First the celebration, then the suspense.

With emphatic fist pumps, Tao Li had just completed a gruelling golden double by swimming back to back in the women's 100m backstroke (1min 02.47sec) and 100m butterfly (59.87sec) finals on Saturday night at the Wunna Theikdi Swimming Complex.

Then things got tricky for the 23-year-old Singaporean.

The Vietnam contingent, who had just seen their 17-year-old swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien finish a mere 0.29 seconds behind Tao Li in the backstroke final, cried foul.

They claimed the golden girl of Singapore swimming should have been disqualified as she had not surfaced by the 15-metre mark, which is a requirement for the backstroke event.

The Vietnamese launched an appeal which caused a 15-minute delay, but saw it thrown out by a team of five jurors - four of them Singaporeans.


Moments later, Tao Li went on the podium to receive her gold medal, with Nguyen settling for the silver.

Vietnam swimming head coach Dang Anh Tuan was still fuming when The New Paper spoke to him.

Showing TNP a video clip of the race recorded on his iPad, he said in broken English: "Is very clear.

"You can see everybody is (out of the water) before 15 metres, but Tao Li's head still under water.

"But jury of five people, four are from Singapore."

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