Tokyo Olympics: Malaysia's wait for a medal continues
By Elmi Rizal Elias
TOKYO, July 27 -- There was a pall of gloom hanging over the Malaysian contingent at the end of Day Five of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after the national divers failed to deliver the country’s first medal as many had expected.
Instead, Pandelela Rinong-Leong Mun Yee could only end their women’s 10-metre (m) platform synchronised final in eighth - and last - spot at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre here today.
They could only score 277.98 points in the event. Pandelela had won silver in this same event at the 2016 Rio Olympics with Cheong Jun Hoong.
Over at the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field, Syaqiera Mashayikh’s Tokyo assignment is all over after she crashed out in the first round of the women’s individual recurve event.
After collecting 630 points to improve on her previous best of 619 points in the ranking round on Friday (July 23), the 20-year-old Syaqiera was shown the exit after losing 4-6 to the Russian Olympic Committee’s (ROC) Elena Osipova.
The national badminton squad, who were down in the dumps yesterday following the defeat of two of their pairs, was bubbling with joy today.
National men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik sparked a frenzy when they produced a storming performance to trounce Canada’s Jason Ho-Shue-Nyl Yakura 21-15, 21-13 and qualify for the last eight in style at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza here.
National women’s doubles pair Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean, who had earlier lost both their group matches, managed to end their Tokyo Olympic campaign on a winning note although it failed to stop them from making an early exit.
World number 11 Mei Kuan-Meng Yean made sure they would return home with at least one win when they outlasted Great Britain’s world number 14 Chloe Birch-Lauren Smith 21-19, 21-16 in their final Group A match.
Soniia Cheah, meanwhile, did not even have to lift her racquet after her women’s singles opponent, Laura Sarosi of Hungary, conceded a walkover due to an injury.
Sonia, however, must still win her match against world number six Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand on Wednesday (July 28) to advance to the knockout stage.
Meanwhile, national sailor Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy recorded positive results in each of his three races, finishing 29th in Race Four, 18th in Race Five and 13th in Race Six.
After six races at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour, the 28-year-old is in 26th spot out of 35 sailors, with 99 net points.
In the women’s Laser Radial event, young national sensation Nur Shazrin Mohamad Latif continued to struggle to repeat her excellent opening day performance on Sunday (July 25) and ended the day in 30th position in Race Five and 34th spot in Race Six.
This sees Nur Shazrin, 23, amassing 105 net points to drop six spots to 24th, with four more races remaining.
Hopefully, there will be better news on Wednesday (July 28) when sailors Nuraisyah Jamil and Juni Karimah Noor Jamali compete in the women’s Race One and Race Two of the International 470 event and Phee Jinq En participates in Heat One of the women’s 200m breaststroke event at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre here.
Also in action will be national archer Khairul Anuar Mohamad, who will be up against Finnish Antti Vikstrom in the first knockout round of the men’s recurve individual event at the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field.
National singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia will then wrap up the day for Malaysia with a tricky tie against Frenchman Brice Leverdez in their final Group M tie, with a place in the quarter-finals awaiting the winner.