WITH two days of SEA Games competition to go – and 67 gold medals still available – hosts Malaysia have hit their target of 111 golds.
World champion track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang delivered the 111th gold, in what he conceded could be his final SEA Games, as Malaysia matched their tally from 2001, when they last hosted the Games.
In an all-Malaysian final at a packed National Velodrome, Azizulhasni – the reigning world keirin champion – defeated compatriot Shah Firdaus Sahrom in the men’s individual sprint final.
The 29-year-old’s victory capped another outstanding day of SEA Games action for the hosts, who now hold a lead of 51 gold medals over second-placed Thailand.
“This is a very historical achievement,” said Azizulhasni. “I delivered the much-awaited 111th gold medal. This is a very remarkable achievement because I won the race in front of our enthusiastic crowd.
“This could be my last SEA Games and I am feeling great to fulfil Malaysia’s 111 gold medal target.”
After rhythmic gymnast Amy Kwan Dict Weng delivered the 100th gold medal, the realisation quickly dawned that Malaysia could reach their target on Monday.
They duly did – and Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin wasted little time in tweeting: “Mission accomplished. #111 done. #KitaJuara”, indicating that Malaysia have become the overall champions of the Games.
— TEAM MAS (@AtletMalaysia) August 28, 2017
He later said: “I can conclude that Malaysia are already the overall champions with two days remaining in the competition.”
Having matched their record haul, the next focus for Malaysia is naturally to create a new record – with Khairy confident they can push for 120 golds.
“We will create history by making this our most successful outing at the SEA Games,” he said. “I believe we will win close to 120 gold medals.
“We need to remain consistently in the top-three. We do not want this to be a one-off.”
However, regardless of what happens in the next two days, Malaysia’s class of 2017 will end up some way short of Indonesia’s all-time Games record haul of 194 gold medals from 1997.
- Malaysia (111 gold, 77 silver, 69 bronze)
- Thailand (60 gold, 72 silver, 75 bronze)
- Vietnam (54 gold, 41 silver, 51 bronze)
- Singapore (49 gold, 44 silver, 63 bronze)
- Indonesia (32 gold, 54 silver, 64 bronze)
- Philippines (23 gold, 30 silver, 57 bronze)
- Myanmar (7 gold, 9 silver, 19 bronze)
- Laos (2 gold, 3 silver, 13 bronze)
- Cambodia (1 gold, 1 silver, 10 bronze)
- Brunei (0 gold, 4 silver, 7 bronze)
- Timor-Leste (0 gold, 0 silver, 1 bronze)