SINGAPORE: Triple jumper Mohd Hakimi Ismail has surely learnt his lesson.
Two years ago, in the Myanmar SEA Games, Hakimi leapt to a personal best of 16.44m in the fourth jump and was favourite for the gold.
But his hopes were shattered by Nguyen Van Hung. The Vietnamese leapt 16.67 in his sixth and last jump to win the gold in a new SEA Games record.
At the Singapore National Stadium on Tuesday, Hakimi turned the tables on Van Hung.
The Malaysian broke his national and the SEA Games record to clinch the gold medal.
The 24-year-old from Taiping cleared 16.59m in the second jump to erase his own national record of 16.44m.
He then improved on the mark in the sixth and final jump to break the SEA Games record with a leap of 16.76m – and erase Van Hung’s 2013 mark.
Thailand’s Varunyoo Kongnil took silver with 16.20m while the 26-year-old Van Hung settled for bronze with a poor 15.92m.
Hakimi, who is a sports science major at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), admitted he never expected to break any record.
“I also did not qualify for the Singapore SEA Games! … after failing to beat my own mark. So, I came to Singapore without high hopes,” said Hakimi, who will feature in the World University Games in Seoul in July.
“I surprised everyone, including myself, by breaking the national and SEA Games record. I am thrilled with my effort as I have been struggling to get my form this year.”
In the men’s pole vault, Iskandar Alwi, a silver medallist in Myanmar, could only clear 5.05m to win bronze.
Thailand’s Porranat Purahong shattered the existing Games record of 5.21 set by compatriot Kreeta Sintawacheewa in Laos 2009 with a height of 5.30m.
The women’s 100m sprint saw Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli, who has a personal best of 11.62s, finishing fourth with a time of 11.93s.
The winner was 17 year-old Kayla Anise Richardson of the Philippines, who just pipped Thailand’s Tassaporn Wannakit in a photo-finish. Both clocked an identical 11.76s, with the Filipina getting the nod.
Sprinters Mohd Izzuddin Yahaya and Nixson Kennedy endured a disappointing debut after failing to qualify for the men’s 100m final.
The 28-year-old schoolteacher Izzuddin and Nixson clocked 10.61 and 10.65 in their heats to finish fifth.
Filipino Eric Cray won the men’s 100m final with a personal best of 10.25.