FOUR gold medals from karate was the highlight yesterday as four more from swimming, badminton and equestrian took Malaysia's total to 18, halfway through the target of 40 set by the National Sports Council.
Swimmers Daniel Bego and Khoo Cai Lin, dressage rider Praveen Nair Mathavan and badminton pair Vivien Hoo and Woon Khe Wei were all victorious but there was disappointment for world champion Sazali Samad.
Karate took their total gold medal haul to six in two days and could still add more gloss with the men's and women's team kumite to come today.
S. Senthil Kumaran and S. Shree Sharmini got the show underway in the morning before A. Nisha and Syakila Salni added two more in the evening session.
All four exponents are first time Sea Games gold medallists with Senthil and Sharmini making their debut.
Praveen, who qualified in second place, won the dressage individual competition despite having to ride an unfamiliar horse for the third gold medal from equestrian.
Daniel Bego won a second gold medal in swimming for Malaysia when he took out the men's 400m freestyle final before Cai Lin defended her 800m freestyle title, ensuring swimming met its three-gold target.
|Daniel Bego and Khoo Cai Lin with their gold medals in Naypyidaw yesterday.|
Vivian and Khe Wei upset the more fancied Greysia Poli and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari of Indonesia for the women's doubles gold, Malaysia's eighth yesterday.
Being a world champion in bodybuilding was not good enough to win a gold medal at the Sea Games as Sazali discovered, though he said he was beaten fair and square.
The women's hockey team set what is believed to be a world record score in an international match when they defeated Cambodia 36-0.
Boxer G. Ramkumar was denied a fairytale ending in the light-welterweight final when he was knocked out by Thailand's Apichet Saenset, having spent a small fortune paying his own way to train abroad.
There was also disappointment for the men's basketball team after a 73-69 defeat by Thailand extinguished their medal chances.
Today, the athletics programme begins with the 20km walk with national athletes also in contention for gold in bodybuilding, cycling, equestrian, karate, pencak silat and swimming.
The men's football team face Singapore where a win will ensure passage to the semi-finals while the women's basketball team must beat Thailand to have a shot at gold.
Read more: Gold rush now at 18 - Other - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/sports/other/gold-rush-now-at-18-1.433065#ixzz2nakjPK14