MALAYSIA came close to ending a six-year gold medal drought in SEA Games billiards and snooker but fell short on luck to lose 2-3 against Thailand in the men's snooker doubles final at the Sima Thani Hotel in Korat yesterday.
It was heartbreak for John Yong Kien Foot and Moh Keen Hoo, who had taken a 2-0 lead before allowing Phaithoon Phonbun and Atthasit Mahithi to claw back for a nail-biting finish. The final lasted for almost four hours.
Malaysia won the opening two frames 64-52 and 78-1 and needed to wrap up the third frame to pick up the gold but the Thais staged a dramatic fightback to win the next three frames at 79-51, 93-34 and 72-16.
The turning point for the Thais was when world amateur champion Atthasit played snooked John in the crucial third frame with the Malaysians leading 46-20.
John was faulted seven times before the Thais restored their lead and never looked back after the turn over.
It was the second consecutive silver medal in billiards and snooker after playing the bridesmaid to the Thais in the snooker team event on Friday.