Cream of South-east Asia: How they fared

Shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh (Vietnam).
Shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh (Vietnam).PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

As part of the lead-up to the Olympics, The Straits Times profiled six of South-east Asia's brightest Rio-bound athletes carrying the torch for the region.

Here is a look at how each of them performed at the Games:

GOLD: SHOOTER HOANG XUAN VINH (VIETNAM)

The shooter was the best performer of the six that ST featured.

He struck gold - Vietnam's first at the Olympics - in the 10m air pistol.

The 41-year-old said: "On the last shot I don't think gold or silver. I think only try. It will be my lifetime memory."

He then added a silver medal in the 50m pistol to his haul.



PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SILVER: WEIGHTLIFTER HIDILYN DIAZ (PHILIPPINES)

The Filipina won a silver in the 53kg weight class, ending a 20-year medal drought at the Olympics for the Philippines while becoming the first woman from her country to win a medal at the Summer Games.

The 25-year-old lifted a total of 200kg - 88kg in the snatch and 112kg in the clean and jerk to finish second.

"My win proves that we can compete against other countries," she said. "It's a birthday gift for my mother (Aug 7)."


LAST 16: BADMINTON PLAYER RATCHANOK INTANON (THAILAND)

The world No. 4 was targeting at least a medal but had a disappointing campaign. She fell 19-21, 16-21 in the round of 16 to Japan's Akane Yamaguchi.

"I was unable to control my emotions. I put myself under pressure. I made easy mistakes. I let her play her game," lamented the London 2012 quarter-finalist.

"The Olympics is a big event. Many expected a lot from me. It's hard to cope with the pressure out there."



ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

GOLD: SWIMMER JOSEPH SCHOOLING (SINGAPORE)

Singapore's star performer won the Republic's first Olympic gold when he clocked a Games record 50.39sec to win the 100m butterfly.

His feat relegated Michael Phelps of the United States, Laszlo Cseh of Hungary and Chad le Clos of South Africa to a joint-silver.

He said: "I just tried to stick to my game plan, knew I would be out fast. It was all about how much heart you had coming home, trying to get your hand on the wall first and thankfully I could."

The 21-year-old also clocked a new national mark in the 100m freestyle (48.27sec) to make the semi-finals.



PHOTO: REUTERS

SILVER: DIVER PANDELELA RINONG (MALAYSIA)

The diver won a medal at a second straight Olympics when she (left) and partner Cheong Jun Hoong took the silver in the synchronised 10m platform.

They scored a total of 344.34 points after five dives to finish behind traditional powerhouse China.

Pandelela had won an individual 10m platform bronze in 2012. However, the 23-year-old could only finish 11th in that event this time.

She said: "We were focused on our dives and what we needed to do. Although points were flashed on the giant scoreboard across the platform, we didn't look at our position."


25TH: LONG JUMPER MARIA LONDA (INDONESIA)

The 26-year-old, who is recovering from a knee injury and caught a fever upon arriving in Rio, posted a 6.29m in the long jump. It fell short of her personal best of 6.70m and placed her 25th out of 39 jumpers.

"I didn't know what happened there. I've been waiting for this moment and I thought I was quite relaxed out there," she told the Jakarta Globe. "I felt good and didn't feel any niggle from my previous injuries."

INTERACTIVE SPECIAL

Read about South-east Asia's Olympic champions, swimmer Joseph Schooling and shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh, and four other Olympians' journeys, including their choice of breakfast that gets them off to a perfect start each day: str.sg/4TSY

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2016, with the headline 'Cream of South-east Asia: How they fared'. Print Edition | Subscribe