SILAT exponents Abang Erdie Fauzerul Abang Pauzan and Ahmad Shahril Zailudin powered Malaysia to the best-ever Sea Games finish outside Kuala Lumpur with two gold at the Cebu Coliseum in Cebu City yesterday.
Abang Erdie, competing in the men's Class A, started the ball rolling for Malaysia, bringing in the 50th gold at 9.30 in the morning and two hours later, Ahmad Shahril won the nation's 52nd gold.
Silat, which won a gold through Suzy Mohd Sulaiman in artistic silat on Thursday, also contributed two silver and four bronze medals yesterday.
The silver medallists were Emy Latif in the women's Class D and Norhasmizan Abdullah in the men's Class E, while the bronze medals came from Amir Ikram Rahim (men's Class C), Mohd Zuber Ismail (Class G), Sitti Gameela Japilus (women's Class B) and Malini Mohamd (Class C).
But the star of the day was Abang Erdie for his early gold sparked the rush that saw Malaysia breaching the 55-gold forecast by the Olympic Council of Malaysia.
In Indonesian Diyan Kristiano, he faced a tough opponent but the Malaysian persevered to win 3-2.
"It was a tough final as the Indonesian was a strong opponent. But I knew that my gold would be the 50th for Malaysia and I wanted to contribute badly to the nation's haul," said Abang Erdie.
Jul Omar Abduhakim of the Philippines and Mohd Asadullah of Singapore took bronze.
For Ahmad Shahril, Abang Erdie's gold medal was an inspiration. "I saw how hard Abang Erdie fought to win and I was determined not to let the team down," said Ahmad Shahril.
He won 4-2 against Thailand's Abdullah Mahlee, while the bronze went to Mohd Saifulla Mohd Julami of the Philippines and Yohanes Edison Burli of Indonesia.
However, Norhasmizan and Emy had to concede defeat to superior opponents.
Norhasmizan was outpointed by Haris Nugruho of Indonesia with Myanmar's Thin Lin Aung and Vietnam's Le Anh Tuan sharing the bronze.
Emy was defeated by Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Phuong Thuy in her final.
Written by VIJESH RAI & ARNAZ M. KHAIRUL
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