* Tears flowed freely at the Padang, itself a historic place
Tears flowed freely at the Padang on Monday morning – a historic place in the island republic – as Kelantan-born Muhd Hafizuddin Mat Daud clinched Malaysia’s first ever gold medal in Petanque.
And what better place than the Padang to achieve the historic success. The Padang is historic to Singapore as this where the 2005 and 2010 National Day Parade was held. Singapore will celebrate its Golden Jubilee event – SG50 – at the same venue in August this year.
The Padang is surrounded by several landmarks including City Hall, old Supreme Court building, St Andrews Cathedral and City Hall MRT Station – all popular destinations for tourists.
Perfectly Malaysia will take home a bit of history from the Padang – celebrating its first ever gold medal in the SEA Games. Malaysia’s previous best was a haul of two silvers and one bronze from the Laos SEA Games held in Vientiane in 2009.
There were plenty of hugs and pats as Malaysian team officials and players shed tears unashamedly to celebrate the historic gold. Malaysia’s previous best in the biennial games was a haul of two silvers and one bronze in Vientiane in Laos in 2009.
The 22-year-old Hafizuddin defeated Cambodia’s Thong Chhoeun 13-6 in a thrilling final after knocking out Phoudthala Keokannika of Laos 13-3 in the semi-finals. Thong defeated Vietnam’s Ngo Ron 13-6 in his semi-final encounter.
“Winning the gold means a lot to me as I am became the first Malaysian to win a gold in Petanque…and its nice to be part of the history,” said Hafizuddin after his win.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s Nantawan Fueangsanit won the women’s singles gold with a 13-8 win over Un Sreya of Cambodia in the final.
A minute’s silence and flags were flown at half-mast on Monday at all venues as a day of national mourning for those who died in Friday’s earthquake on Mount Kinabalu, Sabah. Among those who died were six schoolchildren and two teachers from Singapore.
Muhd Hafizuddin Mat Daud (Mas) beat Thong Chhoeun (Cam) 13-6
Nanthawan Fueangsanit (Tha) beat Un Sreya (Cam) 13-8