ETALING JAYA: One made a big splash to create history, two flexed their muscles, and two others squashed their opponents.
And it resulted in Malaysia earning five gold medals – through Wong Fu Kang in swimming; Nur Atikah Mohd Sabri and Muhd Erry Hidayat in weightlifting; and Ng Eain Yow and S. Sivasangari in squash (pic, below) – at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa.
Nur Atikah got the ball rolling in the morning by winning the women’s 58kg weightlifting competition. Fu Kang doubled the joy by winning the men’s 100m breaststroke event for Malaysia’s first gold medal in swimming in the Games history.
Muhd Erry then sealed gold No. 3 for the day in the men’s 69kg category.
With squash’s two golds, Malaysia find themselves in fourth spot in the medal standings with a haul of 5-2-2 – surpassing their previous best of 4-2-1 achieved at the last Games in Isle of Man in 2011. Badminton, which contributed all four gold medals then, is not contested this time.
History-maker Fu Kang, 17, has yet to come to terms with his achievement.
“This win has not sunk in yet. I’m happy to maintain my performance level after the World Aquatics Championships in Kazan last month and the Singapore SEA Games in June.
“My aim is to get to the Olympics in Rio next year and I will keep on improving my personal best time,” said Fu Kang, who will compete in the men’s 50m breaststroke on Wednesday.
Fu Kang first made a name for himself at the Malaysian Open in Bukit Jalil in March after clocking 1:02.56 in 100m breaststroke to shatter 1998 Asian Games bronze medallist Elvin Chia’s national record of 1:02.59, which had stood since 2000.
Barely three months later, Fu Kang lowered it to 1:02.46 on his way to delivering the first swimming gold for Malaysia at the Singapore SEA Games.
|Malaysian swimmer Wong Fu Kang won the 100m breast stroke event at the Singapore SEA Games in June. - The STAR filepic|
Another Singapore SEA Games gold medallist Welson Sim missed out on getting a medal for Malaysia after he finished fourth in the men’s 100m freestyle in 51.15.
Welson had won silver medals in the 200m and 1,500m freestyle races on Monday.
Australian Vincent Dai splashed to gold in 50.26 while Scotland’s Craig Maclean took silver in 50.96.
The 14-year-old Nur Atikah was in smashing form in the weightlifting competition as she took gold with an overall total of 160kg – 33kg more than silver medallist Maria Mareta of Fiji.
Sixteen-year-old Muhd Erry bagged his weightlifting gold after lifting a total of 255kg.
Australia top the medal standings with 11-7-10, followed by South Africa (7-2-6) and England (5-8-7). A total of 53 countries are taking part in the Games, which cater to athletes aged between 14 and 18 years old.