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National sepak takraw squad determined to defend inter-regu gold medal at Asian Games

National sepak takraw squad determined to defend inter-regu gold medal at Asian Games

A woman walks past a logo of the 2022 Asian Games at the media village in Hangzhou, China's eastern Zhejiang province on September 21, 2023. ― AFP pic

HANGZHOU, Sept 30 ― The national men's sepak takraw squad refused to mourn the loss to Thailand in the final of the team event at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games at the Jinhua Gymnasium Sports Centre, yesterday.

The “tekong” of the national speak takraw squad Mohammad Syahir Mohd Rosdi said the disappointment needs to be translated into a fighting spirit to continue Malaysia's bid to defend the gold medal in the men's inter-regu event which will start next Thursday.

He said the national team has started to find the rhythm of the game even though they lost in the final after struggling in the early stages. He is optimistic that the positive momentum can continue.

“Our fight is not over, we will not give up, no matter what. We will try to get a gold medal in the inter-regu event later,” said Mohammad Syahir who is making his third consecutive appearance at the Asian Games since the 2014 edition in Incheon, South Korea.

His colleague Mohamad Azlan Alias, who's making his second appearance at the Games, echoed Mohammad Syahir’s sentiment: “We will perform better in the inter-regu event.”

Drawn in Group A, Malaysia will be challenged by Vietnam and Singapore en route to the semi-finals.

Thailand, which did not send a team to the event in the last edition in Jakarta-Palembang, Indonesia, five years ago, was drawn together with India, the Philippines and Myanmar in Group B.

In yesterday's team final, Thailand beat Malaysia 2-0 to continue their 25-year dominance after winning their seventh consecutive gold in the same event, since the 1998 edition in Bangkok.

The defeat saw Malaysia retain the silver achieved in the last edition. ― Bernama