PHNOM PENH: Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh said Malaysia had made an excellent start in the SEA Games 2023 by winning two golds today, just a day after the games’ official opening ceremony.

Hannah said she was particularly happy with karate exponent S. Prem Kumar’s golden strike in men’s kumite under 55 kilogrammes (kg) as he had not been expected to win. C. Shahmalarani won Malaysia’s first gold in women’s kumite under 50 kg.

“Congratulations to the athletes and SEA Games 2023 chef de mission Datuk Mohd Nasir Ali. I hope the athletes will continue to work hard and Malaysians will continue to support and pray for our athletes in Cambodia,” she told reporters after watching the karate events at the Chroy Changvar Convention Centre here.

Meanwhile, Mohd Nasir is relieved with the two-gold haul as it made amends for missing out on the jujitsu gold today.

He is confident that the national karate squad can keep up the momentum to hit the three-gold target set by the Malaysian Karate Federation (MAKAF).

Adam Akasyah, a gold prospect in men’s jujitsu NE-Waza-Gi under 69 kg, could only grab bronze by defeating the Philippines’ Michael Bryan Tiu 4-2 in the bronze medal match. - Bernama