SINGAPORE - It was not a good day for Singapore's paddlers when they failed to clinch any gold medals from the SEA Games table tennis doubles events at the Subic Bay Exhibition & Convention Center on Saturday (Dec 7).
Singapore's Josh Chua and Koen Pang had done well to beat Malaysia's Ashraf Haiqal Rizal and Wong Shen 3-2 (6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6) in the men's doubles semi-final.
However, in the final, Doan Ba Tuan Anh and Nguyen Anh Tu were just too strong as they won 3-1 (11-6, 12-10, 10-12, 11-4) to reclaim the gold Vietnam last won in 2009.
In the women's doubles, the Republic's two-decade long dominance at the SEA Games was stunningly snapped.
Both Singaporean pairs of Feng Tianwei and Lin Ye, and Goi Rui Xuan and Wong Xin Ru had healthy leads in their respective semi-finals against Thai duos, and were the first to win two games, but somehow managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Even after they were pegged back to 2-2, Feng and Lin led 5-2 and 9-8 in the decider, only to succumb 3-2 (7-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9) to Nanthana Komwong and Jinnipa Sawaettabut, the younger sister of Suthasini, who had upset Feng in the 2015 SEA Games singles event.
In the other semi-finals, Goi and Wong were 2-0 up against Orawan Paranang and Suthasini, but also ended up losing 3-2 (4-8, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4).
This is the first time Singapore have not won a table tennis women's doubles gold at the SEA Games since 1997, when Jing Jun Hong and Tan Paey Fern took bronze in Jakarta.
That same year, they won just one gold medal in the women's singles. In this year's competition, there will be only four events - men and women's singles and men and women's doubles events. The mixed doubles and the men and women's team finals were not on the programme.