SINGAPORE — They may be new sports being competed at this SEA Games, but Singapore has already produced champions in both sambo and underwater hockey among an eight-gold haul on Thursday (5 December).
Sambo athlete Nazri Sutari, who started out in fencing but switched to the combat sport via mixed martial arts (MMA) after national service, clinched the Republic’s first-ever gold in the sport when he defeated Indonesia’s Jason Sim 10-2 in the men’s combat Under-82kg final.
“I still can’t believe that I’ve won a gold medal,” a delighted Nazri told Yahoo News Singapore after his victory. “I’ve taken part in so many different sports, from fencing to kickboxing to MMA to sambo, but I never thought I would be able to win a SEA Games medal, let alone a gold medal.
“It’s funny where life can bring you to, huh?”
The 29-year-old had to change up his fight tactics against Sim in order to surprise his rival, and it worked well as Nazri felt he had “out-wrestled and out-grappled” his opponent to take the gold.
Two other Singaporeans claimed silver medals in sambo, which was developed by the Soviet Union army in the 1920s – Ashvin Singh in the men’s combat U-74kg division, and Gary Chow in the men’s sport U-82kg.
Singapore sweep all 4 underwater hockey golds
At the Vermosa Sports Hub in Imus City, Singapore emphatically announced themselves as the dominant Southeast Asian nation in underwater hockey, after they swept all four golds on offer in this debuting sport.
After winning the men’s and women’s 4x4 team golds on Wednesday, they repeated the feat in the 6x6 competitions, with the men’s team edging Indonesia 4-3 and the women’s team beating Philippines 3-0 in their respective finals.
Sportsboy of the Year triumphs
Earlier on Thursday morning at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Centre, the reigning Sportsboy of the Year Muhammad Hazim Mohamad Yusli clinched Singapore’s second silat gold at the Games.
The 18-year-old world champion beat Vietnam’s Nguyen Dinh Tuan 4-1 to win the men’s Tanding Class B final. The SEA Games debutant also defeated his Indonesia arch-rival Hidayat Limonu – whom he lost to in August’s World Martial Arts Masterships final – by the same scoreline in the semi-finals.
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