DEBUTANT Chai Fong Ying strut her way into the history books as the first Malaysian female wushu exponent to win a gold medal in the SEA Games at the Chanapolkhan Institute of Technology in Korat yesterday.
Fong Ying was confirmed as the winner of the taijiquan and taijijian all-round competition after dishing out a graceful performance in the taijijian (swordplay) to earn 9.55 points, taking her total to 19.18.
Another Malaysian, Ng Shin Yii, claimed the silver. Shin Yii scored 9.53 for a total of 19.09. Filipino Janice Hung took the bronze on 18.77.
The success for Fong Ying yesterday makes her the only Malaysian wushu exponent to hold the Asian Games, World Championships and SEA Games titles at the same time.
While Fong Ying made it look effortless, everything she has achieved came through personal sacrifices.
“I have taken two semesters off studies because of my preparations since the Asian Games last year,” said the 21-year-old Universiti Putra Malaysia student.
“My colleagues in the same batch have finished their studies but I guess this is what I love doing and good at it.”
National coach Yoong Thong Foong said they were looking forward to a bonus gold medal today.
The best bet is on the women's nanquan all-round competition, which ends with the nangun (stick) routine.
Tai Cheau Xuen is the joint leader with Vu Thuy Linh of Vietnam after the completion of two routines with a total of 18.70.
Cheau Xuen scored 9.39 for the nandao (broadsword) yesterday while the Vietnamese exponent fared better with a 9.43.
Diana Bong is also in the running for the gold medal. She is just 0.1 point behind the joint leaders. Diana posted 9.42 in nandao to take her total to 18.69.