Heroic Faizal wins Malaysia's last gold medal

Heroic Faizal wins Malaysia's last gold medal

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar: It was the last match of the day in muay. It was against Myanmar's local hero. And there were thousands of volatile and intimidating home fans.

But Malaysia's Mohd Faizal Ramli rose above it all when he fought bravely to silence the home crowd with a sensational 3-0 win over Aung Myint Win in the 75kg bout at the Wunna Theikdi Sports Complex on Saturday.

It was Malaysia's second gold medal in muay after Mohd Lokman Akimi Mat Raji had beaten Nguyen Ngo Trieu Nhat of Vietnam 3-0.

This is the first time that Malaysia are taking part in muay competition in the Games.

Even the 24-year-old Faizal could not believe that he had pulled off the unthinkable by winning Malaysia's last gold of the Games - the 43rd.

"Honestly, I did not doubt my capability but the thought of being a victim of biased judging did cross my mind ... after all, I was fighting against a Myanmar exponent in the last match and they had just won three gold medals," he said.

"But I fought my heart out today and scored good marks with accurate punches and kicks."

He admitted that the crowd was rather intimidating.

"I couldn't even hear the cheering and words of encouragement from my coach and team-mates. The fans were really loud and kept chanting 'Myanmar, Myanmar'.

"I blocked out all the distractions and kept my spirits high. I remembered all the hard work and training I had put in and just kept throwing punches and striking him with my knees and elbows.

"Right now, I am just so happy to have kept the Jalur Gemilang flying high for muay," said the full-time trainee, who thanked all the coaching and team staff for their support before being whisked off for a random dope test.

Team manager Saifulnizam Mohd Shahar said that the double gold medal success has given Malaysian muay a huge lift and that they will appeal for it to be included in the next SEA Games in Singapore.

Besides the two gold medals, muay also won three bronze medals through Mohd Sukri Hassan (48kg), Ain Kamaruddin (57kg) and Mohd Rafi Abdul Manaf (60kg).

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