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Published: Tuesday December 3, 2013 MYT 9:10:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday December 3, 2013 MYT 9:42:41 PM

National wushu team can create SEA Games ‘history’

Malaysian wushu exponent Chai Fong Wei seen here in action during the World Championships in KL in November. The national wushu team can claim Malaysia's 1000th SEA Games gold medal when the competition starts this Saturday in Nyapyitaw. - Filepic

Malaysian wushu exponent Chai Fong Wei seen here in action during the World Championships in KL in November. The national wushu team can claim Malaysia's 1000th SEA Games gold medal when the competition starts this Saturday in Nyapyitaw. - Filepic

PETALING JAYA: Three golden strikes will be enough for Malaysia to celebrate a milestone in SEA Games history – and destiny lies in the hands of the national wushu team.

The wushu exponents will step foot on Myanmar soil on Wednesday bent on seizing the opportunity to steal the early limelight.

The competition gets under way at Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium in Naypyidaw on Saturday and head coach Yoong Thong Foong is keeping his fingers crossed that they can kick-start the gold medal chase for Malaysia.

“OCM (Olympic Council of Malaysia) secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi informed us that we have the chance to get the 1,000th gold medal for Malaysia at the SEA Games if we can repeat our achievement of winning three gold medals in Indonesia two years ago,” said Thong Foong.

“Malaysia has already amassed 997 gold medals and we are just three short of the special mark.

“The wushu competition ends on Dec 10 and we will not participate in the opening ceremony the next day as we will be on our way home by then... so, this is our only contribution to the SEA Games.

“The first day of competition is this Saturday and four gold medals will be decided.

“We have exponents in action and we hope to deliver the first gold medal.

“Diana Bong and Tai Cheau Xuen will compete in the women’s nanquan on the first day and they’re our main hopes.”

Diana was also the SEA Games gold medallist in the combined nanquan event in Korat in 2007 while Cheau Xuen had the honour of taking over in Vientiane (2009) and Jakarta (2011).

Both were also gold medallists at the World Championships in Kuala Lumpur last month – in different events.

Diana captured gold in nandao while Cheau Xuen claimed hers in compulsory nanquan.

“The event that Cheau Xuen took gold at the world meet will not be contested at the SEA Games,” said Thong Foong.

“However, the organisers will award separate gold medals for the three nanquan events this time (nanquan, nandao and nangun), so we have a fair chance if everything goes our way.”

There are 23 gold medals at stake in wushu and Malaysia certainly stand a chance to shine if their performances at the world meet are any indication.

Malaysia finished third in the overall medal tally at the world meet with a 4-5-5 medal haul.

Only two countries have amassed more than 1,000 SEA Games gold medals since the Games began in 1959 as the South-East Asian Peninsula Games (SEAP Games).

Thailand lead the way with 1,887 gold medals, followed by Indonesia with 1,602.

For the record, 460 gold medals from 33 events will be contested at the Myanmar SEA Games but Malaysia are only hoping to secure 40.

Bodybuilder Sazali Samad will officially receive the Malaysian flag on behalf of the contingent in Putrajaya on Wednesday.

Tags / Keywords: SEA Games, Nyapidaw, Nyapyitaw, Myanmar, wushu, malaysia

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