NOR SARAH Adi had been lined up to run in the 4x100m relay but when an opportunity came to take part in the pole vault, she gladly took the leap of faith.
And what a leap that was.
The 21-year-old not only broke her personal best of 3.60m, but her 4.00m leap won her the Vietnam SEA Games gold medal.
And she also won bronze in the 4x100m relay with S. Komalam Shelly, Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli and Azreen Nabila Alias with a time of 45.32s.
In her debut Games, Nor sarah caught many by surprise with her spirited performance, showing no nerves against many established pole vaulters.
Thailand’s Chonticha Khabut had to settle for silver on 3.80m, while the Philippines’ Alyana Martinez did 3.60m.
“When the opportunity came to take part in the vault, I did not say no. I just said I would give my best despite my lack of training for pole vault,” she said.
“I had a back injury last week, but everything has been arranged well by God. I am glad to have recorded 4m and improved my personal best.
“Plus, it feels like a dream to win this gold.”
Another top female athlete Queenie Ting Kung Ni also achieved her target, but with a twinge of regret that it was not the discus gold.
In her fifth throw, the 24-year-old Sarawakian gave it her all at the MyDinh Stadium as she broke her personal best and national record of 50.67m by throwing 52.36m.
She was in the lead and looked good for gold until Thailand’s Subenrat Insaeng threw a 53.09m in her sixth and final attempt to snatch victory.
“My heart was pumping before Insaeng’s last throw. I knew what she is capable of, but deep inside, I hoped she wouldn’t beat my mark. But I got what I wanted. Silver and a personal best,” said Queenie.
“I thought I could improve by a few centimetres but didn’t expect to break the record by almost two metres.
“When the second throw was chalked off as foul, I was under pressure, but coach Mansahar (Abdul Jalil) once told me to just enjoy the game and don’t think too much. I did just that.
“Now, I hope to break the 55m mark in the future. That would mean I can enter the Asian Games on merit.”
Her teammate Choo Kang Ni won bronze with a throw of 46.57m.
Meanwhile, the men’s 4x100 relay team of Mohd Arsyad Mohd Saat, Zulfiqar Ismail, Mohd Azeem Fahmi and Mohd Haiqal Hanapi broke the national record of 39.27s in 2017 by clocking 39.09s in Hanoi to win silver.
Azeem will compete in the 100m event tomorrow and aims to get to the final and break his personal best of 10.37s. Also, he is looks forward to facing a certain Thai phenomenon.
“We are aware of Puriphon Boonsorn. At first, I thought I was the youngest in the field, but he is younger. I hope to do better than him. Anything can happen in 100m. May the best man win.”
Meanwhile, Savinder Kaur won bronze for the women’s 800m event with a time of 2:10.420.
Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian’s final SEA Games outing ended on a painful note.
He pulled a muscle and could only finish seventh with a time of 14.80s. Rizzua Haizad Mohamad finished fifth with 14.29s.
In the men’s 800m, M. Avineshwar Austin finished fourth with a time of 1:56.970.
110m hurdles: 1. Clinton Bautista (Phi) 13.78s, 2. Ang Chen Xiang (Sin) 13.94s, 3. Nattaphon Dansungnoen (Tha) 13.99s
Selected: 5. Rizzua Haizad Mohd 14.29s, 7. Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian 14.80s
800m: 1. Joshua Atkinson (Tha) 1:55.750, 2. Jirayu Pleanarum (Tha) 1:55.770, 3. Dang Tran Van (Vie) 01:56.550
Selected: 4. M. Avineshwar Austin 01:56.970
4X100m relay: 1. Thailand 38.58s, 2. Malaysia 39.09s, 3. Singapore 39.44s
Discus Throw: 1. Subenrat Insaeng (Tha) 53.09m, 2. Queenie Ting Kung Ni (Mas) 52.36m, 3. Choo Kang Ni (Mas) 46.57m
800m: 1. Anh Khuat Phuong (Vie) 2:08.740, 2. Agustina Mardika (Ina) 2:09.90, 3. Savinder Kaur (Mas) 2:10.240
Pole vault: 1. Norsarah Adi (Mas) 4.00m, 2. Chonticha Khabut (Tha) 3.80m, 3. Alyana Martinez (Phi) 3.60m
Long jump: 1. Ngoc Ha Vu Thi (Vie) 6.39m, 2. Thu Thao Bui Ti (Vie) 6.38m, 3. Maria Natalia (Ina) 6.18
Selected: R. Kirthana 5.94m
4X100m relay: 1. Thailand 44.39s, 2. Vietnam 45.25s, 3. Malaysia 45.32s