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Jakarta Post

Asian Games: Malaysia wins first sepak takraw gold in 24 years

Asian Games: Malaysia wins first sepak takraw gold in 24 years Indonesia's Saiful Rijal (L) jumps for the ball during the sepak takraw men's team regu semifinals match during the 2018 Asian Games in Palembang on August 21, 2018. (JP/Jerry Adiguna )
Nurni Sulaiman
Palembang, South Sumatra   ●   Tue, August 28, 2018 2018-08-28 18:28 992 882ab4bc56dbda08a069b3087702e5bc 2 Sports #2018AsianGames,#AsianGames2018,#sepaktakraw,#Malaysia,#Indonesia,#medals,Asian-Games-2018,sepak-takraw,finals,Malaysia,Indonesia Free

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.