NAYPYITAW - A controversial punch to the face ended Singapore's reigning silat world champion Shakir Juanda's challenge at the SEA Games yesterday.
He was already trailing in his semi-final battle against arch-rival Le Si Kien when the Vietnamese threw what the Singapore camp deemed an illegal blow.
Shakir dropped to the mat, his face twisted in pain.
However, the subsequent no-call by the referee consigned Shakir to a fourth straight SEA Games without the elusive gold medal.
The 25-year-old lost 0-5 in the Match Class H semi-finals at the Zayyathiri Indoor Stadium to Kien, whom he had edged out 3-2 in the world championships final in Chiang Rai in Thailand last year.
The result means Shakir had to settle for a bronze - the same result as two years ago in Palembang in Indonesia.
He won a silver in the 2009 edition after coming up empty-handed in 2007.
"Definitely, I'm disappointed," he said. "These things happen and I have to learn to take it in stride."