Preparation lays ground for victory

Goi Rui Xuan hits a return during the Asean Schools Games mixed doubles final as her partner Gerald Yu looks on.
Goi Rui Xuan hits a return during the Asean Schools Games mixed doubles final as her partner Gerald Yu looks on.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Having come so close to winning it all at last month's South East Asia Junior and Cadet Table Tennis Championships, the duo of Gerald Yu and Goi Rui Xuan were determined to learn from that loss.

Yesterday, the Singapore Sports School pair made sure that they walked away with the gold medal this time by beating compatriots Dominic Koh and Liu Sijia 3-1 in the mixed doubles final at the Asean Schools Games.

Gerald said: "This time around during the final, we really wanted to win it, and not have regrets as we did previously. We did our best and gave our all."

He and Rui Xuan, both 16, lost the first game 9-11 but then rallied to win the next three 11-5, 11-8, 11-3.

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Gerald cited "better chemistry and tactics" as factors for their improved result and victory.

"Our chemistry was better, and our game plan and tactics, where we planned before the game," he said. "The pre-match preparation was way more sufficient than the other final. I'm definitely very happy about winning the gold."

It was not the first time Gerald had faced Dominic, 15. The two had met previously on the local scene.

"In the singles (in other competitions), we (Dominic and him) have met quite a few times. There have been wins and losses for both of us, the matches we played were tough fights," he said.

"I think it's great to meet familiar faces in the final, it's a confirmation of our efforts and hard work."

Looking forward, Gerald, having made his ASG debut, hopes to represent Singapore at other international tournaments as well.

He said: "If I have a chance, I'll try to make it for the Youth Olympics."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 18, 2017, with the headline 'Preparation lays ground for victory'. Print Edition | Subscribe