PALEMBANG: The 24-year wait was not in vain. Malaysia Tuesday won the coveted inter-regu sepak takraw gold medal of the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, beating host Indonesia 2-1 in the final.
Malaysia last won the Asian Games gold in 1994 in Hiroshima, Japan. It won the gold one other time, at the 1990 games in Beijing.
In today's match, the Malaysian regu overcame the tremendous home-crowd support for the Indonesia regu at the Ranau Hall of the Jakabaring Sports City to serve excellence on the court.
The first set was more or less an even match, but the Malaysian regu of Muhammad Zulkifli Abd Razak (tekong), Farhan Adam (feeder) and Mohamad Azlan Alias (attacker) made some mistakes towards the end of the set and went down 18-21.
The second set was more intense with the Malaysian regu knowing it had to win to stay in the race for gold. It was trailing 11-17 at one stage but fought back to level the score at 19 and went on to win 22-20. In the decider set, the Malaysian regu seemed to have read the opponents well and raced to a 21-11 victory to secure the gold.