WITH optimism rising that they are headed for their most successful SEA Games ever, host Malaysia has narrowed the chase towards their target of 111 gold and is looking strong to smash through the mark as well after another superb day by their athletes.
Securing 11 more by evening yesterday with double gold from diving, rhythmic gymnastics, lawn bowls and sailing, the home tally rose to 94 gold, 63 silver and 60 bronze. It was also the time for track cyclist Irwandie Lakasek, taekwondo fighter Rozaimi Rozali and and figure skater Julian Yee to shine with a gold each.
Malaysia’s best performance in the biennial Games is 111 gold at the 2001 edition, which it also hosted.
Next on the medals board are Vietnam with 51, 2015 overall champions Thailand in hot pursuit with 50, Singapore fourth (48), followed by Indonesia (31), the Philippines with 21, Myanmar seven, and Laos and Cambodia one each.
World diving champion Cheong Jun Hoong and Jasmine Lai, substituting an injured Nur Dhabitah Sabri, cruised to gold and silver in the women’s one-meter springboard, and it was the same script in the men’s 10m platform for Ooi Tze Liang retaining the gold, his second in the current Games, and teammate Chew Yi Wei finishing for silver.
Tomorrow, 25 gold will be contested and Malaysia is expecting a flurry of gold from diving and the final day of rhythmic gymnastics. — Bernama