Weightlifter Aznil finally wins a SEA Games medal
Published on: Tuesday, December 03, 2019
By: Bernama
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Muhammad Aznil Bidin in action during the final of the men’s 61kg.
MANILA: After a six-year wait, national weightlifter Muhamad Aznil Bidin has finally laid his hands on a medal at the SEA Games.

The 25-year-old athlete from Kedah won the bronze in men’s 61kg category with a total lift of 283kg at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium here, Monday.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games champion was slow to warm up, failing in his first attempt in snatch at 123kg but succeeded at the same weight in his second try before going on to lift 126kg on his third attempt.

In the clean and jerk, he cleared 157kg on his first attempt but failed at 161kg in his next two tries.

He was competing against world-class opponents as the gold went to Rio 2016 Olympics silver medallist  Eko Yuli Irawan of Indonesia and the silver to 2017 world champion Thach Kim Tuan of Vietnam.

Eko lifted a combined 309kg (140kg + 169kg) while the Vietnamese recorded 304kg (135kg + 169kg). 

Muhamad Aznil hoped the bronze medal would motivate him to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“Alhamdulillah, I finally won a medal after waiting for so long. I will now try to qualify for Tokyo in the remaining two tournaments I will be competing in after this.

“I need to finish among the top five in both the Asian-level championships in February and April. I will do my best,” he said after receiving his medal.

Muhamad Aznil finished fourth in the 2013 Games in Nay Pyi Taw (56kg) and in 2017 in Kuala Lumpur (62kg). Weightlifting was not contested in the 2015 Games in Singapore. 

Meanwhile, the new jacket received by national shooter, Muhd Ezuan Nasir Khan had clearly helped him to reap a better score at the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines, Monday.

The Royal Malaysian Navy personnel said the RM10,000 jacket sponsored by Koperasi Tanjung Keramat helped him to improve his points in the men’s 10m Air Rifle event at the 30th edition of the biennial festival compared to the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

Thai shooter, Napis Tortungpanich who was supreme in the qualifying round, succeeded in hitting the gold medal in the event with 250.6 points followed by Indonesian shooter Fathur Gustafian (248.4 points) while the silver medal winner in the 2017 edition, Mohamad Irwan Abdul Rahman of Singapore, had to be content with the bronze medal with 225.9 points at the action at the Marine Corps Training Centre, here.

Another national representative, Mohamad Lutfi Othman emerged in 12th place out of 14 participants with 601.4 points in the qualifying round which took place in the morning. Only eight best participants qualified to the final of the event.

“Although, I did not reap a podium finish, overall, I am satisfied with the result today because my qualifying round result, namely, 622.1 is my best personal record this season,” he said.

Prior to this, Muhd Ezuan occupied the third spot out of 14 participants in the qualifying round of the event.

In the meantime, the Kuala Lumpur native did not set any target in the mixed 10m Air Rifle event which would be held on Thursday.

Muhd Ezuan, who is more popularly known as ‘Tulang’ among team mates, explained that chief coach, Park Sang Soon of South Korea had yet to decide whether he would be pairing up with national Olympian, Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi or Shaheera Rahim Raja in the mixed 10m Air Rifle event.

“It’s okay if I partner Nor Suriani or Shaheera because my focus is to improve my points. Winning a medal will be a bonus to me.

“I did take part in the event with Shaheera and won a silver medal in the South East Asia Shooting Championship in Jakarta in August, but for several national championships, I partnered Nur Suryani,” said Muhd Ezuan who won a gold medal through the 50m Rifle event at the 2017 edition.

For the record, the 2019 SEA Games was his fifth appearance since the 2011 edition in Palembang, Indonesia. – Bernama 


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