HANGZHOU: National track queen Shereen Samson Vallabouy ended Malaysia’s 17-year medal drought in Asian Games athletics when she clinched bronze in the 400m final tonight.
The 25-year-old could not match the two Bahraini runners who made it a 1-2 finish, but a lung-busting final 200m sprint saw her cross the finish line third in 52.58s – slightly slower than her national mark of 51.80s – at the Hangzhou Olympic Stadium.
Bahrain’s Adekoya Oluwakemi Mujidat clocked 50.66s to take gold while compatriot Salwa Eid Naser settled for silver with a time of 50.92s.
US-based Shereen advanced to the final after winning Heat 3 in the first round in 52.89s.
Malaysia last won medals at the Asian Games at the 2006 edition in Doha, Qatar, through pole vaulter Roslinda Samsu (silver) and 400m hurdler Noraseela Khalid (bronze).
Rabuan Pit was the last Malaysian athletics gold medallist in the Asian Games when he won the men’s 100m final at the 1982 edition in New Delhi, India.