NOR SARAH Adi had been lined up to run the 4x100m relay but when the opportunity arose to compete in the pole vault, she happily took the plunge.
And what a leap it was.
The 21-year-old not only broke her personal best of 3.60m, but her jump of 4.00m earned her the Vietnam SEA Games gold medal.
And she also won bronze in the 4x100m relay with S. Komalam Shelly, Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli and Azreen Nabila Alias with a time of 45.32s.
In her Games debut, Nor Sarah surprised many with her spirited performance, showing no nervousness against many established pole vaulters.
Thailand’s Chonticha Khabut had to settle for silver over 3.80m, while Filipina Alyana Martinez took 3.60m.
“When the opportunity arose to compete in the vault, I didn’t say no. I just said that I would do my best despite my lack of training for the pole vault,” he said. she declared.
“I had a back injury last week, but everything was well arranged by God. I’m happy to have recorded 4m and improved my personal best.
“Besides, it’s like a dream to win this gold medal.”
Another top female athlete, Queenie Ting Kung Ni, also achieved her goal, but with a pang of regret that it wasn’t record gold.
On her fifth throw, the 24-year-old Sarawakian gave it her all at MyDinh Stadium by breaking her personal and national best of 50.67m by throwing 52.36m.
She was in the lead and looked good for gold until Thailand’s Subenrat Insaeng threw a 53.09m on her sixth and final attempt to snatch victory.
“My heart was pounding before Insaeng’s last shot. I knew what she was capable of, but deep down I hoped she wouldn’t beat my mark. But I got what I wanted. The money and a personal best,” Queenie said.
“I thought I could improve by a few centimeters but I didn’t expect to break the record by nearly two metres.
“When the second throw was marked as a foul, I was under pressure, but Coach Mansahar (Abdul Jalil) once told me to just enjoy the game and not overthink. That’s exactly what that I did.
“Now I hope to break the 55m mark in the future. That would mean I can compete in the Asian Games on merit.
Her teammate Choo Kang Ni won bronze with a throw of 46.57m.
Meanwhile, the men’s 4×100 relay team consisting of Mohd Arsyad Mohd Saat, Zulfiqar Ismail, Mohd Azeem Fahmi and Mohd Haiqal Hanapi broke the national record of 39.27s in 2017 in 39.09s in Hanoi to win the ‘money.
Azeem will compete in the 100m event tomorrow and is aiming to reach the final and beat his personal best of 10.37 seconds. Also, he is looking forward to taking on a certain Thai phenomenon.
“We know Puriphon Boonsorn. At first I thought I was the youngest in the field, but he is younger. I hope to do better than him. Anything can happen at 100m. May the best win.”
Meanwhile, Savinder Kaur won bronze in the women’s 800m with a time of 2:10.420.
Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian’s latest outing at the SEA Games ended on a sore note.
He tore a muscle and could only finish seventh with a time of 14.80 seconds. Rizzua Haizad Mohamad finished fifth with 14.29 seconds.
In the men’s 800m, Mr. Avineshwar Austin finished fourth with a time of 1:56.970.
110m hurdles: 1. Clinton Bautista (Phi) 13.78s, 2. Ang Chen Xiang (Sin) 13.94s, 3. Nattaphon Dansungnoen (Tha) 13.99s
Selected: 5. Rizzua Haizad Mohd 14.29s, 7. Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian 14.80s
800m: 1. Joshua Atkinson (Tha) 1:55.750, 2. Jirayu Pleanarum (Tha) 1:55.770, 3. Dang Tran Van (Life) 01:56.550
Selected: 4. Mr. Avineshwar Austin 01:56.970
4X100m relay: 1. Thailand 38.58s, 2. Malaysia 39.09s, 3. Singapore 39.44s
Discus Throw: 1. Subenrat Insaeng (Tha) 53.09m, 2. Queenie Ting Kung Ni (Mas) 52.36m, 3. Choo Kang Ni (Mas) 46.57m
800m: 1. Anh Khuat Phuong (Vie) 2:08.740, 2. Agustina Mardika (Ina) 2:09.90, 3. Savinder Kaur (Mas) 2:10.240
Pole Vault: 1. Norsarah Adi (Mas) 4.00m, 2. Chonticha Khabut (Tha) 3.80m, 3. Alyana Martinez (Phi) 3.60m
Long jump: 1. Ngoc Ha Vu Thi (Life) 6.39m, 2. Thu Thao Bui Ti (Life) 6.38m, 3. Maria Natalia (Ina) 6.18
Selected: R. Kirthana 5.94m
4X100m relay: 1. Thailand 44.39s, 2. Vietnam 45.25s, 3. Malaysia 45.32s