7 highlights from the 2017 ASEAN Para Games
Records were broken, Team Malaysia scored 90 gold medals and Yuna performed twice
The 9th ASEAN Para Games officially came to a close on Saturday at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil. After a week of competing in 368 sporting events, all paralympians clearly proved that disabilities are not an impediment.
From incredible athletic feats to Yuna's captivating performances, here are some of Malaysia's best moments at this year's ASEAN Para Games.
Swimmer Carmen Lim's gold medal
On Day 4 of the ASEAN Para Games swimming events, 17-year-old Carmen Lim proved to be the real MVP when she took home the only gold medal of the day. Carmen, who was born without a left arm, came out on top in the women's 50m Freestyle S8 event, setting a new Games record with a time of 36.48s.
Team Malaysia dominated the new para cycling category
Para cycling made its debut at the ASEAN Para Games and our cyclists commanded the track, bagging a whopping 22 golds overall across various events.
Table tennis paralympian Chung Sow Fun proved age is just a number
At the age of 58, Chung Sow Fun was the oldest player in the Para Games' national table tennis team. Yet, she showed her prowess when she scored a bronze medal in the women's single table tennis event. The best part: Sow Fun already has her sights set on the next Para Games.
"If I am selected, why not? I will continue representing the country for as long as I am capable," she said.
Team Malaysia's goalball victory
In a rather dramatic finish, the Malaysian men's goalball team picked up the final gold medal for our country with their momentous win. After a 12-year gold drought, our boys managed to beat five-time ASEAN Para Games goalball champions, Team Thailand. (FYI, goalball is a sport designed for blind athletes.)
66 new records were set
While the Indonesian contingent led the pack with the most records broken, Team Malaysia still did us proud. Seven Malaysian swimmers clocked new times including James Wong Tien Yu, who broke a 12-year-old record and brought home a gold in the men's 100m butterfly S8 event.
Malaysia's noteworthy medal tally
Overall, Malaysia placed second in the gold medal tally with 90 golds, behind Indonesia's 126. Although we didn't reach our targeted goal of 103 golds, Team Malaysia still did fantastically and received high praise from National Sports Council Director-General, Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail.
"It was a great improvement as compared to our third-placing at the 2015 Singapore Para Games (52 golds). Our athletes performed better than Thailand and we're certainly proud of them," he said.
Yuna's spectacular opening and closing ceremonies
Malaysian star Yuna had the honour of opening and closing the 2017 ASEAN Para Games. While she only sang one song during the opening ceremony, for the closing, Yuna had her 'Beyoncé' moment, performing six of her hit songs – Falling, Best Love, Lights & Camera, Terukir di Bintang, Crush and Rescue. She also wore another sparkly Hatta Dolmat creation, this time, in bedazzling red.
Watch the entire performance yourself in the video below (her set starts at 1:04).
Well done, Team Malaysia!