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Malaysia's silat champ Siti has special ties with Singapore

The moment the gong signalling the end of her match sounded, Malaysian silat exponent Siti Rahmah Nasir collapsed to her knees and kissed the ground.

She had just won her tanding (match) Class D (60 to 65kg) final, beating Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Yen 5-0.

After a few moments, the 27-year-old composed herself, and said a little prayer before getting up to her feet and leaping in the air, clutching the Malaysian flag in her hand.

The victory - her first SEA Games triumph in three attempts - was especially sweet for Siti, who has special ties with Singapore.

Her father is the late former football star Nasir Jalil, who was a member of the Singapore team in the "golden era" of the 1970s.

Nasir died aged 55 on June 8, 2011 in Terengganu, where he resided since 1981, after a seven-year battle against brain tumour.

Siti appeared to have more than her fair share of supporters at Expo Hall Two yesterday.

"Yes, it's special for me to win a gold medal in Singapore," said a beaming Siti, who beat Singaporean Nurul Suhaila, 17, in the semi-finals on Saturday. "My family and I come to Singapore almost every year for Hari Raya because most of our relatives are here.

"Winning here reminds me of my father, and I'm sure he's proud of my achievement."

Nasir shot to stardom when he scored the equaliser for Singapore against Penang in the 1977 Malaysia Cup final, helping the Lions to eventually win the match 3-2.

Nicknamed "Crazy Horse" for his boundless energy, he went on to play for Terengganu from 1981 until his retirement in 1988, when he decided to stay there and become a religious teacher. He also became a Malaysian citizen.

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