A gold... then tears as another medal is beyond reach

A gold... then tears as another medal is beyond reach
Stephenie Chen (left) breaking out in smiles but Suzanne Seah was overcome by emotion after they had won gold in the women’s K2 500m event. Chen later failed to clinch a medal in the K4 500m race.

NAYPYIDAW - Stephenie Chen cut a desolate figure on the banks of the Ngalike dam.

The Singaporean had earlier picked up Singapore's first canoe gold of the Myanmar SEA Games in the women's K2 500m event.

But one would not have guessed it as tears rolled down her sun-kissed cheeks.

While there was joy in winning the gold just 30 minutes earlier, the pain of missing out on a K4 500m medal by a mere 0.25sec was just too heartbreaking.

"We really tried a lot. We tried so many combinations and this was the one that worked best," said Chen of her quartet whose other members were Geraldine Lee, Annabelle Ng and Wilona Lee. "I was hoping that it would be enough."

As it turned out, Singapore's 1min 46.02sec effort just fell short of a medal, and was almost two seconds behind the gold-medal winning time.

The closely-knit team, who embraced each other after reaching shore, wanted to win gold and give Wilona a memorable farewell.

The 21-year-old, third-year medical student at the National University of Singapore aims to focus on her studies after the Games.

Still, the Singapore team found reason to cheer after finishing the day with one gold, one silver (Geraldine, K1 500m) and one bronze (Brandon Ooi, men's K1 500m), despite tough and windy conditions.

Said Suzanne Seah, who partnered Chen to the K2 gold: "There's only so much you can do to prepare. The wind will still be there and you just have to hope that you don't capsize.

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