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Published: Saturday December 7, 2013 MYT 4:11:00 PM
Updated: Saturday December 7, 2013 MYT 11:17:43 PM

Wushu: Diana delivers first gold for Malaysia

Diana Bong Siong Lin posing with her gold medal after winning the wushu nanquan event of the Myanmar SEA Games at the Wunna Theikdi Stadium on Saturday. — Bernama

Diana Bong Siong Lin posing with her gold medal after winning the wushu nanquan event of the Myanmar SEA Games at the Wunna Theikdi Stadium on Saturday. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Wushu exponent Diana Bong Siong Lin arrived in Naypyitaw with an upset stomach.

But not even that could stop her from nailing the country’s first gold medal at the Myanmar SEA Games on Saturday.

Diana was clearly bent on reclaiming the nanquan (southern long fist) title she won in Vientiane four years ago and she delivered a superb performance to earn an impressive 9.70 points to finish ahead of Vietnam’s Min Phuong Dui (9.68).

Tai Cheau Xuen, the silver medallist at the last SEA Games in Indonesia, chalked up 9.67 points to get the bronze for Malaysia.
Diana was clearly delighted to have lived up to expectations.

“To be frank, I was really nervous stepping onto the stage. The team and the whole contingent expected me to deliver the country’s first gold medal because we came here early.

“I tried to ease the pressure by imagining that the whole stage belonged only to me ... that I had nothing to prove to anyone, but myself.

“As soon as I saw the figure 9.70 on the scoreboard, I knew that the gold was mine ... although there were two other exponents yet to perform.

“I wanted to regain the title but nothing can beat the honour of becoming the country’s first gold medallist,” said the ecstatic Diana.

The 28-year-old, who hails from Kuching, was making her fourth Games appearance in Myanmar and this is her third SEA Games gold medal.

She won in Korat in 2007 and again in Laos two years later. A costly mistake resulted in her settling for only a bronze in Palembang two years ago.

Diana has now set her sights on doing well in nandao (broadsword) and nangun (stick).

She will start as the favourite in nandao on Monday, having won it at the world championships on home soil last month, when she also took the silver in nangun.

“I’ve never won two SEA Games gold medals before because it was a combined event. Now, I have a chance to do so since all the three disciplines are held separately,” she said.

Head coach Yoong Thong Foong was relieved that Diana did not succumb to the pressure.

“She has not been well for the last three days ... she even vomited. But she was strong mentally and I think she wanted very much to win the title again and she did not let her sickness stop her.”

Malaysia also claimed a second bronze through 17-year-old debutant Phoon Eyin in women’s jianshu (sword) after posting 9.46 points. Vietnam’s Duong Thuy Vi (9.70) took the gold medal while Myanmar’s Sandy Oo (9.69) settled for the silver.

There was also a surprise when rookie Chan Lu Yi outshone her more experienced team-mate Ng Shin Yii in the taijiquan event on Saturday.

Lu Yi scored 9.66 points to be place third while Shin Yii finished fifth. The medallists will only be determined after the taijijian routine on Sunday.

Tags / Keywords: SEA Games, Myanmar. Naypyitaw, Nyapidaw, Wushu


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