Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Diana bags gold to make up for Manila disappointment

IT was the moment of glory that Diana Bong Siong Lin was waiting for and she was not about to let it slip from her hands.

In her debut in the SEA Games, Diana delivered a bonus gold medal for Malaysia, winning the women's nanquan (southern style boxing) all-round competition at the Chanapolkhan Institute of Technology in Korat yesterday.

Diana came good in the final nandao (sword) routine and was awarded 9.43 points to take her total to 28.12. She tied with Vietnamese Vu Thuy Linh and they were declared as joint winners.

The Vietnamese, who was the leader with Malaysia's Tai Cheau Xuen after the nanquan and nangun (stick) routines, was given 9.42 for her performance in nandao.

Serious: Diana Bong Siong Lin en route to winning gold in the women’s nanquan event Monday.
Cheau Xuen only managed 9.35 yesterday and settled for the bronze on 28.05.

For Diana, the success made up for the disappointment of the last Games in Manila where she was taken out of the squad a week before they left for Manila.

“I tore two ligaments and could not recover in time. I underwent surgery and it took me almost a year off competition.

“For the Manila Games, I believed that I had a chance to be a gold medallist because the disciplines were separated,” said the 22-year-old Sarawakian.

“This time they were combined as one and winning it is so much better. I did not do well on the first day but I tried not to worry about it too much.”

Diana, who won a bronze in the same combined event in the Doha Asian Games last year, produced a sparkling performance on the final day of the competition to cap a fine outing for Malaysia after the disappointment in Manila.

Then, Malaysia managed to win two silver and three bronze medals. This time, Malaysia will return home with a haul of 2-2-1.

The other gold medallist in Korat was Asian Games and World Championships gold medallist Chai Fong Ying in the women's taijiquan and taijijian all-round event.

In the men's changquan (northern style boxing) all-round yesterday, Malaysia's Ang Eng Chong finished fifth on 28.31. Aung Si Thu of Myanmar took the gold on 28.65.

Pui Fook Chien missed out on a bronze, finishing fourth on 28.18 in the men's nanquan all-round competition won by World Championships gold medallist Willy Wang of the Philippines, who had a total of 28.60.


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