KUALA LUMPUR: His national teammates were not as fortunate but Chew Wei Yan did well to end the year and his competitive career on a high after clinching bronze at the World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships in Taiwan today.
Competing in the men’s individual (recognised) category, Wei Yan received a bye for the opening round.
He next defeated Peru’s Palomino Del Castillo in the round-of-32 followed by Brazilian Alex Arruda in the round-of-16.
He then downed Vietnam’s Ho Thanh Phong in the quarter-finals before being edged by Taiwan’s Ma Yun-Zhong in the semi-finals with the latter winning with 7.53 to Wei Yan’s 7.48 points.
South Korea’s Lee Jaewon went on to defeat Yun-Zhong to win the gold while Wei Yan and Thailand’s Pongporn Suvittayarak settled for joint bronze on Friday.
Earlier in the competition, Yap Khim Wen-Yong Jin Kun missed the cut for the final round of the mixed pair category and ended the tournament in 13th place overall.
Khim Wen then lost in the round-of-16 in the women’s individual event yesterday.
National poomsae head coach Yap Yih Tiing said he was pleased with his charges’ performances overall.
“We had expected to win medals here as our athletes are all capable of competing at a high level,” said Yih Tiing when contacted yesterday.
“We were just a bit unlucky with the draw as Khim Wen had to face one of the tough South Korean exponents early in the individual competition.
“Wei Yan was also a bit unlucky to lose out in his semi-final where he lost on 0.05 points difference.
“This is our last tournament this year and we will look forward to preparing for the Philippines Sea Games next year.”
Khim Wen delivered Malaysia’s only medal in the taekwondo competition at the Indonesia Asian Games earlier this year after finishing third in the women’s individual category.
National poomsae exponents delivered two gold and two silver at the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games last year.
Yih Tiing added that Wei Yan’s retirement is a great loss to the sport in Malaysia.
The 26-year-old cited physical factor as among the reasons he has decided to call time on his competitive career but is hoping to move into coaching.
“Actually he wanted to retire after the Sea Games last year but I spoke to him a few times and he stayed on until now.
“It is a loss for us, he has been an asset to the national team,” added Yih Tiing.
Wei Yan had won gold in the men’s individual category at the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games last year.