S. Mahendran (right) lands a kick on Indonesia's Christo Mondulu in the kumite below 75kg final yesterday. Mahendran beat Mondulu 1-0 to win the gold.
THE karate exponents stood tall yet again as the Negaraku was played four times at the Kebkanjana Hall yesterday.
|(Clockwise) Karate exponents S. Mahendran, G. Yamini, Lim Yoke Wai and Jamaliah Jamaluddin with their gold medals.|
Arivalagan was jubilant but said there was still unfinished business.
"I am happy with our achievements but we want to beat the Indonesians and Vietnamese in the team events.
"It has been a long time since we have done that and if we can win, it will be a tremendous way to cap whatever we have done here," said Arivalagan.
After Wednesday's high of four, S. Mahendran gave Malaysia a dream start when he beat Indonesia's Christo Mondulo with a sudden-death point in the men's kumite 75kg.
It was the 27-year-old Mahendran's first gold in four Sea Games appearances, having settled for silver and bronze before.
"I dedicate this to my parents who have been so supportive of me," said Mahendran, who hails from Segamat, Johor.
Then, it was the turn of Jamaliah Jamaluddin to provide gold and hers, she was the first to admit, was a surprise.
"I was only promoted to the national team earlier this year and the Sea Games were supposed to be about exposure for me," said Jamaliah, from Kuala Lumpur.
She was in commanding form in the final against Nguyen Thi Nga of Vietnam, winning 3-0.
Yoke Wai, who clinched the 65kg gold on Wednesday, was Arivalagan's pick for the Open and he didn't disappoint as he outpointed Motuty Usia of Indonesia 6-3.
"What can I say? I came here hoping to win one but I have two now. This sets me up nicely for the team, where I hope to add a third," said Yoke Wai.
Arivalagan's decision to field G. Yamini in the women's Open would have raised questions, especially after she lost the 60kg final 4-3 to Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Hai Yen.
But she proved her coach was right as she was mentally stronger and highly motivated in the Open and was an easy 5-3 winner over Ceril Tugday of the Philippines in the final.
"I was desperate to redeem myself after losing the 60kg final and this motivated me."