THE Malaysian Petanque trios team had to endure three hours of “torture” from Thailand before snatching the gold medal on a 13-11 score.
At one time, it looked like Thailand were going to race to the finish line when they took a 9-4 lead, but accurate throws of the silver ball saw Malaysia claw their way back.
In the 2017 Kuala Lumpur Sea Games, the Malaysian petanque squad won two gold in singles and doubles, but they had only aimed for one gold in the Philippines and they nailed it.
Coach Syed Ali Syed Akil said: “We were trailing because the players lacked confidence in themselves but when they got a grip of the game, all the throws became accurate and we managed to beat a very strong Thailand side.”
Syed Ali’s son, Syed Akmal Fiqri, was one of the trios together with Hafizuddin Ahmad Daud and Saiful Bahri.
Father and son had a chat when the match was tied at 11-11.
“Dad told me to just be my normal self and don't worry about the score, and I threw one of my best ever balls to land the elusive gold,” said Syed Akmal.
It was Malaysia's first trios gold medal in petanque.