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Wong dazzles with wall clock precision

KUALA LUMPUR – Hours before her final event, Agatha Wong sat in one corner, oblivious of the things around her. Her coach, Samson Co, paced the floor at the lobby of the Sunway Putra Hotel. The bus was late again.

What’s going on inside the mind of the 19-year-old wushu star, nobody knows.

But on one fine Tuesday afternoon, Agatha captured the hearts of a grateful nation by winning the gold medal in the women’s taijiquan of the 29th Southeast Asian Games.

Showing good balance, flexibility and strength, Agatha swept through her movements seamlessly, like a wall clock, her concentration impeccable.

Agatha concedes that many perceive her to be aloof, short of being snobbish.

“Pero I’m talkative with friends,” said Agatha who is two semesters short of completing a degree in consular and diplomatic affairs at College of St. Benilde.

Agatha was taken in 2012 following a surprise win over an experienced rival in the nationals.

Before that, Agatha said she could not make up her mind whether to pursue swimming, karate, ballet or piano lessons.

She chose wushu and swimming.

“In fact, nakasabay ko pa si Roxanne Yu sa swimming,” Agatha said, referring to Yu who won the country’s first medal – a bronze – in swimming Tuesday evening.

It went on for some time until Agatha was made to choose between the two.

“I went with wushu,” she said.

Why?

“I finally got bored with swimming. Sa wushu, at least, may variety,” Agatha said.

Watching her perform, one gets the impression that it’s easy.

But it takes years to practice it, much more master it.

In the case of Agatha, that’s six hours daily except Sunday.

Agatha was the only wushu athlete to win a medal, two to be exact. She also had silver in the women’s taijijian, an event that uses sword.

She was the first female athlete to win in taolu since 2005 when Vicky Ting and Aida Yang won the women’s jianshu and women’s daoshu, respectively.

Malaysia topped wushu by winning 6 of 17 gold medals at stake.

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