In a day marked by strong and unpredictable gusts of winds at the Wunna Theikdi Archery Field in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, Chan Jing Ru wrote her name into the history books. She became the first Singapore lady to win an individual SEA Games Gold medal in 30 years.
The final of the Women's Individual Recurve event was a nerve wrecking affair. But Jing Ru, competing against Indonesia's Titik Kusumawardani, was a picture of calm. Despite losing the first end (22-26), she came back to draw level in the next (28-20) before falling behind again in the third (22-27). She fought hard to win the crucial fourth (24-21), setting herself up for the final end.
That was when she went up a gear, shooting 10, 9 and 10. Titik looked dangerous as she had 10 and 10 with her first two arrows. When she finished with 7, Jing Ru turned around and was locked in a tight minute-long embrace with coach Sng Beow Leng. She had won the Gold medal with a score of 6-4 (the winner of each end is awarded 2 points). "I still can't believe it," Jing Ru said after the final. Asked what her winning formula was, she said she was unfazed by anything that was going on around her, focusing only on her shots. Her coach Sng, who was behind her all the way, said, "She is a quick learner and very receptive to feedback."
In what was a long day for Jing Ru, she teamed up with Tan Si Lie in the afternoon for the Mixed Team Recurve event. The pair made an impact with impressive wins. They beat Thailand's Tham Wong Witthaya and Phutdee Waraporn in the quarter finals before knocking out top-seeded Indonesian pair Riau Ega Agata Salsabilla and Ika Yuliana Rochmawati in the semi finals. In a tense final, Jing Ru and Si Lie lost to Vietnam's Dao Trong Kien and Loc Thi Dao by a score of 136-142.
Having tasted victory earlier in the day, Jing Ru was naturally disappointed. "I'm upset because I didn't do my best and I feel I've let Si Lie down. I guess my focus was a bit off after a long day," she said. Si Lie, on the other hand, had no complains about the results after another solid performance. He said, "I'm contented because it has been an enjoyable Games for me." The girls' team of Jing Ru, Vanessa Loh and Lui Su Lin will continue Team Singapore's quest for glory as they are in action for the Women's Team event on Tuesday (17 December).
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