Malaysian contingent erupts with joy at Tokyo Olympics, thanks to Aaron-Wooi Yik’s bronze

Tokyo 2020 Olympics gold medallists Taiwan’s Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin, silver medallists China’s Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen and bronze medallists Malaysia’s Aaron Chia of Malaysia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia pose with their medals in Tokyo July 31, 2021. — Reuters pic

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TOKYO, July 31 — It was a Super Saturday, after all.

It may have taken nine long days, but the Malaysian contingent finally got their hands on the country’s first medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games through Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik in the men’s doubles badminton event.

It may not be the glitter of gold that every Malaysian is craving for, but the bronze won by Aaron-Wooi Yik is just as meaningful, given the country’s medal drought after several medal hopes had fallen by the wayside.

Among them being men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia, who crashed out in the last 16, and divers Pandelela Rinong-Leong Mun Yee in the women’s 10m platform synchronised event.

With the hopes of an entire nation squarely on their shoulders, Aaron-Wooi Yik did not disappoint as they bounced back spiritedly to tame Indonesia’s Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan 17-21, 21-17, 21-14 in a thrilling bronze medal match at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza here today.

Earlier in the afternoon, there was joy over at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre when national diver Nur Dhabitah Sabri stayed on the medal trail after qualifying for the final of the women’s 3-metre (m) springboard individual event.

The 22-year-old steadily moved up the standings from ninth place after the first dive to secure sixth spot overall after five dives for a total of 312.60 points in today’s semi-finals.

Only the top 12 out of the field of 18 divers qualified for the final, scheduled to start at 3 pm local time (2 pm Malaysian time) on Sunday (August 1).

At the Kasumigaseki Country Club, national golfer Gavin Green did well to card a one-under 70 score in the third round but still continued to occupy the bottom three spots.

The 27-year-old, who scored a three-over 74 and one-over 72 in the first two rounds respectively, carded five birdies and four bogeys today for a three-over 216 total to be tied with Puerto Rico’s Rafael Campos (73-73-70) in 58th spot out of 60 golfers

Four-time Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour winner Xander Schauffele of the United States carded a three-under 68 to top the leaderboard with a 14-under 199 total.

The final round on Sunday (August 1) is set to start at 7.30 am local time (6.30 am Malaysian time).

Meanwhile, national archer Khairul Anuar Mohamad’s Tokyo Olympic campaign ended today when he fell 6-0 to South Korean Kim Woojin in the third round of the men’s recurve individual event.

The Terengganu-born could not match the precision of world number five and former world champion Woojin, who scored 30-29-30 in the three sets. The Malaysian had a three-set score of 27-27-29.

National shooter Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi’s challenge in the women’s 50m rifle three positions event at the Asaka Shooting Range came to an abrupt end today when she could only finish in 34th spot in the qualifying round.

The 38-year-old could only accumulate a total of 1,142 points, which is a far cry from her national record of 1,172 points and her unofficial personal record of 1,182 points, which she did at the final training session before leaving for Tokyo.

Only the top eight out of the 37 shooters qualify for the final.

This is Nur Suryani’s second Olympic outing after grabbing the attention of global sports fans at the 2012 London edition as she competed in the women’s 10m air rifle event despite being eight months pregnant.

Meanwhile, over at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour, national sailors Nuraisyah Jamil and Juni Karimah Noor Jamali, who are in 20th position out of 21 contestants in the women’s International 470 event after accumulating 91 net points today, will continue with Race Seven and Race Eight on Sunday (August 1). — Bernama