From Zulhilmi Supaat
VIENTIANE, Dec 11 (Bernama) -- Although aquatic events provided Malaysia with five gold medals, including setting three new records and improving on four national records, the focus was definitely on football after K.Rajagobal's squad qualified for the semi-finals.
The Malaysian squad beat Thailand 2-1 to deny Thailand a berth in the semi-finals for the first time in 36 years.
The last time the Malaysian squad took a gold medal in the biennial games was 20 years ago in 1989 in Kuala Lumpur under British coach, Trevor Hartley.
Malaysia today won six gold medals, three in swimming, karate (2) and diving (1).
The national contingent also won three silver medals (karate, shooting, snooker and billiards) and nine bronze medals (swimming - 2, shooting - 2, taekwondo - 2, diving - 1, karate - 1 and cycling - 1)
National swimmer, Daniel Bego, broke the SEA Games record and the national record in the 200m men's freestyle with a time of 50.16 seconds.
The games record was previously held by Richard Sam Bera of Indonesia (50.80s) and Daniels's national record was a time of 50.94s set in the World Swimming Championship in Rome.
Siow Yi Ting also broke a games record in the 100m women's breast stroke with a time 1:09.82s.
Siow erased the record of 1:10.55s set by Nicoletta Teo of Singapore in Korat, Thailand last year, and her national record of 1:11.29s set in the Doha Asian Games in 2006.
Khoo Cai Lin in the 400m women's freestyle set a personal best with 4:10.75s, some six seconds faster than her national record of 4:16.96s.
The time renewed her SEA Games record of 4:18.20s set in Korat, Thailand.
Malaysia also set a new national record via the women's freestyle quartet with a time of 3:51.40s, bettering the old record of 3:54.91s.
Karate contributed two gold medals through Mohd Hatta Mahmud in the men's kumite below 84kg while Jamalliah Jamaludin got a gold in the women's kumite above 60kg.
The shooting squad's hopes for a gold were dashed after Bibiana Ng managed a silver in the 10m Individual Women's Air Pistol.
Bibiana Ng and team mates Joseline Cheah and Siti Nur Masitah Mohd Badrin then won a bronze in the 10m Team Air Pistol event while another bronze was won in the 50m Women's Team Prone Rifle event after Muslifah Zulkifli, Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi and Nor Ain Ibrahim failed to defend their title won in Korat.
At the end of the third day of the 25th games, Malaysia was at fifth place with eight golds, nine silvers and 18 bronzes.
Vietnam is at the top spot with 14 golds, 10 silvers and 10 bronzes, followed by Singapore (14, 6, 12), Thailand (13, 22, 17) and Indonesia (11, 7, 14.)
Tomorrow, the fourth day of the 25th SEA Games that began officially on Dec 9 and ends on Dec 19, the focus returns to aquatic events.
Leong Mun Yee, Pandalela Rinong and Yeoh Ken Nee will take part in the diving event and Daniel Bego in the swimming event.
Meanwhile, other events like badminton and golf are still in the early rounds.