Thailand pip Singapore to the gold

Thailand pip Singapore to the gold
(From left to right) Singapore's SEA Games Optimist team of Raynn Kwok, Edward Tan, Bertha Han, Isaac Tang, coach Fernando Alegre and Fathin Rasyqin Mohamed Firdaus.

NAYPYIDAW- They put up a brave fight against their closest rivals, Thailand.

But in the end, Singapore's Optimist team of Fathin Rasyiqin Mohd Firdaus, Edward Tan, Bertha Han, Isaac Tang and Raynn Kwok had to settle for silver at the South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Pathein, Myanmar.

While Singapore took the lead by winning the first race, the Thais pulled one back before edging the final race to win 2-1.

Even though the outcome left some members of the team in tears, Fathin and Edward, who were both on the team that won the Optimist world team title in July, must bounce back and re-channel their energies into their individual events.

After six races, Fathin leads the girls' fleet while Edward is second among the boys.

Team manager Chung Pei Ming said: "It was very close, but in the end, the better team won.

"The two competing in the individual event have to continue, so they have to focus.

"Two of the other three (Raynn and Isaac) are the young ones who will be there at the next Games, so it was good exposure for them this year."

The day ended on a happier note as the sailors celebrated half-rater Stanley Chan's 36th birthday last night. They will enter Day 4 of action at Ngwe Saung beach today looking to consolidate their positions.

Singapore lead in the women's 420, 470 and laser radial fleets going into today's races after yesterday's break while the men are also in the hunt for a gold in their corresponding events.

Youth windsurfers Ynez Lim and Wallace Gan are second and third in their respective fleets. The half-rater team and RS:One open windsurfer Merrick Phang are both in fourth spots.

Chung, who is also the Singapore Sailing Federation's high performance manager, said: "We are still leading in four of the 12 fleet racing events and it will come down to the last few races where we'll see who breaks down under pressure.

"It will be a test of their mental strength and I think they should come out strong."

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