It was not a hoped-for Super Sunday finale for Team Singapore yesterday at the Commonwealth Games, when Derek Wong narrowly failed to land the country's first gold medal in the men's singles in badminton.
The gutsy shuttler had clawed his way back to 19-19 in the deciding third game, but India's Parupalli Kashyap held his nerve to reel in the last two points to triumph 21-14, 11-21, 21-19.
Still, Wong, 25, can walk away with the distinction of being Singapore's first badminton men's singles medallist at the Games.
His teammates Danny Chrisnanta and Chayut Triyachart - who became Singapore's first men's doubles finalists - also mined silver when they lost 12-21, 21-12, 15-21 to the Malaysian pair Tan Wee Kiong and Goh Wei Shem.
Overall, Team Singapore harvested eight gold, five silver and four bronze medals in Glasgow, compared to the 11-11-9 haul in New Delhi four years ago.
Team Singapore's chef de mission Low Teo Ping rated the performance as B+. "Joseph Schooling (silver in the 100m butterfly), Jasmine Ser (gold in the 50m women's rifle three positions) and seeing three Singapore flags flying when we won gold, silver and bronze in the women's table tennis singles are all historic moments," he said.
Noting the intense competition from other countries' athletes in sports that Singapore do well in, he urged the renewal of teams with ageing members.
While the Glasgow Games are over, there is no time for rest for many of the athletes - the Asian Games take place in Incheon in South Korea from Sept 19 to Oct 4.
Wong is looking forward to testing his mettle again. "If I bring this confidence to the Asian Games and the SEA Games (next year), I know there're more medals to come for me."
This article was published on Aug 4 in The Straits Times.
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