HANGZHOU: A historic gold by seasoned campaigner Mohd Qabil Ambak Mahamad Fathil from the individual Dressage event, with his favourite horse Rosenstolz, lighted up the Malaysian camp on the fifth day of competitions at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, here today.

Qabil, 43, who made his debut at the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand, finally clinched his first gold medal of his Asian Games campaign and the success was also the first for the sport of equestrian in the Dressage event.

In today’s routine, the performance of Qabil astride Rosenstolz, saw the judges award 75.780 points at the Tonglu Equestrain Centre which completed his collection of medals in the Asian Games (Gold, Silver, Bronze).

At the 2028 Asian Games hosted by Indonesia in Jakarta-Palembang, Qabil won a silver while his collection of two bronze medals were from the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou and 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar.

In track cycling, National rider Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom, shouldering the responsibility of winning medals in the absence of the injured National track cycling ace Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang, lived up to the expectation by winning a bronze in the men’s sprint after beating Chenxi Xeu from the host nation 2-0.

The 27-year-old rider had a glimpse of the gold medal that was won by Mohd Azizulhasni, when he rode a fantastic race to beat Japan’s Shinji Nakano in the quarterfinals.

However, his win in the semifinals was annulled when he was adjudged to have crossed into the lane of his opponent and Japan’s Kaiya Ota went on to clinch the gold after beating a Chinese rider in the final.

Hopes remain high at the squash courts as the men’s and women’s teams march into the semmifinals after leaders of their respective groups and face India and South Korea tomorrow.

The men’s hockey team also kept their momentum going by crushing Indonesia 9-2 in a Group B match, after having whipped Thailand 9-0 and Oman 11-1.

However, the men’s badminton squad were shown the exit in the first round by South Korea, thus missing any chance of a medal from the team event.

Hopes will now hinge on the individual events, both in the men’s singles and doubles, which start on Monday.

Malaysia are 14th on the medal tally with two golds, two silvers and five bronzes as of tonight, while China continue to dominate with a tally of 90-51-26, including 14 golds won today alone.

The national contingent will have the opportunity to increase the medal haul tomorrow through sepak takraw, when it competes against defending champions Thailand in the team event, while track cyclist Muhammad Shah Firdaus competes in the men’s keirin event.

All eyes will also be on the Hangzhou Olympic Games Central Stadium, as sprint champions Muhammad Azeem Mohd Fahmi and Umar Osman compete in the first round of the men’s 100m and 400m events respectively.-Bernama

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