Gallant show by national athletes

Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah

BIRMINGHAM: Having shed blood, sweat and tears for 11 days, the national contingent ended their campaign in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games with their heads held high after raking in seven golds, eight silvers and eight bronzes.

Their success sees them equalling the feat achieved at the 2018 edition in Gold Coast, Australia, where they returned home with a haul of 7-5-12.

In fact, the national contingent even managed to surpass the six-gold target set for them for Birmingham 2022.

Malaysia, however, had to wait till the last day to do it, with national women’s doubles shuttlers Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah presenting gold number seven when they easily defeated England’s Chloe Birch-Lauren Smith in the final at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) here.

The Commonwealth Games debutants produced a remarkable performance to send the English pair packing 21-5, 21-8.

Earlier, the national camp’s hopes of getting a gold medal through men’s singles ace Ng Tze Yong were dashed when he lost to India’s top shuttler Lakhsya Sen in the final.

The 22-year-old Tze Yong went down fighting 21-19, 9-21, 16-21 to the All England runner-up as Malaysia failed to defend the gold medal won by Datuk Lee Chong Wei in the 2018 edition.

Over at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, the national divers ended their campaign on the last day of the Games by clinching a bronze medal in the mixed synchronised 3-metre (m) springboard event.

The bronze medal in the event, which is being contested at the Games for the first time, was delivered by the combination of Nur Dhabitah Sabri-Muhammad Syafiq Puteh Nur Dhabitah Sabri-Muhammad Syafiq Puteh, thus ensuring the diving team will return home with a haul of three silvers and one bronze.

Their achievement, however, is seen as disappointing as the divers had been targeted to contribute one gold to the national contingent here.

Meanwhile, the national squash team can heave a huge sigh of relief after winning a bronze at the Games here.

It came courtesy of Rachel Arnold-Aifa Azman, who brushed aside teammates Noor Ainaa Amani Ampandi-Chan Yiwen 11-3, 11-9 in the women’s doubles third-placing match.

As the Games come to an end after being officially opened on July 28, Malaysia end their campaign in 10th place in the medal standings, which is an improvement compared to their 12th placing in the 2018 edition.

Australia retained their title as overall champions with a haul of 67-57-54, followed by hosts England (57-66-53) and Canada (26-32-34). – BERNAMA.

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