Malaysian karate exponent R. Sharmendran successfully defended his men's kumite below-75kg gold medal at the SEA Games once again as he emerged victorious in Vietnam on Thursday.

The 30-year-old, who won the category in 2017 and 2019, defeated Indonesia's Joshua Ignatius Kandou in the final to be crowned champion again.

In doing so, he matched the achievement of former national karate fighter R. Puvaneswaran, who was undefeated in three straight SEA Games editions from 2005 to 2009.

It was also Malaysia's third gold medal in karate in this edition after C. Shahmalarani and H. Sureeya Sankar won their respective events of women's kumite below-50kg and men's kumite below-67kg.

Prem Kumar Selvam (men's kumite below-60kg) and Amirah Syahirah Azlan (women's kumite below-68kg) also contributed two bronze medals to the country's medal count.