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Sunday November 3, 2013 MYT 3:57:00 PM
Sunday November 3, 2013 MYT 5:20:12 PM
by lim teik huat
Phoon Eyin strikes a pose in her changquan event at the World Wushu Championships in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. She and Tai Cheau Xuen (in nanquan) each won a gold to bring Malaysia's gold medal tally to four so far. - The STAR/ Shahrul Fazry Ismail
KUALA LUMPUR: Female exponents Tai Cheau Xuen and debutant Phoon Eyin, who both hail from Seremban, rose to the occasion to help Malaysia equal their best-ever golden achievement at the World Wushu Championships at Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium in Cheras on Sunday.
Cheau Xuen struck the first gold in the women's compulsory nanquan, chalking up 9.54 points to finish ahead of Russian Saulina Irina (9.52) and Australian Elizabeth Lim (8.60).
It was then national team rookie Phoon Eyin's turn to shine in the women's compulsory changquan.
The 17-year-old, who was only roped into the national elite squad at the start of the year, made heads turn as she executed an outstanding performance to score 9.41 points for the second gold for the Malaysian team on day three of the world meet.
Ukraine's Temna Liudmyla took silver with 9.34 points while Iran's Hanieh Rajabi had the bronze with 9.33 points.
The two victories from Cheau Xuen and Phoon Eyin took Malaysia's gold medal tally to four so far and equal the previous best achievement from the 2005 edition in Ho Chi Minh City.
There were more cheers as Malaysia also secured two more silvers from Yeap Wai Kin in men's compulsory changquan while Lee Yang will be relieved to have a medal to show for in men's taijiquan after slipping en route to 19th in taijijian on Friday.
The exponents are in for big rewards as a gold is worth RM80,000 under the National Sports Council incentive scheme for Class 1 world championships. Silver and bronze are worth RM40,000 and RM20,000 respectively.
Phoon Eyin said she was not nervous despite competing for the first time at the world meet.
"I had previously competed at world and Asian junior championships.
"Besides, the crowd were also supportive. I just performed my normal routine.
"Everyone performs the same exercise in compulsory form event. It is the first time it is contested at the world meet and I am just happy I had the best performance of the day.
"I consider this gold as my own reward as I trained hard over the last few months apart from having to make sure I do not lose track of my studies," said Phoon Eyin, who will be sitting for her SPM exams after the world meet ends.
Cheau Xuen was pleased to live up to expectations after she finished out of the medals in women's nanquan on Saturday.
Cheau Xuen finished sixth in the event won by team-mate Diana Bong Siong Lin.
But she has fared better than Diana at the last two SEA Games, delivering the gold in Laos in 2009 and in Palembang two years later.
Tags / Keywords:
Phoon Eyin, Tai Cheau Xuen, wushu, Kuala Lumpur
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