HANOI, May 15 —Two women silat athletes emerged as the saviours of the national silat squad (combat events) by advancing to the final in their respective events at the 31st SEA Games here.
Seven representatives were lined up for the combat events in the semi-finals competition at the Bac Tu Liem Gymnasium today but all the five men’s exponents including three-time world champion Mohd Al-Jufferi Jamari succumbed to their respective opponents.
As the national squad reeled after the men’s silat athletes were ousted one by one at the semi-finals, women exponents Siti Rahmah Mohamed Nasir and Siti Shazwana Ajak rose to the occasion and made it into the final.
Siti Rahmah, who is a four-time world champion, advanced to the final after trouncing her challenger Siti Khadijah Mohamad from Singapore, 70-46, in the 70-75 kg category.
Meanwhile, Siti Shazwana confirmed her slot in the final after overcoming opponent Janejira Wankrue from Thailand, 56-37, in the 65-70 kg class.
Earlier, Mohd Al-Jufferi’s hopes of advancing to the finals of the F class (70-75 kg) were dashed when he lost to Singapore’s Abdul Raazaq Abdul Rashid.
Competing while still nursing a shoulder injury he collected during the quarter-finals action two days ago, the national silat champion lost 21-26.
Muhammad Robial Sobri also failed to advance to the final after losing to Singaporean athlete Sheik Farhan Sheik Alau’ddin 11-13 in the J class event (90-95 kg) while G class (75-80 kg) exponent Mohd Fauzi Khalid bowed out 24-37 to Nguyen Tan Sang from Vietnam.
Mohammad Amiruddin Adzmi’s challenge also ended abruptly in the semi-finals as he conceded defeat to the host nation’s Nguyen Duy Tuyen, 6-21.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Atif Irshad Zahidi, who picked up an injury during the quarter-finals action two days ago, was forced to pull out of the tie against Adilan Chemaeng from Thailand today.
Besides, Siti Rahmah and Siti Shazwana, the national squad is also pinning its hopes on Muhammad Khairi Adib Azhar in the men’s B class (50-55 kg) and Billage Nakang (open category) – who had previously qualified for the finals – to contribute gold medals tomorrow. — Bernama