Paddlers earn S'pore's first SEA Games golds

Paddlers earn S'pore's first SEA Games golds
Singapore's (L-R) Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu looks on as compatriot Lin Ye and Zhou Yihan steps on the podium to receive their gold medal for Table Tennis Women's Doubles final of the 28th Sea Games, on Tue 2 June, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Team Singapore's quest for their best showing of more than 50 gold medals at the SEA Games began yesterday, when the table tennis players won two golds, a silver and a bronze.

The paddlers earned the first gold medals of the Games' 28th edition - three days before the official opening ceremony - with Zhou Yihan and Lin Ye winning the women's doubles event.

Gao Ning and Li Hu then claimed the men's doubles title.

The women's doubles gold had been assured yesterday afternoon, when the two Singapore pairs won their semi-final matches.

In the evening final, Zhou and Lin outplayed their more illustrious teammates Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu 7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10, 3-11, 10-12, 11-7.

Gao and Li beat Thailand's Padasak Tanviriyavechakul and Chanakarn Udomsilp 11-8, 11-8, 12-10, 11-4 in the men's doubles final. Chen Feng and Clarence Chew settled for bronze after their defeat by the Thais in the semi-finals.

It is not uncommon for events to start before the Games' opening ceremony. The SEA Games Federation charter requires victory ceremonies to be held, if possible, immediately after an event has taken place.

Said Zhou: "Playing the first medal event of the SEA Games, we were definitely very nervous... this was a hard-earned win."

This article was first published on June 3, 2015.
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