The national contingent in Hanoi continued to deliver, bagging three more gold medals yesterday ahead of the official opening ceremony of the 31st SEA Games today.
Malaysia have now picked up nine golds, two silvers and six bronzes, putting them in second position in the medal tally behind hosts Vietnam, whose haul is 10-7-9.
Malaysia made good on their name as a regional powerhouse in diving yesterday, adding two more gold medals while pencak silat contributed one gold medal.
In yesterday’s final diving event, national diving queen Pandelela Rinong and Nur Dhabitah Sabri, the country’s first gold medallist in Hanoi, wrapped up the proceedings for Malaysia to complete a clean sweep of all eight gold medals on offer.
The Pandelela-Nur Dhabitah combination came out tops in the women’s 10m platform synchronised event at the Aquatic Sports Palace.
Earlier, national divers Muhammad Syafiq Puteh and Gabriel Gilbert Daim completed a 1-2 finish in the men’s 3m springboard individual event.
Syafiq accumulated an overall score of 381.35 points from six dives for his first individual triumph after winning the 3m springboard synchronised mixed gold with Jasmine Lai at the 2017 KL Games.
Meanwhile, Gabriel took silver with 375.30 points.
At the Bac Tu Liem Sporting Centre, national pencak silat exponents did not disappoint either with Mohd Taqiyuddin Hamid and Sazzlan Yuga defending the gold medal in the men’s ganda (doubles) event.
The pair came out tops in the final after earning 9.950 points to beat Singaporean siblings Muhammad Hazim Mohammad Zaque and Muhammad Haziq Mohammad Zaque, who accumulated 9.905 points.
The pencak silat squad also presented Malaysia with three bronze medals through Luqman Laji in the men’s tunggal (singles); Nur Syazreena Malik-Nor Hamizah Abu Hassan in women’s ganda; and Merrywati Manuil-Siti Nur Khairunnisa Hail-Fatin Ardani Zamri in women’s regu.
Malaysia are set to bag two bronze medals in kickboxing after the country’s two exponents lost their semi-finals at the Bacninh Gymnasium .
Mohamad Rifdean Masdor missed a chance to challenge for a top-two finish after losing 3-0 to Vietnam’s Huynh Van Tuan in the men’s full contact 51kg category.
Hayatun Najihin Radzuan also bowed out in the semi-finals of the women’s low kick below 60kg category after going down 3-0 to Filipina Gina Iniong Araos.
The losing semi-finalists stand to get the bronze medal but this will only be officially added to the medal tally after the prize-giving ceremony.
Meanwhile, the Harimau Muda squad notched their second straight win in men’s football after downing Laos 3-1 at the Thien Truong Stadium in Nam Dinh last night.
The success of the squad, under the guidance of head coach Brad Maloney, saw them top Group B with six points following their 2-1 victory over Thailand in their first match last Saturday.