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Published: Wednesday December 11, 2013 MYT 6:23:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday December 11, 2013 MYT 6:24:55 PM

Wushu: It could've been six gold medals

Diana Bong Siong Lin executing the nangun steps during the Myanmar SEA Games. She could have earned Malaysia more gold medals if she had executed the extra step in the women’s nanquan events (nanquan, nandao and nangun).

Diana Bong Siong Lin executing the nangun steps during the Myanmar SEA Games. She could have earned Malaysia more gold medals if she had executed the extra step in the women’s nanquan events (nanquan, nandao and nangun).

NAYPYITAW: Malaysia achieved their three gold medal target in wushu at the Myanmar SEA Games, but it could have been a better performance if not for questionable judging in some events.

The squad missed out on a chance to achieve their best-ever performance since the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in 2001, when Malaysia bagged six gold medals.

On current strength, Malaysia should have won two or three more gold medals.

Two-time world champion Ho Mun Hua was perhaps unlucky to have faced a Myanmar opponent who was equally good on that day.

Mun Hua could have returned home with a gold from either the men’s nanquan or nandao events only instead of settling for lesser medals on both occasions.

Mun Hua had no faults in both his performances and would have been glad to trade all the four medals he won (three silvers and one bronze) for a gold.

Malaysia should also have been good enough to sweep all the women’s nanquan events (nanquan, nandao and nangun) if Diana Bong Siong Lin had executed the six compulsory steps in nangun on Monday.

Diana would have then become the first double gold medallist for Malaysia in SEA Games history, having claimed the first for the contingent in nanquan on Saturday.

“I’m used to doing five steps in nangun as required for the World Championships, which was held in Kuala Lumpur last month.

“I forgot that this was the SEA Games and that we needed to do one extra step. It was my mistake and I had 0.2 of a point deducted from my total ... which eventually cost me the gold,” said Diana.

Tai Cheau Xuen earned the second gold in nandao before Phoon Eyin sprang a surprise in women’s qiangshu to achieve the 1,000th landmark gold medal for Malaysia in SEA Games history.

The men’s taijijian and taijiquan combined event outcome was also a disappointment for Malaysia as Loh Jack Chang, the winner in Korat in 2007 and a world championship silver medallist before, could only finish seventh this time.

The Myanmar SEA Games saw the organisers awarding gold medals for each separate event, except for taiji. Even the duilian was not spared as it was split into barehands and weapons categories.

It’s not surprising that Myanmar, who only finished with one gold medal at the last SEA Games in Indonesia in 2011, became the overall champions in wushu with a haul of 6-6-6.

Malaysia’s three gold medals came from the women but national coach Yoong Thong Foong said it would have no bearing on the composition of the squad for the Asian Games in Incheon next year.

“For the Asiad, we can only name seven exponents, be it male or female. The line-up will depend on where our medal chances lie. We have won gold at the last three Asian Games and we hope to maintain that,” said Thong Foong.

The Asian Games in Incheon will be the biggest test for the exponents next year as gold will only be awarded for combined events, unlike the SEA Games, and it remains to be seen who will be good enough to follow in the footsteps of former gold medallists Ho Ro Bin (Busan in 2002) and Chai Fong Ying (Doha in 2006 and Guangzhou in 2010).

Tags / Keywords: wushu, SEA Games, Myanmar, Naypyitaw, Nyapidaw, Diana Bong, Ho Mun Hua

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