A day to forget for Malaysia

It was a day where everything went wrong for Malaysia in the men's 100m at the Sea Games in Hanoi.

Malaysia had one sprinter disqualified and another running like a lame horse in the final at My Dinh National Stadium.

Azeem Fahmi, 18, dubbed as the Usain Bolt of Malaysia, didn't even make it to the final after he was disqualified in the heats for a false start.

Compatriot Arsyad Md Saat did reach the final, but could only finish sixth after sustaining a hamstring injury in the semi-finals. He struggled across the finish line in 10.69s.

Thailand teen Puripol Boonson took the century sprint gold in a time of 10.44s with his teammate Soraoat Dapbang (10.56) claiming the silver. Singapore's Marc Brian Louis clocked 10.56 for the bronze.

National coach Manshahar Jalil said Azeem had committed a false start and did not protest his disqualification.

"We reviewed the video and found that Azeem did indeed commit a false start. His foot came off the block slightly early. His reaction time was 0.058s (early)," said Manshahar.

"Azeem also viewed the video together with us (coaches) and I think this will be a learning experience for him."

Filipina Kayla Richardson won the women's 100m gold with a time of 11.60s. Singapore's Veronica Shanti Pereira (11.62) and Thailand's Supanich Poolkerd finished second and third respectively.

Malaysia's Azreen Nabila Alias (11.99) and Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli (12.11) came in seventh and eighth.

Three-time Sea Games gold medallist Nauraj Singh Randhawa could only finish second in the men's high jump. He cleared 2.18m and it was not enough against Thailand's Kobsit Sittichai who took the gold on 2.21m.

Thailand's Tawan Kaeodam claimed the bronze (2.18m). Malaysia's Eizlan Dahlan (2.18m) was fourth.

It was the first time Malaysia failed to win the Sea Games high jump gold since 2005.

Nauraj, who was the favourite to win the event, accepted the defeat graciously. "Losing at a stage like this (Sea Games) doesn't happen often to me and it is a hard pill to swallow," said Nauraj.

"But at the end of the day it is something that I accept and I applaud my opponent because we both did our best.

"Second place is not something I look down on. It is still an achievement, it is part of my journey - a journey of 10 years since Myanmar (2013).

"There are definitely a lot of contributing factors but I am not standing here trying to make excuses, I accept defeat."

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