SEA Games: From teacher-student to gold-medal partners

SEA Games: From teacher-student to gold-medal partners
GOLDEN SMILES: The women’s K4 crew, from left, Geraldine Lee, Soh Sze Ying, Sarah Chen and Annabelle Ng celebrate their win at Marina Channel.

Four years ago, Annabelle Ng was a Physical Education (PE) teacher and Soh Sze Ying was her student.

Four years later, the two national kayakers shared the same podium at the Marina Channel at Marina Barrage yesterday.

Alongside teammates Geraldine Lee and Sarah Chen, they won SEA Games gold yesterday after storming across the finishing line in 1min 39.506sec in the women's K4 500m race. It was a dream debut for Soh.

"The last 100 metres was crazy," the 21-year-old said, after the race. "We called for gold...

"But we knew it was very hard, so all of us were just trying finish the race as quick as possible."

Second-placed Thailand were 2.080 seconds behind, with the Vietnamese third.

"I feel very fortunate (to win the gold) and to be able to paddle with three of my other teammates who are so experienced," Soh said.

With a laugh, she added: "I feel like I'm riding on them sometimes."

Soh's former teacher-turned-teammate Ng was delighted to have nabbed the gold with her. The 32-year-old taught Soh at Serangoon Junior College.

Ng, who is still a teacher there, said: "It was very satisfying to be able to do (win the gold medal) together with a (former) student."

Chen's elder sister Stephenie took home the gold for the K1 event as well as the K2 with her partner Suzanne Seah - bringing Singapore's overall canoeing medal tally to five golds. This surpasses their 2011 haul of two gold, five silver and three bronze medals from Indonesia.

Ng also dedicated the win to the victims of the earthquake in Sabah.

"We want to give a shout out to the families and those involved, the schools, my fellow colleagues, and of course the students," she said.

"We are all in this together with you and we really want to do this for you."

This article was first published on June 09, 2015.
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