HANOI: Muhammad Khairi Adib Azhar won a gold medal for the national silat squad in a dramatic final in the Men’s class B silat competition (50-55kg) at the 31st SEA Games here, yesterday.
When Khairi Adib was trailing nine points with four seconds left in the bout at 50-59, the action of his opponent Khoirudin Mustakim in kicking him in the face brought consequences to the Indonesian exponent.
After video review, the jury handed the Indonesian competitor a 10-point deduction for violating the rules of the competition, thus giving Khairi Adib a one-point advantage, making the score 50-49 in his favour which stood till the end of the bout.
The 20-year-old’s feat continued the legacy of his father Azhar Ahmad who won a gold medal when Malaysia hosted the 2001 SEA Games.
When met by reporters, Khairi Adib said he was very grateful for the success because his mission in Hanoi was to win a gold medal after only winning bronze in the 2019 edition in Manila where he lost to the same opponent in the semi-finals.
Asked whether his victory was due to luck because his opponent was given a 10-point penalty, Khairi Adib said the matter did not arise because he had given a fierce fight from the beginning to the end.
“When I was behind (with only four seconds left), I tried to calm my mind and leave it to Allah SWT, and Alhamdulilah (thanks to Allah), I managed to win the gold medal,” said Khairi Adib, who also thanked his coach Mazlan Shaari and the senior exponents in the squad for their guidance.
Khairi Adib added that before he left for Hanoi, both his parents had also urged him to do his best and bring glory for the country.
Meanwhile, two national women exponents had to be satisfied with the silver medal after they lost in their respective finals.
Siti Rahmah Mohamed Nasir, who is also a four-time world champion and had hoped to win gold in Hanoi, lost 32-39 at the hands of host exponent Quang Thi Thu Nghia in the Women’s F class (70-75kg).
Compatriot Siti Shazwana Ajak, who was the first in action in the finals yesterday, lost 22-30 to Nurul Suhaila Mohamed Saiful of Singapore in the Women’s E class (65-70kg).
Another Malaysian exponent, Billage Nakang, also had to be satisfied with the silver when he lost to Vietnam’s Le Van Toan in the final of the Men’s Open (110kg) category. − BERNAMA