JAKARTA, Nov 12 (Bernama) -- The national contingent's hopes of securing Malaysia's first gold medal in karate at the 26th SEA Games in Indonesia were dashed when Jamalliah Jamaludin only managed the bronze in the women's kumite over 68kg event.
In the karate competition which kicked off at the Senayan Indoor Tennis Court here today, Jamalliah had to share the bronze with Kiettisack Sengdal of Laos.
She lost to Vietnam's Thach Thi Trang while the Laotian went down to an Indonesian in the semifinal. The bronze is automatically awarded to the losing semifinallists in karate.
Thi Trang who was not even a contender took the gold after defeating Mardiah Nasution in the final.
In losing, Jamaliah, a silver medallist in the event at the Asian Games last year, also failed to defend her title in the event after emerging champion in the 2009 edition of the Games in Vientiane, Laos and Korat, Thailand in 2007.
The National Sports Council had also pinned hopes that the 27-year-old would deliver Malaysia's first gold at this Games but it was not to be.
"This was my first meeting with the exponent from Vietnam. I am dissapointed with myself and apologise to all Malaysians for failing to win the first gold medal for the country.
"I actually was capable of winning but lost concentration after she (Thi Trang) went ahead of me by a point because of a tactical mistake I made. She capitalised on that and had me under pressure," she told reporters after the bout ended.
Also failing to live up to predictions were Ricky Leong Tze Wai and Thor Chee Yee. Both of them fell by the wayside in the semifinals.
In the men's individual kata event, Ricky and Oj Delos Santos of the Philippines had to share the bronze after they went down to Faizal Zainuddin of Indonesia and Pham Thai Huy from Vietnam respectively. The Indoneisan went on to capture the gold.
Meanwhile, in the women's kata event, Thor and Thai exponent Yanisa Torrattanaw shared the bronze while Indonesia's Flenty Enoch won the gold. Vietnam's Do Thi Thu Ha took the silver.