MANILA: Malaysian fencer Joshua Koh I-Jie struck silver at the 30th SEA Games here today to complete his medal collection of all three colours in the men’s epee event.
Joshua came up short against favourite Nguyen Tien Nhat of Vietnam, losing 5-15 in the final at the World Trade Center.
The world number 167 could not match the sharpness of Tien Nhat, the world number 63 and Vietnam’s flag-bearer at the 2012 London Olympics.
Joshua, 28, had eased past Lee Eigran Ergina of the Philippines 15-5 in the quarter-finals but faced stronger resistance from Vietnam’s Nguyen Phuoc Den in the semi-finals before winning 15-10.
Joshua had won gold at the 2011 Indonesia SEA Games and bronze at the 2017 KL Games.
“I did not do well as my opponent was very good; he read my game too well and I could not change or adapt in time. I gave what I could but unfortunately not good enough,” he said after the medal presentation ceremony.
He now has a bigger mission to think of -- the Zonal Olympic qualifications in South Korea in April next year.
“To compete at the qualifiers, I need a good preparation and overseas training stints, which require financial support and sponsorship. I need to sit down and discuss with my coaches,” he said.
Joshua won the team event bronze in his SEA Games debut at 2007 Korat, before claiming the individual gold and team bronze at the 2011 Games.
He failed to win any medal in 2015 while fencing was not contested at the 2009 Laos and 2013 Myanmar editions.
In his two Asian Games outings, Joshua only managed to progress till the Round of 32 at the 2010 edition and Round of 16 last year. -- Bernama