PALEMBANG - Under immense pressure to deliver a shooting gold, Jasmine Ser was not her usual cheerful self after she clinched only a silver in the 10m air-rifle event yesterday.
Agitated and upset, she choked back tears several times while speaking to the media, as she tried to explain how she came up short of gold by a mere 1.1 points below Malaysia Nur Suryani.
"I was distracted by a photographer's camera clicks during the qualifying round," she said, after coming in third-highest in the qualifying round.
"I'm not using that as an excuse. It's just disappointing to be unable to win a gold for Singapore." Ser's compatriot, Li Yafei, also broke down after finishing fourth in the same event. Li had qualified for the final in second place, but fared poorly and was denied a medal by only 0.2 point.
Going into today's final day of competition, the Singapore shooting contingent has underachieved, with just one gold medal won, despite the reigning Sportsman (Gai Bin) and Sportswoman (Ser) of the Year being on the team. Both have not won a single gold medal yet.
The swimming contingent, on the other hand, has been reaping golden success daily. Yesterday saw the swimmers winning three golds to take their gold tally up to 13, with two more days of competition to go.
The performance of the day belonged to Joseph Schooling, who won the men's 200m butterfly in a SEA Games record of 1min 56.67sec. He was the only swimmer in the final field to clock under two minutes.
His mark also qualifies him for next year's London Olympics, beating the Olympic "A" qualifying time of 1:56.86.
Amanda Lim also set a new Games record in the women's 50m freestyle, in which she clocked 25.77sec. She then helped the women's 4x100m freestyle team (Lim, Tao Li, Mylene Ong, Koh Hui Yu) win gold in 3:48.38.
In Jakarta, the women bowlers began their hunt for gold in superb style, with Cherie Tan clinching the singles gold with 1,286 pinfalls.
Jazreel Tan won bronze with 1,283 pinfalls, and Singapore managed to have five bowlers (Cherie Tan, Jazreel Tan, Jasmine Yeong-Nathan, Shayna Ng and New Hui Fen) in the top six.
Late last night, the paddlers also came in with a gold in the women's doubles (Feng Tianwei/Sun Beibei).
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