KORAT, Dec 12 (Bernama) -- Though not in the best of form, national taekwondo exponent Che Chew Chan retained the women's middleweight (below 72kg) title when the taekwondo events opened today at the Vongchavalitkul hall here.
The 179-cm tall Chew Chan, who has yet to fully recover from knee injuries, defeated Vietnam's Bui Thu Hien by a single point in a nerve-wrecking final.
The Vietnamese lost after being penalised a point when both of them were level at 1-1 in the last round.
"I have already qualified for the Beijing Olympics and winning the gold back-to-back after the 2005 Manila Games justifies my position as the best in Southeast Asia," said Chew Chan, 25, a University Putra Malaysia (UPM) Mass Communications student.
Chew Chan, who is from Pontian, Johor, qualified for next year's Olympics in Bejing in the women's below 67kg category alongside team mate Elaine Teo, who qualified for the women's below 57kg category.
There were four other Malaysians involved in the semi-final matches today but none of them managed to follow in Chew Chan's footsteps.
Wong Kai Meng and Rozy Khamis lost in the men's under 84kg and over 84kg respectively and were awarded consolation bronze medals. The bronze is automatically awarded to losing semi-finalists the taekwondo events.
The same happened to Norfaradila Mohammad Zairy and Shu Seo Hie in women's below 67kg and over 72kg categories.