SEA Games: Flawless Chew loses gold by 0.79sec

SEA Games: Flawless Chew loses gold by 0.79sec
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The time to beat was displayed clearly on the electronic board as Singaporean equestrienne Catherine Chew prepared for her turn in the individual jumping final. A perfect round under 35.9 seconds and the gold medal would be hers.

She and her horse, Coquira, breezed through a flawless round as a small section of the crowd at the Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre cheered wildly.

 

The jubilant fans turned out to be a group of Malaysians, who danced in delight as Sharmini Ratnasingham won the gold through a faster time - less than a second separated the Malaysian rider (35.9) from Chew (36.69).

Losing the gold by a hair's breadth was a bitter blow for Chew. She was still in disbelief after the medal ceremony, saying: "I went fast but she (Sharmini) went faster. I thought I had won to be honest.

"(But), all in all, I thought it was a very good competition.

"The support from the home crowd has been amazing, they have all been really enthusiastic."

Ratnasingham was in tears after her win. She said: "I never imagined that this would happen. I really had to work for the win and it's been a great show here."

While Chew was crestfallen over the narrow defeat, the 26-year-old will take heart from the fact that she improved on her showing from the last Games in Myanmar where she finished fourth.

She was also part of the Singapore team who won the team gold on Monday.

And, after her second place yesterday on the final day of the competition, it brought Singapore's equestrian haul at these Games to one gold and three silvers.

Dr Melanie Chew, president of the Equestrian Federation of Singapore, was pleased with her athletes' efforts and is already targeting further success in 2017, at the next Games in Malaysia.

She said: "I am very happy with how we have performed, the team has done very well.

"At the end of the day, in those events that we got a silver, the winner's experience gave them the victory.

"We are improving and, at the next Games, I am expecting a gold-medal harvest."

drajac@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 11, 2015.
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