IT didn't rain gold in Laos yesterday as disappointment reigned in karate and shooting but taekwondo exponent Che Chew Chan and swimmer Siow Yi Ting at least ensured that Malaysia's gold medal count was officially opened yesterday.
On a day when veteran Olympian Lee Wan Yuen fell flat with the disappointment of having to settle for the heavyweight bronze medal at the Booyang Gymnasium in Vientiane, Chew Chan, making a comeback after a lengthy lay-off due to injury, made sure the taekwondo squad opened Malaysia's gold medal count in the middleweight category.
Another gold was at least expected from the Chou Anouvong Gymnasium where karate was contested. Even veteran kata exponent Lim Lee Lee had to be disappointed as the team ended the day with just three silver medals, yet to get off the ground in a bid for a repeat of their multiple gold medal feat in Korat two years ago.
The disappointment was calmed somewhat as soon as Siow Yi Ting stood majestically on the starting block at the National Sports Complex aquatics centre for the defence of her 200m individual medley gold medal.
Yi Ting, disappointed by her failure to better her national mark in the past two years, truly let it rip as she shaved almost three seconds off Singaporean Joscelyn Yeo's Sea Games record on the eve of her 24th birthday.
More could come from the breaststroke specialist as she is down for the 100m breaststroke today, with Daniel Bego also beginning his individual campaign today after helping the 4x200m freestyle squad to the bronze yesterday.
|Women shooters (from left) Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi, Nur Ayuni Farhana Abd Halim and Shahera Rahim Raja pose after taking silver in the 10m air rifle event.|
It could be a welcome double today, after the national swimming squad watched Singapore romp to five out of the seven gold medals in the swimming pool yesterday.
In any case, the same venue would be expected to produce at least two other gold medals, when divers Bryan Nickson Lomas and Leong Mun Yee take to the 10m platform and 3m sprngboard today.
But today, much attention will be on the main stadium, where the national football team, stung by the 3-1 defeat to Vietnam in their second Group A match before bouncing back with a 4-0 thumping of Cambodia on Tuesday, face a do-or-die mission in their final match against defending champions Thailand.