HANOI, Vietnam — Defending champion Agatha Wong opted to play it safe in the women’s taijiquan wushu event Saturday in the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the Cau Giay Stadium.
The risk proved to be costly as Wong failed to capture her third SEA Games gold medal, settling for silver behind Indonesian Alisya Mellynar and finishing ahead of third-placer Sydney Sy of Malaysia.
Wong swears the pandemic dealt a heavy blow in her buildup.
“We trained for just two months,” Wong said after earning 9.69.
Mellynar got 9.71 and Sy took 9.68.
Wong said she was “still grateful” for the runner-up finish.
“Whenever I compete, I don’t expect anything but I always do my best,” she said.
Given the short time preparing for this SEA Games, Wong said going bold in her routine wasn’t advisable.
A steady gold producer in the SEA Games, wushu has yet to strike gold and before Wong took the stage, another gold hopeful wound up empty-handed.
Jones Inso had to settle for the bronze in the men’s taijijian which featured eight other entries.
Inso suffered a close defeat for the gold in the men’s taijiquan a day earlier despite a flawless showing.
Lou Sayan failed to medal in the men’s nanquan, finishing eighth in a field of 10.
Wong will get her second and final chance at gold in the women’s taijijian on Sunday while Divine Wally also tries to make it all the way to the top to save wushu’s campaign.
In the 2019 Manila SEA Games, wushu finished with a medal tally of 7-2-2 (gold-silver-bronze).