Malaysia ended a 24-year gold medal drought in sepak takraw at the Asian Games after coming from behind to beat Indonesia in the sport’s men’s regu final at Ranau Hall, Jakabaring Sports City, Palembang, South Sumatra, on Tuesday.
Malaysia defeated Indonesia 18-21, 22-20, 21-11, denying the host team its dream of winning its maiden gold in the event. Indonesia had to settle for the silver, while Singapore and South Korea each received a bronze.
After winning in the first set, Indonesia was on the cusp of winning the match after taking a 19-15 lead in the second set, but Malaysia leveled the score at 19-19 before taking the set and the third to win gold. In a tactic that paid dividends, Malaysia coach Ahmad Abdul Talib made changes to his lineup in the decisive set.
“I feel relieved now after ending the game with the gold. During the game, I instructed my three players to put pressure on Indonesia and we did it,” Talib told The Jakarta Post after the match.
Indonesia player Novrizal said the national team would now focus on the newly introduced men’s and women’s quadrant events. The national men’s and women’s quadrant teams began their respective campaigns with wins on Tuesday.