Taekwondo hopeful to end gold medal drought at KL SEA Games
PETALING JAYA: Taekwondo has high hopes of ending the gold medal drought at the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur next year after a breakthrough performance in the Asian Taekwondo Poomsae Championships in Manila.
Malaysia bagged a bronze medal in the men’s poomsae (non-sparring) team category through Yong Jin Kun, Kok Jun Ee and Chew Wei Yang.
Forty-five countries took part in the one-day meet and the medal was a welcome relief for Malaysia after seeing all three representatives eliminated in the early rounds of the Asian Qualification Tournament for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, also held in Manila over the weekend.
Rozaidi Rozali (men’s flyweight), Nur Dhia Liyana Shaharudin (women’s flyweight) and Nurul Farah Alisa Roslan (women’s bantamweight) had to make the final to guarantee tickets to Rio.
But at least the men’s poomsae bronze medal augurs well for Malaysia, who are targeting to end their SEA Games gold medal drought dating back to Laos in 2009, when Che Chew Chan won in the women’s below 80kg category.
“The young exponents have shown steady progress since the Singapore Games last year. We have retained the team that got the bronze in Singapore as we want to do well on home ground next year,” said Taekwondo Malaysia vice-president K.M. Rajendran.