THE bet was on wushu world champion Lee Yang but it was younger team-mate Loh Jack Chang who stole the show by taking the lead after the completion of the men’s taijiquan and taijiian combined events at the International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre yesterday.
Jack Chang chalked up 9.70 in the taijiquan and it turned out to be the highest among the eight competitors.
Lee Yang, the gold medallist in the same discipline in the World Championships in Toronto in October, managed 9.61 to be placed fourth behind Vietnam’s Nguyen Thanh Tung (9.64) and Singapore’s Seet Wee Key (9.63).
Jack Chang took the bronze in taijiquan at the world meet and he is optimistic of putting up another strong performance in taijijian (taiji sword) tomorrow.
The Sarawakian took the silver in taijijian in his first appearance in the World Championships.
“I am surprised to lead after the first discipline today, considering that Lee Yang is the world taijiquan champion,” said Jack Chang, who finished out of the medals in his maiden SEA Games in Korat two years ago.
The lanky exponent is looking forward to the second part of the competition and he hopes to secure the first gold medal for Malaysia in men’s wushu since the 2005 Manila Games.
There is also hope on Diana Bong to retain the women’s nanquan (southern style) combined title.
Diana posted 9.70 to lead the field ahead of Vietnamese Vu Thuy Linh (9.66), Myanmar’s Aint Mi Mi (9.35) and compatriot Tai Cheau Xuen (9.05).
Ang Eng Chong, a gold medallist in the 2003 Hanoi Games, is also leading the field in the men’s changquan (northern style) combined events. He has a score of 9.70 but close behind is Indonesian Aldy Lukman (9.69) while another Malaysian, Ng Say Yoke, is third on 9.68.