They were neck and neck, trading the top-two places throughout the hour-long battle.
When the dust finally settled, it was the veteran Singapore trio of Gai Bin, Lim Swee Hon and Poh Lip Meng who outlasted their Vietnamese rivals to claim the men's 50m pistol gold medal at the National Shooting Centre yesterday.
Vietnam's Nguyen Hoang Phuong, Tran Quoc Cuong and Hoang Xuan Vinh, who all have had tasted success at the last two SEA Games, had been on top after the first two details.
But the hosts rallied in the next two details and finally prevailed with a score of 1,632 to Vietnam's 1,626. Myanmar won the bronze with 1,615.
When the official results were announced, the Singapore shooters pumped their fists and were all smiles when speaking to The New Paper.
Poh said: "Wah, it was exciting because we knew that Vietnam were right behind us and we were the last two countries to finish.
"It's definitely a surprise for us, because we know how tough they (Vietnam) are. We're so proud to be able to contribute to Singapore's gold medal count."
It was a bittersweet day at the office for the local shooters though, as all three of them failed to medal in the 50m pistol singles.
Gai Bin finished fourth (146.7), with Poh (105.9) sixth and Lim (71.1) eighth.
Hoang clinched the gold, ahead of Thailand's Auapinyakul Natphanlert (silver) and Malaysia's Johnathan Wong (bronze).
Lim, who dedicated his gold to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, said: "We didn't do well individually. But, for the team, we were right behind one another, so we made sure everything was played according to how we trained.
"Together, we were stronger and more focused."
Meanwhile, Thailand continued their dominance, as their women's team of Kanyakorn Hirunphoem, Naphaswan Yangpaiboon and Tanyaporn Prucksakorn snatched the gold from Singapore's Teo Shun Xie, Nicole Tan and Teh Xiu Hong by a single point in the 25m pistol event.
The Thais totalled 1,737 to Singapore's 1736. Vietnam (Le Thi Hoang Ngoc, Pham Thi Ha and Trieu Thi Hoa Hong) won the bronze with 1,728 points.
In the singles event, Malaysian Alia Sazana Azahari won the gold, while Singapore's Teh claimed the silver and Vietnam's Le collected the bronze.
This article was first published on June 12, 2015.
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