* Pahang lad turns the table on last year’s winner with a new Games record
* Defending champion Nguyen Van Hung settles for bronze
* Rafiq Ismail snatches the men’s singles bowling gold by three pins
The disappointment of losing the gold in Myanmar two years ago gave Muhammad Hakimi Ismail the extra spring in his last jump as the Malaysian sets a new SEA Games record enroute to the men’s triple jump gold medal here today at the National Stadium in Singapore.
The 24-year-old Pahang lad had the gold medal snatched right under his nose at the Wunna Theikdi Stadium in 2013 when Vietnam’s Nguyen Van Hung cleared a distance of 16.67m with his last jump.
And the rest is history because Hakimi’s jump of 16.44m could only land him a silver on 2013 with the consolation that it was a new national record.
But at Singapore’s National Stadium it was Hakimi who ruled and not only the gold was his but he set a new Games record of 16.76m – Malaysia’s only bright spark when the athletics events got underway in the 28th edition of the biennial games.
“I can now rest the disappointment at the last Games. I will cherish the gold and the new record for many reasons, it is also the first athletics gold,” said a jubilant Hakimi.
Thailand’s Varunyoo Kongnil took the silver with a 16.20m jump.
But Van Hung could only finish a disappointing third with a poor 15.92. The look on his face at the medal presentation spoke of his hurt.
Malaysia’s Youth and Sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar presented the medals to the winners.
At the Orchid Bowl at the Orchid Country Club it was a close call for Malaysia’s SEA Games debutant Rafiq Ismail but in the end he was celebrating his gold medal in the men’s singles final – edging past Thailand’s Annop Arromsaranon by a mere three pins with a 1,308 total.
Rafiq can consider real lucky after registering poor scores in his last two games but his 246 in the first game made the difference. He registered lines of 246, 221, 235, 225, 192, 189 for his total while Annop came in with scores of 204, 239, 220, 205, 212, 225 for his 1,305 total.
Singapore’s Xavier Tan took the bronze with a 1,284 total.
Men’s Triple Jump
- Muhammad Hakimi Ismail (Mas) 16.76m
- Varunyoo Kongnil (Tha) 16.20m
- Nguyeng Van Hung (Vie) 15.92m
Men’s singles Final
- Mohd Rafiq Ismail (Mas) 1,308 pinfalls
- Annop Arromsaranon (Tha) 1,305
- Xavier Tan (Sin) 1,284