Home favourite Welson Sim defended his men’s 400 metres freestyle title in a Games record time as the first swimming medals were awarded at the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur today.
The 20-year-old clocked a winning time of 3min 50.26sec at the National Aquatic Center, beating the previous best mark of 3:53.97 which he set himself in claiming the gold medal at the 2015 edition of the Games in Singapore.
Aflah Fadlan Prawira of Indonesia came in second in 3:54.15 and Nguyen Huu Kim Son of Vietnam took bronze in 3:54.20.
Another swimmer in Games record-breaking form today was Olympic champion Joseph Schooling of Singapore, who retained his men’s 50m butterfly crown in a time of 23.06sec.
It bettered the time of 23.49 he set on his way to home victory at Singapore 2015.
Schooling was joined on the podium by Indonesia’s Triady Fauzi Sidiq, who bagged the silver medal in 24.01, and Vietnam's Paul Le Nguyen, the third-place finisher in 24.37.
Indonesia’s Gede Siman Sudartawa also set a Games record in the men's 50m backstroke with a time of 25.20, slicing 0.07 seconds off the winning time posted by Singapore’s Quah Zheng Wen in 2015.
Quah took the silver medal on this occasion in 25.39 and Le Nguyen took home his second bronze of the night in 25.82.
Additionally, Singapore’s women’s 4x100m freestyle relay quartet of Ting Wen Quah, Amanda Lim Xiang Qi, Natasha Ong Min Ern and Quah Jing Wen re-wrote the Games record with a time of 3:44.38.
The old mark of 3:45.73 was set by the same nation in 2009 in Laos’ capital Vientiane.
Thailand were the silver medallists in 3:46.46, while Indonesia came away with bronze in 3:50.56.
Quah also tasted success today in the women’s 200m butterfly, clocking a time of 2:12.03 to hold off Vietnam’s Thi My Thao Le, the runner-up in 2:14.52, and Thailand’s Patarawee Kittiya, the bronze medallist in 2:15.05.
Vietnam’s Thi Anh Vien Nguyen won today’s one other swimming event, the women’s 100m backstroke, in 1:01.89.
Indonesia’s Nurul Fajar Fitriyati was her closest challenger in 1:04.10, followed by Thailand’s Phiangkhwan Pawapotako in 1:04.59.
Malaysia continue to lead the medal standings with 24 golds, 19 silvers and 15 bronzes.
The host nation also claimed victories today in the men’s and women’s recurve archery team events at the National Sports Complex Synthetic Turf Field.
The trio of Haziq Kamaruddin, Khairul Anuar Mohamad and Muhammad Akmal Nor Hasrin retained the men’s gold medal Malaysia won at Singapore 2015.
Thailand's Denchai Thepna, Natthapoom Phusawat and Witthaya Thamwong had to settle for the silver medal.
The bronze medal went to the Philippines’ Florente Matan, Luis Gabriel Moreno and Mark Javier.
Earlier, the Malaysian women’s recurve team had delivered the gold medal with Nur Afisa Abdul Halil, Nur Aliya Ghapar and Nuramalia Haneesha Mazlan putting up a fine display to overcome Indonesia’s Diananda Choirunisa, Linda Lestari and Titik Kusumawardani.
The Philippines’ Kareel Meer Hongitan, Mary Queen Ybañez and Nicole Marie Tagle were the bronze medallists.
Malaysia’s men’s doubles 10-pin bowling team also contributed a gold medal with Syafiq Ridhwan and Alex Liew amassing an unrivalled score of 2,647 points at Sunway Pyramid Mega Lanes.
Compatriots Muhammad Rafiq Ismail and Adrian Ang took the silver medal with 2,630 pin falls, while Indonesia's Billy Muhammad Islam and Hardy Rachmadian won the bronze with 2,615.
Mohamed Harrif Salleh delivered his promise to retain the men's criterium cycling gold medal with a victory at in Putrajaya.
The 28-year-old clinched the title ahead of Thailand's Thanawut Sanikwathi thanks to the support from brother Mohamed Zamri Salleh, who settled for the bronze medal.
Benjamin Khor delivered a gold medal for the home country in men’s double trap event at the National Shooting Range Centre.
Khor shot 71 out of 80 clay birds, while 15-year-old compatriot Abraham Eng Wei Jin, making his Games debut, scored 66 points for the silver medal.
Thailand's Sirawit Temmart grabbed the bronze with 44 targets.
Malaysia also won the women’s artistic gymnastics team event with a score of 200.950 points at the MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre.
Their six-strong side was made up of Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, Lavinia Michelle, Nur Azira Aziri, Nur Eliellina Azmi, Tan Ing Yueh and Tracie Ang.
Singapore won the silver medal with a score of 190.050 points and Indonesia took the bronze with 186.850.
Wushu, meanwhile, provided Malaysia’s first gold medal of the day courtesy of Yeap Wai Kin's performance in the men's qiangshu event at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
Yeap, winner of yesterday’s men’s jianshu event, accumulated 9.68 points to upset team-mate Wong Weng Son - the 2016 Asian Championships and World Cup gold medallist.
Wong garnered 9.65 points, while Indonesia's Muhammad Daffa Golden Boy claimed the bronze medal with 9.63.
Action in the Malaysian capital is due to continue tomorrow.