Malaysian taekwando competitor's gold medal hopes end in defeat

NAYPYITAW - Taekwondo exponent Ryan Chong Wy Lunn's hopes of ending his SEA Games gold medal drought were dashed after he suffered another heartbreaking defeat in the men's below 63kg category final at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium here on Friday.

The 25-year-old Ryan, who has been competing in the SEA Games since 2005 in Manila, was beaten 6-1 by Vietnam's Huynh Chau Le in the final.

The Kuala Lumpur local staged a comeback in the quarter-finals to beat Sonexay Mangkheua 5-4 and the Philippines' Paul Romero 6-4 in the semi-finals but his opponent in the final proved too tough to overcome.

Ryan, who recently graduated with a sports science degree from Universiti Malaya, said he will take a short break before deciding on his future.

Commenting on his defeat, Ryan said his kicks lacked precision and it cost him the gold.

"I'm very disappointed to miss out on the gold medal again after making it to the final," said Ryan, who also won the silver at the 2007 Korat Games.

"I was targeted to win the gold medal this time because I'm the most senior exponent in the team and this is the second time I have had to settle for a silver medal in the SEA Games. It's really frustrating to taste defeat again.

"I did connect with the opponent with my kick but it was not on target and it robbed me of points. I tried to make a comeback in the final round but it was not meant to be."

The other Malaysian in the fray, Rozaimi Rozali, failed to qualify for the men's below 54kg finals after he was edged 4-5 by Thailand's Nutthawee Klompong in the semi-finals.