KUALA LUMPUR: Chinlone is the talk of the town. Many have not even heard of the word or know that it is a sport – but yesterday, chinlone was the pride of the nation.
This unique sepak takraw event delivered Malaysia’s first gold medal of the 29th Kuala Lumpur SEA Games at the Titiwangsa Indoor Stadium yesterday.
Malaysia accumulated 391 points to beat the Philippines, who managed 271, in the linking event final played before cheering local supporters.
The chinlone stroke event squad added another bronze.
The Jalur Gemilang was raised even before Saturday’s opening ceremony as the Malaysian team of Muhd Faiz Roslan, Mohd Kamal Aizat Azmi, Putera Aidil Israfi, Muhd Asyraaf Hadi, Izuan Afendi, Mohd Nazuha Nadzli, Iskandar Zulkarnain Salim and Abdul Muhaimi Bongsu juggled their way to the first gold medal.
On the first day when medals were offered, Malaysia secured a gold, a silver (archery) and two bronzes (archery and chinlone).
The Malaysian SEA Games contingent has been targeted to win 111 gold medals and hopes to emerge overall champions in the carnival, which will be held from Aug 19 to 30.
In archery, the national compound archers fell short in the opening individual competitions settling for a silver and a bronze medal at the National Archery Range in Bukit Jalil.
Two golds were targeted but Mohd Juwaidi Mazuki failed to capitalise on an early three-point advantage and lost 144-145 to Indonesia’s Prima Wisnu Wardhana in the men’s final.
Reigning triple gold medallist Fatin Nurfatehah Mat Salleh failed to live up to her top billing as she was ousted 142-145 by Vietnam’s Chau Kieu Oanh in the women’s semi-finals.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who was present at Titiwangsa Indoor Stadium, complimented the energetic performance befitting the first SEA Games gold medal won for the Malaysian contingent in the chinlone linking competition.
“Although there were only three teams, we had to earn it. It’s a meaningful win for us as this is also the first gold medal of the KL SEA Games. I am happy to see the players keeping their focus despite the strong expectations on them.
“We accomplished our mission today but there are more to come,” he said.
SEA Games 2017