BY STARSPORT TEAM
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia surpassed their 40 gold-medal target for the Myanmar SEA Games by three golds. It wasn’t the nation’s best performance by far, but some sports contributed its fair share to the tally, while others flattered to deceive. STARSPORT take a look at how Malaysia performed in a sport-by-sport review.
1. ARCHERY (2 golds, 3 silvers, 1 bronze)
Khairul Anuar Mohd was the hero, winning both the golds. He was victorious in the individual and team recurve events. The women archers, however, were a letdown.
2. ATHLETICS (4-6-3)
IT was the worst-ever outing by our track and field athletes since 1959. Mohd Jironi Riduan was the saviour, winning the men’s 800m and 1,500m golds. Youngster Muhammad Irfan Shamsuddin (men’s discus) and Navraj Singh Randhawa (men’s high jump) delivered the other two golds. Like archery, the women athletes also failed to hit the summit.
Daniel Bego, Khoo Cai Lin and Christina Loh delivered delivered again with splashing shows in the pool. Christina delivered two while Cai Lin and Daniel nicked one each. It was a great comeback by Daniel, who just returned recently from a shoulder surgery.
The only team with a perfect record – winning all the eight golds at stake. Ooi Tze Liang was the undisputable star, bagging three golds. He won the men’s individual 3m springboard and then partnered Ahmad Amsyar Azman to the 3m springboard synchro title. Tze Liang’s last gold came in the 10m platform synchro with Muhammad Nazreen Abdullah.
WATER POLO (0-0-0)
The men’s team were the first Malaysians to arrive in Myanmar. And they were the first to leave the country after failing to make the semi-finals.
4. BADMINTON (1-0-3)
WOON Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo spared Malaysia the blushes by winning the women’s doubles gold. Overall, there was nothing to shout about with Chong Wei Feng suffering an embarrassing first round defeat in the men’s singles.
5. BASKETBALL (0-0-1)
THE national men’s team got off to a bright start but failed to keep their momentum and crashed out from the competition. The women’s team did better as they retained the bronze medal.
6. BILLIARDS AND SNOOKER (1-1-3)
THE Malaysian Snooker and Billiards Federation (MSBF) were only reinstated in July following a one-year suspension. Overall, the cueists did well to deliver the goods. Thor Chuan Leong potted the only gold by winning the snooker six red event. He bagged the bronze in the snooker doubles with Moh Keen Hoo.
7. BODYBUILDING (1-1-0)
Everyone was expecting nine-time Mr Universe Sazali Samad to deliver the gold in the lightweight category. But he could only manage to clinch a silver. Debutant Wong Hong came to the rescue, winning the light heavyweight gold.
8. BOXING (0-1-3)
G. RAMKUMAR was the only Malaysian to reach the final. He lasted less than a minute against Thai Apichet Saenset in the first round, suffering a technical knockout.
9. CANOEING (0-0-1)
MALAYSIA have never done well in the sport. Siti Rajah Ali was the sole medallist, bagging a bronze in the women’s K1 200m.
10. CHESS (0-0-1)
MALAYSIA managed to return home with a bronze through Kugan Ravindran, Genkeswaran Muniyan, Mok Tze Meng, Mok Khye Zen in the men’s team traditional rapid event.
11. CHINLONE (0-0-6)
IT was Malaysia’s first outing in the event. They served a pleasant surprise by bagging six bronzes. Hosts Myanmar stole the show, winning six out of the eight golds at stake.
12. CYCLING (0-1-1)
THE road cycling team were supposed to clinch the gold, but they were a letdown. They could only manage a silver.
13. EQUESTRIAN (3-0-0)
No target was set for the team, but they exceeded expectations by winning three golds. Mohd Sulaiman Muda was the outstanding performer, winning the 80km endurance individual and team golds. Teenager Praveen Nair Mathavan also had a dream debut, winning gold in the dressage individual.
14. FOOTBALL (0-0-0)
IT was an embarrassing outing for the men’s team, who were the defending champions. They were sent overseas for tournaments and training stints, but still failed to get on the podium. The women’s team qualified for the semi-finals after an 18-year lapse. But they were humiliated 4-0 by Vietnam in the last four.
15. FUTSAL (0-0-1)
THE women’s team, making their second appearance, fulfilled their target by winning the bronze. In their first outing in Korat in 2007, they returned home empty handed. The men’s team failed to win a single match. They were held to a 4-4 draw by hosts Myanmar and lost 5-4 to Indonesia.
16. GOLF (0-1-1)
EXPECTATIONS were high on US-based Gavin Kyle Green to end Malaysia’s gold drought. But he could only manage a silver in the men’s individual event. Gavin also picked up a bronze in the men’s team event. The Malaysian women’s team finished empty handed when best-bet Michelle Koh flopped.
17. HOCKEY (2-0-0).
MALAYSIA have no peers in South-East Asia when it comes to hockey. It came as no surprise that both the men’s and women’s teams strolled to victory. The men’s team strolled to the gold without conceding a single goal.
18. JUDO (0-0-6)
MALAYSIA last won a gold in 1979. Not much was expected of the team but there were complaints of biased judging. But it is a fact that the Malaysians are still lagging behind the rest of the South-East Asian countries.
19. KARATE (7-3-5)
THE second most successful sport after diving. The exponents won five golds in kumite and two in kata. The good news is that most of the exponents will be around for the next Games in Singapore in 2015.
20. MUAY (2-0-3)
ONE of the sports to over-achieve at the Games. Mohd Lokman Akimi Mat Raji (51kg) and Mohd Faizal Ramli (75kg) were the heroes.
21. PENCAK SILAT (2-1-3)
THE team achieved their two-gold target. But they could have won at least one more gold if not for biased judging.
22. PETANQUE (0-0-5)
THE team did slightly better than the four-bronze haul at the 2011 Games in Indonesia.
23. SAILING (2-3-3)
IT was a respectable showing by the sailing team. They delivered two golds through Ahmad Shukri Abdul Aziz-Mohd Faizal Norizan in the International 420 and Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy in the men’s laser standard.
24. SEPAKTAKRAW (0-1-2)
A REAL embarrassment for Malaysia. The Sepaktakraw Association of Malaysia (STAM) need to buck up to stop the rot.
25. SHOOTING (1-3-4)
DEBUTANT Eddy Chew saved the day, winning the gold in the men’s 50m free pistol. Overall, it was a poor show from the shooters.
26.TABLE TENNIS (0-0-3)
NOT much were expected from the paddlers. Veteran Beh Lee Wei, playing in her last Games, contributed two bronzes. The other bronze came from the men’s team, led by Mohd Shakirin Ibrahim.
27. TAEKWONDO (0-1-5)
SOME of the exponents suffered stage fright and lost badly, partly due to the lack of exposure. The Malaysian Taekwondo Association (MTA) were banking on seasoned campaigner Ryan Chong to deliver the gold, but he lost in the final.
28. VOLLEYBALL (0-0-0)
NO medal to show yet again. The last time volleyball delivered a medal for Malaysia was during the Kuala Lumpur Games in 2001 when the men’s team won the silver.
29. WEIGHTLIFTING (0-0-2)
THE national lifters were totally outclassed by their competitors. Malaysia only managed to end their medal drought on the last day of competition.
30. WUSHU (3-5-6)
WUSHU gave Malaysia a good head-start, winning three golds even before the official start of the Games. Phoon Eyin stole the show, winning Malaysia’s 1,000th SEA Games gold. It could have delivered more if not for some questionable judging.