National hammer thrower Grace breaks SEA Games record en route to defending gold

PHNOM PENH – The sweltering heat reaching nearly 40°C did not stop national women’s hammer thrower Grace Wong (picture) from achieving double success at the 2023 SEA Games here today.

Besides defending the gold medal, Grace also broke the Games record of 59.24m that she herself had set in the 2017 edition in Kuala Lumpur, with a distance of 61.87m in her fourth throw, on the first day of athletics at the Morodok Techo National Stadium.

Even sweeter, the success of the athlete from Sarikei was also celebrated by compatriot Nurul Hidayah Lukman, who clinched bronze with a throw of 49.61m while the silver medal was won by Mingkamon Koomphon from Thailand (57.86m).

“I like the hot weather more, like in Malaysia and it helped me to do well here in the SEA Games” Grace told reporters afterwards.

Although admitting that she was nervous in today’s competition, the 23-year-old was thankful to be able to overcome those feelings and was satisfied with the outcome here. 

She said that undergoing training in Chengdu, China, for almost three months, really helped her to clinch her third personal gold at the SEA Games.

Meantime, the student majoring in accounting at a private college in Petaling Jaya hopes to break her national record of 62.48m at the World University Games in Chengdu, China, this July.

Meanwhile, Nurul Hidayah was happy to bring home a medal in her SEA Games debut here even though she was a little disappointed not to be able to renew her personal record of 52.49m which she did at the Asean University Games last year.

The 22-year-old at the same time thanked the National Sports Council and the Malaysian Athletics Federation for their support and assistance over the years including sending her to train in China for a month before coming to Cambodia. – Bernama