Commonwealth Games: Paddlers fail to win men's team medal for the first time with 0-3 loss

Singapore's Gao Ning lost the first match 0-3 (11-13, 5-11, 9-11) as the Republic lost to England 0-3 in the bronze-medal tie.
Singapore's Gao Ning lost the first match 0-3 (11-13, 5-11, 9-11) as the Republic lost to England 0-3 in the bronze-medal tie.PHOTO: REUTERS

GOLD COAST (Australia) - Another proud streak was broken on Monday (April 9), as the Singapore paddlers failed to win a medal in the Commonwealth Games men's team event, following their 0-3 loss to England in the bronze-medal tie.

The Singaporeans have won at least a bronze in this event since the sport was introduced in 2002, and have won the team title at both the 2010 and 2014 Games. The Republic clinched a joint-bronze with India in 2002, as there were no bronze-medal play-offs for losing semi-finalists.

However, while previous men's teams were dominated by China-born players, this Singapore team at the 2018 Games comprise of just one - Gao Ning - and include local-born youngsters such as Ethan Poh, 19, Beh Kun Ting, 16, and Koen Pang, 15. Doubles specialist Pang Xue Jie completes the men's team on the Gold Coast.

At the Oxenford Studios on Monday, Singapore fell behind after stalwart Gao - who the young team depended heavily on - lost the first match 0-3 (11-13, 5-11, 9-11).

World No. 234 Poh put up a valiant fight against Liam Pitchford, ranked 65th in the world, but conceded the second point in the tie with his 1-3 (9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 3-11) loss in the second match.

The doubles pair of Pang and Poh led David McBeath and Drinkhall 2-0 in the third match, but could not maintain their advantage to concede the match 2-3 (11-6, 13-11, 4-11, 9-11, 11-13), and the winning point for the tie to England.

On Sunday, the Republic's women's team lost their first-ever Commonwealth Games final 1-3 to India.