The SEA Games is a multi-sport event that happens every two years. During the games we see athletes representing the various SouthEast Asian countries in various events. The 2019 SEA Games is over and here’s a look at the athletes who surprised us this year.
2019 SEA Games
Firstly, let’s talk about Malaysia’s overall performance at the 2019 SEA Games. It was pretty underwhelming with our athletes only bagging 56 gold, 57 silver, and 72 bronze medals. Our results fall short of the targeted medal count of 70 gold, 51 silver, and 105 bronze medals.
However, while our results might be short of what we expected, there were some athletes that did us proud. Whether it was a new sport, breaking a national record, or even just doing the unexpected.
New Sports at the 2019 SEA Games
The 2019 SEA Games is the first time that eSports was introduced as part of the event. In fact, the games at the event are Dota 2, Starcraft II, Hearthstone, Tekken 7, Arena of Valor, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
Representing Malaysia for Hearthstone was Dr Yew Weng Keng, a PhD holder in electronic engineering. He successfully defeated Thailand’s Werit Popan 3-1 and bagged the gold medal. He hopes that his win will show parents that eSports are not bad and that it is all about balance.
Next, this year we also saw breakdance being added as a new sports event. Our very own Lego Sam Lee Jek became the first ever winner of the breakdance event! In a Facebook post he writes that he has been preparing for a long time and hopes with his win that the Malaysian government will begin supporting the bboys in Malaysia.
Moving on, for swimming we had Phee Jinq En competing in the women’s 100m breaststroke event. She successfully broke both the national and SEA Games record previously set by her. She finished the event with a time of 1:08.50 and won her second gold medal at the 2019 SEA Games.
In addition, Andre Anura Anuar successfully broke the national record in the men’s long jump. In an amazing feat, the Sabah-born athlete managed a huge jump of 8.02 metres. With this jump he broke the 12-year old national record and his own personal best of 7.90 metres.
Unexpected Wins at the 2019 SEA Games
Malaysia’s previous performance in chess have only amounted to three bronze medals. Which is why Yeoh Li Tian’s achievement in winning the first ever gold medal was unexpected. While he was aiming for silver or bronze, he surprised everyone by emerging as the champion.
When Goh Jin Wei had to withdraw from the women’s singles event in badminton, most hope was lost. S. Kisona was not expected to go very far as she is the World No 104 and mostly plays lower-tier tournaments.
However, she stunned her opponents Gregoria Mariskan (World No 24) and Nitchaeon Jindapol (World No 22). Her skills, patience, and quick thinking allowed her to take home the gold medal and show everyone that she can do it!
Despite the overall poor performance at the 2019 SEA Games, we would like to congratulate all the athletes and thank them for their hard work in representing our country.