Silat men's team earns lone gold on lean day for Singapore

Singapore silat athletes (from left) Kamal Nazrul, Hamillatu Arash and Nujaid Hasif clinch a SEA Games gold medal in the men's seni regu (artistic team) event in Subic. (PHOTO: Sport Singapore)

SINGAPORE — On a lean day for SEA Games gold medals on Monday (2 December), Singapore earned just one from an unlikely source – silat’s men’s seni regu (artistic team) event.

While silat has been a regular goldmine for Singapore, the gold medals are usually won in the tanding (match) competitions, in which athletes engage in combat for honours. The last time a Singapore male silat athlete won in an artistic event was in 2003, when Muhd Zahid Saaban won an individual gold.

So it was a surprise victory for Hamillatu Arash, Nujaid Hasif and Nazrul Kamal as they clinched the gold in Subic with 466 points, ahead of teams from Thailand (458) and Malaysia (453).

Hamillatu and Nujaid had participated in the same event two years ago in Kuala Lumpur, but could only win a bronze then.

Iqbal Abdul Rahman added a silver in the men's seni tunggal (artistic singles) event with 461 points, nine points behind Filipino champion Tacuel Edmar, and one ahead of Indonesia's Sulistianto Dino.

Netballers fail again to beat Malaysia

While there was joy among the silat camp, there was disappointment among the Singapore netball team, who were once again beaten by arch-rivals Malaysia in the final for a second straight Games.

While it was a closer affair that the 41-65 loss in Kuala Lumpur in 2017, Singapore were undone by a poor third quarter that saw a 21-21 tie at half-time turn into a 40-30 lead for Malaysia, who eventually held on for a 48-42 win to retain their gold.

Singapore's Sindhu Nair tries to block a shot by Malaysia during their SEA Games gold-medal match at the Santa Rosa Sports Complex. (PHOTO: Alfie Lee/Sport Singapore)

The silver-medal showing means that, in the four SEA Games editions where netball is being competed, Singapore won just one of them – when they hosted the Games in 2015. Malaysia won the other three golds, including the 2001 and 2017 ones in which they were the hosts.

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