HANOI, May 19 — After his disappointing performance in the Philippines in 2019, national shooter Johnathan Wong returned to the SEA Games stage with a vengeance to wrest the gold medal in the final of the men’s 10-metre air pistol event here today.
Competing at the National Sports Training Centre, a calm and focused Jonathan, who won gold in the event in the 2017 edition in Kuala Lumpur, weathered the pressure of having to deal with the home crowd’s boisterous support to win the gold with an overall score of 238.6 points.
Everything seemed to go right for the 29-year-old today as his sharpshooting could not be matched by closest rivals, Vietnam’s Cuong Tran Quoc who took the silver with 236.6 points, and Muhammad Iqbal Raia Prabowo of Indonesia who settled for the bronze after scoring 214.2 points.
With his victory, Johnathan has buried the ghost of 2019, when he failed to defend his gold after only managing a fourth-place finish.
The gold is the first for the Malaysian shooting squad in Hanoi.
“On my performance today, I had good vibes when I secured an early lead right from the start, and at the same time, it piled the pressure on my rivals as they had to chase my lead.
“That gave me the advantage and I am just grateful I was able to deliver my best,” he told reporters here.
Johnathan admitted to having the jitters at the start of the event on the back of a discouraging performance in the 50-metre pistol event on Tuesday.
“I was jittery at the start but I recalled what my coach said. He told me to just get on with it and do my best. As the competition went on, I started to have good vibes,” he said.
Earlier, two other national shooters, Abdul Hadi Abdul Malek and Wan Muhammad Syafiq Wan Mustaza failed to advance from the qualification round.