Tears of joy for K2 pair

NAYPYIDAW - They were reduced to tears two years ago when they missed out on the women's K2 (two-person kayak) 500m gold medal by 0.26 seconds during the South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Indonesia.

This time, there were only tears of joy flowing from the eyes of Stephanie Chen and Suzanne Seah after the same event at Ngalike Dam in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.

The pair clocked 1min 56.614sec to clinch gold, a comfortable 2.072sec faster than Myanmar's Aye Mi Khine and Naw Ahlelashe.

Woraporn Boonyuhong and Pattraluck Phumsatan of Thailand took the bronze after finishing in 1:59.734. Despite the heartbreak they suffered in 2011, Seah and Chen put it all aside for the race.

"We don't think of the bad stuff," said Seah, when asked if the 2011 race weighed on their minds.

"It was a catch-up race as we didn't start as fast as we usually do.

"We were slightly behind for the first half and we managed to catch up before the second half.

"We were jubilant after the race, a really indescribable joy because we won this for our team. It was really hard for everybody in the past few races... so we were pushing really, really hard for them."

Seah and Chen's gold was the first for the Singapore canoeing contingent at the Games.

Geraldine Lee, who clinched the Republic's first-ever gold in canoeing in 2011, had to settle for a silver in the women's K1 500m event, clocking 2:07.734, while Brandon Ooi's 1:57.38 finish in the men's event landed a bronze.

After finishing fourth on Tuesday in the 1,000m event, the women's K4 team had to settle for a similar finish in the 500m yesterday.

The win will serve as a boost for Seah and Chen, as they look to defend the K2 200m gold medal they won in 2011.

Seah said: "The 200m is anybody's game. People's motivations change just as the conditions are changing every single day, while the other countries will also change their crew.

"We'll do what we can and see if that will be enough, but the win is definitely a boost for us."

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