SEA Games : Sport-by-sport review (Malaysia)

NST Online 17/12/2007



THE men achieved their aim of winning a match for the first time, against Cambodia, but were simply outclassed in the rest of their games.


MALAYSIA failed to win a medal yet again as the kayak team members came last in most of their races, trailing the leaders in some cases by more than 30 seconds.-


QABIL Ambak Mahammad Fathil was the star of the show as he repeated his four-gold feat of 2001 by winning the individual and team gold in dressage and showjumping. The haul was double the target.


THE men’s team did on their debut what their football counterparts havedone only once since 1991 – reach the Sea Games final.They lost 5-0 to Thailand while the women, aiming for a bronze, finished fourth but the FA of Malaysia should pay serious attention to this version of football.


MALAYSIA came here with the ambition of winning a silver but the men and women’s teams both had to be satisfied with bronze with Thailand and Vietnam streets ahead.


THERE was never any doubt that the men, despite having a squad of mostly juniors, and women would deliver gold, only the margin of victories being a matter of interest.


SITI Zalina Ahmad, the twice Commonwealth Games gold medallist, failed to break her Sea Games women’s singles jinx at the third time of asking but Malaysia still ended with four gold medals and the 4-1-1 haul is Malaysia’s second best in the Sea Games after the 5-1-0 achievement in 2001.


THE polo team brushed aside the opposition as Malaysia defended the gold medal after 24 long years. Hopefully, it isn’t another 24 years before polo features again.-


AS with their kayak counterparts, the rowers were left without a medal to celebrate as they too struggled to the finish line far adrift from the leaders.


MOHD Romzi Muhammad and Nurul Elia Anuar salvaged sailing’s blushes as they won just two of the five gold medals they had been counting upon.


NUR Suryani Taibi and Hasli Izwan Amir Hassan’s failure to defend their women’s 50m rifle prone and men’s 25m rapid fire pistol individual titles respectively meant the shooters fell short by two of their four-gold target.The two gold medals came from the women’s 50m rifle prone and men’s 25m rapid fire pistol team events.


RACEONE of the more peculiar sports to be held in the Sea Games saw Malaysia reach just one final where they finished last of six teams.


KIMBELEY Yap successfully defended her triathlon gold as the Malaysians only won one of two events they targeted.Mariana Mohammad’s gold medal bid in the women’s duathlon was scuttled after a collision with a wayward motorcyclist during the bike-leg while the men were just not up to it.


MUCH hope was placed on the archers to bring home four gold medals after they surprised everyone by winning three in the last Sea Games.But sadly they returned with only two. The archers in the compound category were a let down as they finished with a only a silver and a bronze.


HATS off to the women’s team. In an environment that was intimidating with a capacity 3,000-odd boisterous Thais booing and jeering them, they stood firm and delivered the gold by the narrowest of margins, winning 61-60.


THOUGH they managed to maintain the four gold medals from 2005, cycling failed to meet the target of six and this is bewildering given the quality of the cyclists.-


MUCH hope was placed on Mohd Firdaus Adli Mohd Bakri who won a silver in Manila but he failed to live up to expectations and finished last. There were a three bronze medals but petanque is still not there.


UNLESS the sport bucks up, Malaysian players will continue to be fodder for the Thai and Indonesian players.


SNOOKER may have given the nation its 64th gold medal but now that the six-year-wait for Sea Games glory has ended, the sport has to ensure that it grows from here.-


THERE doesn’t seem to be life after Sazali Samad for the sport and blaming biased judging is beginning to sound like the boy who cried wolf


A SPORT dominated by Thailand amidst biased judging claims, the two silver is a reasonable return considering the situation.


TWO bronze doesn’t augur well for a sport that is widely played in the country. It’s time to buck up.


ANOTHER sport that doesn’t seem to be moving despite its Olympic status.


EIGHT gold is the fantastic contribution but what makes it better is the introduction of new faces, which is a must if the sport is to continue growing.


FROM six gold medals in the World Championships to none in the Sea Games. How could this have happened?


THE gold was in hand, after an excellent run in the group stages, but the team then lost to Philippines unexpectedly, and it was all over.


THE triumphs of Elaine Teo and Che Chew Chan hide a glaring truth – where are the other exponents?


A BRONZE from Luk Teck Hua-Beh Shun Thing proves they are on track and more should be done for them to realise their potential.


CHE Azrol Che Mat was denied by alleged biased judging but weightlifting also lacks a proper development programme.- WUSHUIF Manila was a nightmare, Korat ensured the exponents returned with better memories after winning two gold.


AFTER so much of hope, they failed to qualify for the semi-finals and, obviously, football is still very much in the woods.The FA of Malaysia must start working now for the 2009 edition for as long as we don’t win Sea Games gold, what point is there to talk about conquering Asia.


DESPITE tough lane conditions, the bowlers met their four-gold target.More was expected but we have to remember that bowling is one of very few sports in the Sea Games which is world class and winning four of 11 gold is commendable.


THE absence of Ng Shu Wai was felt as the men’s artistic gymnastics only contributed one gold but there is a silver lining here if the Malaysian Gymnastics Federation chooses to see it – work must start on developing a new batch of gymnasts.The rhythmic gymnastics competition was riddled with allegations of biased judging but a haul of four gold is still commendable.


ELVINN Keo upset Nafzahizam Adnan to maintain Malaysia’s stranglehold in squash but there is serious danger the sport could be out in the cold if steps are not taken to get more countries from the region to play the sport.


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