Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wushu: Clean slate for Eyin in Singapore SEA Games

National wushu exponent Phoon Eyin.
National wushu exponent Phoon Eyin.

KUALA LUMPUR: Her face was plastered all over the local papers when she won Malaysia’s 1,000th SEA Games gold medal in Myanmar two years ago as a debutant.

But that’s all in the past for Phoon Eyin, one of the three women’s gold medallists for wushu then.  
The photogenic teenager, whose forte is in qiangshu (spear), left with the squad for the Singapore SEA Games on Tuesday. The wushu competition starts on Saturday.

“That was then ... it’s a different SEA Games now and in a different place, so I’ll start afresh.
“It’s harder for me to defend it than winning it the first time,” said the Negri Sembilan-born Eyin, who won gold in compulsory chanquan at the World Championships in Kuala Lumpur in 2013.

She is counting on the recent three-week training stint in China, under two-time Asian Games champion Kan Wencong, to defend her SEA Games title in qiangshu. 

“I trained in Hebei under Wencong last month. She runs a wushu school there and we managed to spar with some top athletes there. 

“I have improved on my techniques. I hope I can be calm and perform well on competition day,” said Eyin, who also bagged a bronze in jianshu (straight sword) in Myanmar.

Eyin finished fifth in her Asian Games debut in Incheon in qiangshu while Vietnam’s Duong Thuy Vi took the gold. The duo are expected to lock horns in for the gold medal in Singapore.

“Winning the Asian Games title sure makes her the favourite but I’m not worried. I’m just focused on my own performance.”

Besides qiangshu, Eyin will also take part in jianshu and the duel event with Loh Ying Ting.
The other in the Malaysia wushu team are Diana Bong, Tai Cheau Xuen, Ng Shin Yii, Chan Lu Yi, Audrey Chan, Aggie Cheah and Chai Fong Wei (women); Ho Mun Hua, Khaw Jun Lim, Loh Choon How, Loh Jack Chang, Wong Weng Son, Yap Zheng Yan, Yeap Wai Kin, Chong Lui Meng and Tan Jia Guan (men).

By Lim Teik Huat
The Star

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