NAYPYITAW: Malaysia ended the SEA Games athletics competition with just four golds – just one short of their target.
With another six silvers and three bronzes in the bag, this is, by far, their worst ever performance in the history of the Games.
Their previous worst was in the 1975 Bangkok SEAP Games, where they had a haul of 4-7-16.
It could have been worse this time if not for the one gold, three silvers and two bronzes they won on Thursday.
The first silver was delivered by Mohd Hakimi Ismail, who achieved a personal best of 16.44m to break the 24-year-old men’s national triple jump record.
The 22-year-old Perakian did it in the fourth jump, breaking Zaki Sadri’s record of 16.29m, which was set in the 1989 KL SEA Games.
Hakimi came close to winning the gold until Vietnam’s Van Hung Nguyen dashed his hopes by leaping to a new SEA Games mark of 16.67m in the sixth and final jump.
The previous record of 16.51m was set by Thailand’s Theerayut Philakong in 2009 in Laos.
Theerayut, who won the gold in Palembang, settled for bronze with 16.26m.
Hakimi, who jumped for joy when he broke the national record, thinking the gold was his, said: “It just wasn’t my day. But I’m more than pleased with my performance as I’ve improved on my previous best of 16.21m.”
Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian then got the second silver in the men’s 110m hurdles, clocking 14.00.
Adi Alifuddin Hussin bagged the third silver in the men’s shot putt event with a throw of 17.10m, which is way off his national record of 17.53m set in Palembang two years ago.
The first of the two bronze medals on Thursday came from Raja Nursheena Raja Azhar in the women’s 100m hurdles. The Selangor athlete clocked a personal best of 13.84.
The last bronze medal was won by the men’s 4x400m relay team of Schzuan Rosley Ahmad, Mohd Arif Zulhilmi Alet, P. Yuvaraaj and S. Kannathasan. They clocked 3:15.06.
The two golds came courtesy of Mohd Jironi Riduan in the men’s 800m and 1,500m while Mohd Irfan Shamsuddin (men’s discus) and Nauraj Singh Randhawa (men’s high jump) bagged theirs earlier.