INCHEON - Malaysia have to thank China's Lin Fan for Tai Cheau Xuen's historic gold in the women's nanquan and nandao all-round event at the Incheon Asian Games.
A bronze medallist in the same event in Guangzhou four years ago, Cheau Xuen chalked up 19.23 points to bag the first medal for Malaysia in Incheon.
Indonesia's Juwita Niza Wasni won the silver with 19.19 points while hot favourite Wei Hong of China had to be satisfied with the bronze with a 19.15 total.
Lin Fan won the gold in the event at the Guangzhou Asiad, and then retired to concentrate on coaching.
She came to Malaysia six months ago to coach Cheau Xuen and Diana Bong.
Malaysian head coach Yoong Thoong Foong said Lin Fan was instrumental in Cheau Xuen's success.
"No doubt about it. She provided the finer points to help our women's nanquan exponents improve a notch further. Our exponents are capable of winning medals if they get their acts right.
"Cheau Xuen performed to the best of her abilities and there was an element of luck involved as China's Wei Hong stumbled a bit during her performance.
"Wei Hong won the nanquan event when we hosted the World Championships in Kuala Lumpur last year. We didn't expect the gold as Chinese exponents seldom lose.
"That is why we always tell our exponents not to worry about their opponents' performance.
"They only need to concentrate on bringing out their best performance," said Thoong Foong.
He added that he felt sorry for Myanmar SEA Games champion Diana Bong, who failed in her bid to get a medal on Saturday.
Diana ended up last in the field of 12 competitors with 18.25 points after an error-filled performance in her routines.
"You cannot do more than one mistake at this level. The gold would have been Diana's if she had done what she did in training. She is very consistent in training and I felt sorry she can't produce her best today."