Commonwealth Games: Singapore's Gao Ning wins 2 golds in men's singles and mixed doubles

Singapore paddlers Gao Ning (left) and Yu Mengyu posing with their gold medals following their victory at the Commonwealth Games.
Singapore paddlers Gao Ning (left) and Yu Mengyu posing with their gold medals following their victory at the Commonwealth Games.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Gao Ning and Yu Mengyu (pictured) in action against England's Liam Pitchford and Ho Tin-Tin at the Commonwealth Games.
Gao Ning and Yu Mengyu (pictured) in action against England's Liam Pitchford and Ho Tin-Tin at the Commonwealth Games.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Gao Ning and Yu Mengyu (pictured) in action against England's Liam Pitchford and Ho Tin-Tin at the Commonwealth Games.
Gao Ning and Yu Mengyu (pictured) in action against England's Liam Pitchford and Ho Tin-Tin at the Commonwealth Games. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

GOLD COAST (Australia) - Singapore table tennis player Gao Ning clinched two titles in one day, winning both the men's singles and mixed doubles golds at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday (April 15).

In the singles, the 35-year-old beat Nigerian top seed Quadri Aruna 11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-5.

Gao told The Straits Times: "I am thrilled to win this medal, even though I have won other Commonwealth Games gold medals in the men's doubles and team, as well as the mixed doubles today."

Men's coach Liu Jiayi added: "Today his mental game was very strong... the main thing was that he really wanted to win."

Earlier, Gao had combined with Yu Mengyu to beat England's Liam Pitchford and Ho Tin-Tin 12-10, 12-10, 11-9 in the mixed doubles final.

The Singaporean duo trailed for both the first and second games, and faced game point at 9-10 in both games, but battled back to win them at the first asking.

The scores were also close in the third game, with the Singaporeans first holding match point at 10-8. They eventually won at 11-9.

Gao's win means the table tennis team will return home with three gold medals following Yu and Feng Tianwei's victory in the women's doubles on Friday. The team claimed silvers in the women's team and the women's singles (Yu), as well as the bronze in the women's singles (Feng).

The Games ends later on Sunday and the final medal count for the Singapore contingent across all sports is five golds, two silvers and two bronzes.

Yu, 28, told The Straits Times: "It was my first time pairing with Gao Ning in the mixed doubles, and we were more focused on this event because we wanted to take back the gold that we lost in 2014 (in Glasgow)."

On twice coming from behind to win, she noted: "The standards of both pairs are about the same, so before the match we already anticipated this could happen and Gao Ning and I told each other that no matter how much we are trailing, we would fight for every point to catch up.

"For the third game, we couldn't relax. Although we were leading 2-0 overall, we kept reminding each other to remain focused because at this point, the opponents may change strategies or become more aggressive.

"I was happy that we managed to take the third game for the win."