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Dominant Thailand maintains lead at SEA Games, Hwa sets record for Malaysia

Denis D. Gray The Canadian Press 15.12.2009 07:53
Dominant Thailand maintains lead at SEA Games, Hwa sets record for Malaysia - Thailand - Asia - SEA Games - Sports - Athletics - hammer throw - Tan Song Hwa - Malaysia

VIENTIANE, Laos — Malaysia's Tan Song Hwa overcame a neck spasm that halted her pre-Games training to break a Southeast Asian Games record in the women's hammer throw Tuesday, while teammate Teoh Boon Lim added a second athletics gold in the 20-kilometre walk.

Closing in on medals leader Thailand, Vietnam swept the shooting competitions at the 11-nation event, winning an overall 13 golds and 14 silvers in five sports.

Thailand won nine golds Tuesday - including four in kickboxing - to maintain the lead at the biennial competitions with 51 golds. Vietnam is second with 45, Singapore third with 31, and Malaysia and Indonesia are tied at fourth place with 25 apiece.

"I've progressed on my technique, and worked on my mental conditioning, overcoming nervousness and fear. It's thanks to my coach," Hwa said after hurling the hammer 56.41 metres to break the 53.35 mark set at the 2005 Games. Indonesia's Rose Herlinda took the silver with a 54.12-metre throw and the bronze went to Thailand's R. Suraprasert with 48 metres.

The 23-year-old university student, coached by Frantisek Petrovic of Slovakia for the past two years, said she had been unable to train for two weeks prior to the games because of the neck ailment.

"Never stop," Hwa said of her ambition to pursue an improvement curve from fifth place at the last Southeast Asian Games. Her next goal is competing at the Commonwealth Games in India next year.


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