From left: Sharmini, Natasha, Ahmad Imtaz and Nabil won the silver medal in the showjumping event. - S.S KANESAN / The Star
SINGAPORE: THE Malaysian equestrian showjumping team have pranced their way to a silver medal.
But it almost didn’t happen as one of the best riders on the team – 28-year-old Mohd Nabil Fikri Ismail – was disqualified in the second round for wearing heavier boots.
Fortunately, the rest of the riders – Sharmini Christina Ratnasingham, Natasha Ines Wah Idris and Ahmad Imtaz Amir Hamzah – did well enough to pip Thailand to the silver with just 18 penalty points.
The Thais settled for bronze with 20 penalty points while hosts Singapore enjoyed a flawless day to take gold without any penalty points.
Nabil, who also competed in the 2011 Games in Indonesia with Sharmini and Natasha, was relieved to take home a silver.
“We got a bronze four years ago ... to take a silver this time is really good for the team,” said Nabil, who was flawless in the first round of the competition.
“I’m just grateful and relieved that I still managed to qualify for the individual finals despite the setback.”
National coach Syed Omar Syed Abu Bakar did not comment on Nabil’s disqualification in the second round but praised his team for their fighting spirit.
“The team fought hard with the limited amount of time they had to prepare for this competition. They helped one another throughout,” said Syed Omar.
“This was a much better performance compared to four years ago as they’re more matured and more experienced.
“I’m very happy with the result ... I believe they can still get a gold from the individual showjumping event.
“It will be tougher because the bar (hurdle) will be higher and Singapore are very strong”.
Sharmini, who finished with no penalty points over two rounds, and Natasha have progressed to the final.
They will look to beat the Singaporean trio of Pedrag Marjanovic, Catherine Chew and Cheong Su-Yen, who all finished without any penalty points.
The Star Online