SINGAPORE - Singapore's petanque players had a difficult start on their return to the SEA Games after gold medal hopeful Cheng Zhi Ming failed to qualify for the men's shooting semi-finals.
The 20-year-old Singaporean, had a shaky start after finishing the preliminary round in ninth position out of 10 athletes with a score of 14 points, 33 points behind leader Thanakorn Sangkaew of Thailand.
Cheng's showing improved in the barrage when he scored 27 points to finish third but he failed to progress to the semi-finals after Malaysia's Nuzul Azwan Temizi pipped him by just one point at the Padang.
Cheng, the men's captain, said: "It was a disappointing result for me and I was too tense in the preliminary round. I was more relaxed in the second round but my current results are not what I want.
"Hopefully, I will perform better in my coming matches after getting used to the atmosphere here."
Nuzul Azwan joins Laos's Bouadeng Vongvone, who finished first in the barrage round on 31 points, in the semi finals along side Thailand's Thanakorn and Cambodia's Chanmean Sok, who scored 47 and 45 points respectively in the preliminary round.
In the women's competition, Singapore's Vicki Heo failed to qualify for the semi-finals in the barrage round when she finished in fifth place during the preliminary round, scoring 24 points.
Heo's momentum wobbled and the 50-year-old, who is the oldest athlete in the Singapore's SEA Games contingent, was unable to replicate her form and finished the barrage round in sixth place with a score of 12.
She lamented: "I was unable to find my rhythm in the barrage round and that was unfortunate considering that I found my stride in the first round.
"Now I have to get my mind right and be prepared for the coming matches especially for the women's triples."