shocked everyone to win the pole vault. As for the track, the disappointment in the blue ribband event, the 100m, was evident as Malaysia failed to retain the gold. But Mohd Arsyad Mohd Saat and Mohd Azeem Fahmi are young sprinters who will be wiser and in better shape to catch up with the 16-year-old sensation Puriphorn Boonsorn of Thailand, who both sprints and even broke SEA Games record.
THE back-ups wished they had delivered one gold as a gift for head coach Holloway Cheah in his last SEA Games but they rolled down none. Nevertheless, Nevern Netaneel, Shahrukh Amin Zulkifli, Mohd Hafiz Zainuddin, Mohd Syazirol Shamsuddin, Gillian Lim, Nerosha Keligit, Nora Lyana Nastasia Norkamal and Nur Syazwani Sahar showed they have what it takes to be potential stars for the nation. They just have to be more consistent.
HOPES were on Khairul Naim Zainal to win a medal in the K1 1,000m sprint event but he failed to do so. Khairul was the only canoeist to be accepted under category A for the Games.
THE chess players failed to reach the target of one silver set for them and won two bronze medals through Jia Ru Sim (women’s individual rapid) and Puteri Rifqah Fahada Azhar-Puteri Munajjah Az-Zahraa Azhar (team blitz).
THE dancesport team were off tune as they failed to surpass their medal target. Leonard Hoh Jie RenNing Huan Mu were the only medal contributors – a bronze in the singles dance standard slow foxtrot.
IN the Manila SEA Games, Malaysia won a gold and a bronze but this time, they sunk into oblivion. They bagged two bronze medals in the FIFA Online 4 game and the Arena of Valor. The others in the region are way ahead in the esport games, so Malaysia need to catch up.
MEDAL is a prerequisite in a key performance indicator, so not winning any raises questions but it can be exceptional in football after losing in bronze-medal playoff against Indonesia. They were the only side to send a full squad without picking any overaged players. They did not lose a single game in 90 minutes and showed resilience and character. Coach Brad Maloney is happy with the growth and hoped for a better outing in the AFC Under-23 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan next month.
JUDO did not meet the target as they could win just two bronze medals through Amir Daniel Abdul Majeed (men’s 73kg) and Kamini Sri Segaran (women’s 57kg). Malaysian judokas did better in Manila 2019 where they took two silver medals and the current performance does not augur well for the sport to be considered for Cambodia 2023.
JUJITSU is another sport where Malaysia did not achieve the target. Adam Akasyah won the men’s 69kg silver while Bless Yeap Khoon Yin secured bronze in the women’s 48kg category. It was an improvement for Adam who won a bronze in the same category in Manila two years ago. Adam could be the key again if Malaysia decide to send a squad to Cambodia.
THE team fell short of one gold medal. Taqiyuddin Hamid and Sazzlan Yuga retained the men’s ganda title they won in the 2019 edition in the Philippines and Mohd Khairi Adib Azhar cleared the final hurdle in the tanding (sparring) discipline on the final day and that too after his opponent was handed a 10-point penalty for a kick to the face in the last few seconds of the contest. The team will be aiming to bounce back at the World Championships in Melaka in July.
Petanque athletes went with high hopes but fell flat on their target. Aiming for two gold and six bronze medals, they could only return with one silver and two bronze medals. Sharifah Aqilah Farhana and Nurashimah Senin saved the blushes for Malaysia by securing the women’s doubles silver.
NATIONAL athlete Mohd Amirul Norhadi had targeted a bronze medal but failed to deliver. He had to face tough competition from hosts, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Amirul also struggled with training during the fasting month.
THE team failed to defend the twogold haul from the 2019 Philippines SEA Games. Age caught up with Phee Jinq En as the 25-year-old’s bid to win a fourth straight SEA Games 100m breaststroke title was dashed by Letitia Sim of Singapore, who is only 19. Jinq En was the only Malaysian gold medallist at the last SEA Games with her double in the 50m and 100m breaststroke. This time, Khiew Hoe Yean saved the blushes with the sole gold in the 200m freestyle.
THE volleyball team did not target any medals and did not win any.