A HATTRICK of titles was in the bag for silat exponent and team captain Mohd Azrin Abdul Malek (top) but he was seen brooding at the Police Academy Gymnasium yesterday.
Azrin arrived in Hanoi with the reputation as the defending champion in the men's 95kg and world champion.
Despite the gold medal, Azrin contained his excitement because he knew the mission was not yet fulfilled.
Azrin's hard-earned victory over crowd favourite Nguyen Thanh Bhac assured Malaysia their second gold after Perlis duo Marwan Mat Rus and Muhammad Zainal delivered the gold in the wiradansa putra four days ago.
It turned out to be the best the exponents could produce as the team registered a medal haul of 2-2-3.
Familiarity breeds contempt, they say.
As far as Azrin was concerned, familiarity was the reason behind his win yesterday.
It was his third and certainly most testing and difficult bout against Thanh Bach in recent years.
"I defeated him in Brunei 1999.
A year later, I was at the receiving end in a tournament in Jakarta.
"Beating him in Vietnam is really satisfying for me," said Azrin.
Later when the silat programme came to an end, Azrin could not hide his disappointment with the team's performance.
"We failed to win three gold medals.
As such it can be considered as a failure because we bagged five at home two years ago.
"If that is the case, we might have to conduct a post-mortem.
Although we have youngsters forming the bulk of the team, we have to demonstrate our ability and strength at this level," said Azrin.
Earlier in the day, Siti Jameelah Japilus settled for the silver in the women's 55kg category losing to defending champion Permata Kemala Sari of Indonesia.
Last night Mastura Sapuan lost 4-1 to Vietnam's Lam Thi Huong in the tanding Under-70 kg bout.
The bronze medals were delivered by Amy Latip in the putri 65kg, Mohd Khoharullah Abd Majid (putra 50kg) and Ahmad Shahril Zailudin in the putra 65kg category.
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