An injured Irfan was not at his best but he did enough to win his third SEA Games discus gold for Malaysia’s first athletics gold on the first day of athletics at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old from Negri Sembilan revealed that he is nursing an injured left ankle and back which is the one of the reasons for his poor throw which saw him win the gold with a throw of 58.36m in a three-man field.
Thailand’s Narong Benjaroon took the silver with a throw of 50.65 while another Malaysian Abdul Rahman Lee settled for the bronze with a distance of 44.60.
Singapore’s Wong Kai Yuen and Thailand’s did not start the event which was held in hot and humid conditions. It was his third Sea Games gold. The first was in Myanmar in 2013 and second in Singapore in 2015.
His first words to the large turnout of Malaysian sports journalists at mixed zone was: “Panas gila!!!
“The weather really affected me overall, apart from my injury. The first throw was really painful. However, once I settled down it was enough for me to win the gold for my country.
“Hopefully it will spur my teammates to go for gold in their respective events.
“I am confident we can win the targeted seven golds in athletics,” said Irfan, who tore his shirt in delight to celebrate as soon as he knew that the gold was his for a golden start for Malaysia in athletics.
He later, with the Jalur Gemilang wrapped around his shoulders, he ran to the huge turnout of Malaysian supporters to acknowledge their support in the stands.
Despite the injury, Irfan’s next assignment is the World University Games (Universiade) in Taipei. It will be his second Universiade.
1. Irfan Shamsudin (Mas) 58.36m
2. Narong Benjaroon (Tha) 50.65
3. Abdul Rahman Lee 44.60