BODYBUILDER Syarul Azman Mahen Abdullah can finally afford to smile after winning a gold medal yesterday in his Sea Games debut.
The 49-year-old flexed his muscles to perfection for the men’s athletic physique open gold medal at the Hanoi Sports Training and Competition Centre.
Syarul, a four-time world champion, finished ahead of Vietnam’s silver medallist Tien Nguyen Minh and Thailand’s bronze medallist Pong Pala.
Syarul’s journey to the Games was not as straightforward as he had tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival.
And after a few days of suspense, he tested negative and was cleared to compete in the event.
“I had faced plenty of problems and challenges from the moment I landed here on May 11,” said Syarul.
“I am, however, grateful that I have won the title.
“I have never been to the Sea Games before, and it is something that I always wanted to do.
“It is great to win a title in my first attempt.”
Malvern Abdullah-Shelen Aderina Kok also did the nation proud yesterday as they bagged the bronze in the mixed pair open category.
Vietnam’s Thoa Bui Thi-Duy Thuan Tran Hoang took gold, while Thailand’s Siriporn Sornchuay-Wanchai Kanjanapimine came in second.