FORMER Asian champion Lee Hup Wei paid his own way to train under Australian coach Alex Stewart in Sydney for two months in the hope of winning the men’s high jump gold at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
Unfortunately for the 30-year-old Hup Wei, he had to settle for second best behind teammate Nauraj Singh Randhawa.
The gold and silver were already in their hands after both cleared 2.24m at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
They then attempted to clear 2.28m in the quest for gold and to break the 22-year Games record of 2.24m.
But both failed.
Nauraj was then awarded the gold on countback as he cleared 2.24m in his first attempt while Hup Wei needed three attempts.
Hup Wei and Nauraj, however, equalled the Games record of 2.24m set by Malaysia’s Loo Kum Zee at Chiang Mai 1995.
Vietnam’s Nguyen Thanh Nhan cleared 2.18m for the bronze.
Hup Wei, who won the gold in the Asian Championships in Jordan in 2007, was happy that Nauraj won the gold.
“What is important is that my training partner and friend Nauraj delivered the gold for Malaysia,” said Hup Wei, who was the Games gold medallist in 2007, 2009 and 2011.
“I’m happy with the silver.”
Hup Wei did not feature at Myanmar 2013 and Singapore 2015 due to a back injury.
Nauraj, who also trains under coach Stewart, said he had high regards for Olympian Hup Wei.
“Hup Wei gave me a strong challenge. I salute him. I am also touched that he is happy that I won my third gold in the Games,” said Nauraj, who holds the national record of 2.30m set at the Singapore Open in May.
The 25-year-old Nauraj who featured in the World Championships in London last month, described the crowd at the stadium as “unbelievable”.
“They cheered for us (me and Hup Wei) every time we made a jump,” said Nauraj.
Choo Kang Ni had a memorable SEA Games outing after breaking the national record with a throw of 47.91m to win the silver in the women’s discus.
It erased the previous national mark of 46.48m set by Yap Jeng Tzan in Melaka in 2011.
Seven athletes took part and Jeng Tzan finished fourth (44.81m).
The 23-year-old Kang Ni said she was surprised to win the silver as her previous best was only 45.39m, which she did a year ago.
“It was double joy for me as I won a medal and also broke the national record by more than 2m,” said Kang Ni.
K. Prabudass clocked a personal best of 14:57.43 to win the silver in the men’s 5,000m, improving on his previous best of 15:02.43 by five seconds.See our full coverage of SEA Games 2017
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