PENCAK SILAT exponents Mohd Khaizul Yaacob and Mohd Fauzi Khalid took the blame as the team ended their Asian Games campaign without a single gold medal.
Hopes were high on Khaizul and Fauzi to end the team’s gold medal chase but they were outclassed by their Vietnamese opponents in the finals at the Padepokan Pencak Silat arena in Taman Mini Indonesia yesterday.
Khaizul was beaten 5-0 by Nguyen Van Tri in the 90-95kg class while Tran Dinh Nam showed no mercy in his 5-0 win over Fauzi in the 70-75kg class.
Malaysia had targeted three gold medals from pencak silat but they return home now with four silvers and four bronzes.
Khaizul said three-time world champion Mohd Al-Jufferi Jamari’s shock loss to Indonesia’s Komang Harik Adi Putra in the 65-70kg final on Monday due to questionable judging, had affected him.
The 28-year-old apologised to Al-Jufferi and all Malaysians for falling short of expectation.
“I had a good start in the first round. Then, I saw the scores and had doubts whether the points were awarded correctly. I remembered what had happened to Al-Jufferi and my performance went downhill,” said a dejected Khaizul.
“I regained my focus but it was too late.”
“I wanted to win for my wife Asmira Hashim. She is seven months pregnant with our first child and today is our fourth wedding anniversary.”
“I feel sorry because I could not make up for Al-Jufferi’s disappointment.”
For Fauzi, the heartbreak of losing was unbearable and he was ready to retire.
“I made mistakes in the first round and ended up having to play catch-up and it proved to be hard. I was under pressure,” said the policeman.
“I've been competing for 12 years and I think it's time to leave the ring. I can help out the national silat team in other roles, maybe as a coach.”
Earlier, Nur Syazreen Abdul Malik Nor-Hamizah Abu Hassan delivered Malaysia’s second bronze medal from silat seni event in the women's double event after collecting 558 points.
Hosts Ayu Sidan Wilantri-Ni Made Dwiyanti won the gold medal with 574 points and Thai pair Saowanee Chanthamunee-Oraya Choosuwan settled for the silver medal with 564 points.