SEA GAMES: MALAYSIA ACHIEVES 111 GOLD MEDAL TARGET
NILAI, Malaysia, — World keirin champion and Rio Olympic bronze medalist Mohd Azizulhasni Awang accomplished the country’s mission to achieve 111 gold medals in the 29th SEA Games and emerge as the overall champion after winning the men’s Sprint gold at the National Velodrome here Monday.
The excellent achievement of athletes in the SEA (South East Asia) Games not only did the nation proud but brings about a positive feeling among the people said Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said in congratulating the team.
Azizulhasni or better known as the Pocket Rocketman for his explosive speed during competitions, sent the 2,500 odds fans into a frenzy by clocking 10.186s to beat team mate Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sharom despite falling on the track while building up to the final push.
The race had to be restarted.
Muhammad Shah Firdaus who had partnered Mohd Azizulhasni settled for the silver while Jaturong Niwati from Thailand took the bronze after beating Indonesia’s Puguh Admadi.
The gold from Azizulhasni was the sixth from cycling in the competition that entered the second day of competition.
The race had initially started with eight riders from Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia.
The Malaysian athletes delivered the 111 gold medals in the 29th SEA Games, which ends on Wed, Aug 30 as entrusted and more exciting still is that they are on track to present a bigger gift for the nation’s 60th birthday on Thursday, Aug 31.
With two days of competition left, there is no denying the hosts from reaping greater glory for their best ever Games after another unstoppable day in rhythmic gymnastics, track cycling and diving which landed 11 of 15 gold to close the gap to their overall target.
Entrenched at the top of the medals board and the only country to hit the century mark, Malaysia have an unassailable lead over second-placed Thailand with 59, Vietnam 54, Singapore 49, Indonesia 32, the Philippines 23, Myanmar seven, Laos two and Cambodia one.
Tiny Timor Leste with 50 athletes finally gained a medal – a bronze from Sonia Martins Soares in taekwondo kyorugi women’s under 46kg. With this, none of the 11 participating countries will go home empty-handed.
While rhythmic gymnastics is over, Malaysia are the overwhelming favourites for the remaining honours in track cycling winding up Tuesday with five more gold and also in diving which has another five titles fo grab over the next two days.
As the Games braces for a monstrous day Wednesday with the highest number of 60 gold at stake, long queues snaked outside the Shah Alam Stadium to snap up tickets for the football final, where Malaysia meets Thailand.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK