HOSTS Malaysia – who have targeted 111 gold medals at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games – hit their first major milestone as they passed the 50 mark on day four.
Malaysia added 10 gold medals on a hectic day of SEA Games competition, standing atop the podium in athletics, squash, karate, swimming, tenpin bowling and gymnastics.
Malaysia are already closing in on their tally of 62 gold medals from Singapore two years ago, when they finished fourth in the medal table behind Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.
And they are almost halfway toward their ambitious target of 111, a tally that has not been surpassed since Indonesia won a staggering 182 on home soil six years ago.
In the pool, though, it was Singapore who dominated again on the third day of competition.
They won five of the six gold medals available – and have now bagged 11 of the 20 swimming golds at the Games.
Five Games records were smashed, too, with Singaporeans breaking four of them and the other being shattered by Malaysia’s Welson Sim in front of his country’s Prime Minister and Youth & Sports Minister.
Joseph Schooling, unsurprisingly, was in the thick of the action once more, winning the men’s 100m butterfly in a Games record time of 51.38 seconds to secure his 20th SEA Games title – by the age of 22.
— TEAM MAS (@AtletMalaysia) August 23, 2017
His compatriots Quah Zheng Wen (men’s 200m backstroke) and Quah Ting Wen (women’s 100m freestyle) also broke Games records, as did Singapore’s women in the 4x200m freestyle relay.
Quah Ting Wen also bagged the women’s 50m butterfly as she won three gold medals in a day and now has four overall at the Games.
The only non-Singaporean gold medallist in the pool was Malaysian ace Sim, who added the men’s 200m freestyle to the 400m title he won earlier this week, again in a Games record time.
“This is the most painful, most memorable race of my swimming career,” said Sim who threw everything into the final lap.
Vietnam had a strong day in athletics, gymnastics and karate to land 12 gold medals and draw level in the standings with Singapore on 27.
- Malaysia (50 gold, 37 silver, 32 bronze)
- Singapore (27 gold, 23 silver, 24 bronze)
- Vietnam (27 gold, 19 silver, 24 bronze)
- Thailand (17 gold, 30 silver, 34 bronze)
- Indonesia (15 gold, 17 silver, 32 bronze)
- Philippines (10 gold, 15 silver, 20 bronze)
- Myanmar (4 gold, 5 silver, 8 bronze)
- Brunei (0 gold, 1 silver, 5 bronze)
- Laos (0 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
- Cambodia (0 gold, 0 silver, 5 bronze)
- Timor-Leste (no medals)