Asean Schools Games: S'pore win first-ever boy's team gymnastics gold

 Zac Liew on the pommel horse in the teams finals of the Asean Schools Games gymnastics competition at Bishan Sports Hall on July 15, 2017.
Zac Liew on the pommel horse in the teams finals of the Asean Schools Games gymnastics competition at Bishan Sports Hall on July 15, 2017.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

SINGAPORE - It was a perfect day for Singapore's gymnastics team as they swept all four gold medals on offer on the opening day of competition at the Asean Schools Games on Saturday (July 15).

The quintet of Ryan Lee, Lincoln Forest Liqht Man, Zac Liew, Jibreel Khaleel Hussein and John Sim made history for the hosts by winning its first-ever gold in the boy's gymnastics team competition.

The team scored a total of 283.350 points, ahead of Thailand (268.816) and Malaysia (265.932), to clinch the gold in the men's team event, while Singapore Sports School's 17-year-old Lincoln (72.300) and St Joseph's Institution's Secondary 4 student Zac (71.850) finished one-two in the individual all-around competition.

Lincoln becomes just the second boys' winner for Singapore at the annual event which started in 2009, after Timothy Tay's horizontal bar gold in 2011's edition held on home soil too.

With the individual event finals still to come on Sunday, the boys have already surpassed last year's tally, in which they finished with a team bronze and two individual bronze medals.

The victory was especially sweet for Lincoln, who had never previously won an individual medal in two previous editions of the meet (in 2014 and 2016). At the 2016 edition in Chiang Mai, he finished fourth in the vault and fifth in the high bar.

He said: "After all the frustration of not being able to bring home an individual medal for two times, I was really motivated to get something today. I think I performed a nine out of 10 today, I could perform up to my full potential."

Catholic Junior College's Ryan, who will be heading to the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur next month, added: "It feels great to be part of this history-making team. We had almost no falls in the scores that counted towards the team scores, all of us were hitting our routines. We've shown that we've improved."

Singapore were clearly the top performing gymnasts at Bishan Sports Hall, as the girl's team defended their team and individual all-around titles.

Josephine Mei Ng, Mei Togawa, Nydia Heng, Shayne Tan and Lim Sze combined for a total of 183.050 points, ahead of Thailand (163.450) and Indonesia (157.983). Nanyang Girls' High's SEA Games-bound athlete Mei scored 47.350 points to become the individual all-around champion, while Raffles Girls School's Josephine finished with 46.650 points to win the silver medal.