SEA Games: Mixed day for Singapore table tennis teams

Singapore's Wong Xin Ru in action against Team Cambodia during the Round Robin of the women's team, on May 13, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

HANOI - The Singapore women's table tennis team will get the chance to extend their golden streak at the SEA Games but the men fell short of reclaiming their gold in Hanoi.

The women's team of Zeng Jian, Zhou Jingyi, Goi Ruixuan, Wong Xin Ru and Zhang Wanling beat Vietnam 3-1 in the semi-finals at Hai Duong Gymnasium on Saturday (May 14).

Wong, 20, lost 3-2 (11-5, 10-12, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7) in a tight encounter to Nguyen Khoa Dieu Khanh before Zeng levelled the overall score with a 3-1 (11-5, 10-12, 11-3, 11-6) victory over Nguyen Thi Nga.

Debutante Jingyi, 17, then helped Singapore take the lead with a convincing 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-7) win over Bui Ngoc Lan before Zeng wrapped it up with a 3-1 (11-4, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8) win over Khanh.

They will face Thailand on Sunday for their 10th straight team crown since 1999 in a repeat of the previous final in 2017 - the last time the team event was staged.

The men, however, have failed to make the team final for the first time since 1997. They lost their semi-final 3-1 to Thailand to settle for the joint-bronze with hosts and defending champions Vietnam.

In the first tie, men's singles defending champion Koen Pang lost 3-1 (11-8, 5-11, 12-10, 11-8) to Padasak Tanviriyavechakul.

Olympian Clarence Chew then tied things for the Republic after beating Phakpoom Sanguansin 3-0 (11-9, 12-10, 11-7), before Ethan Poh fell 3-0 (12-10, 11-8, 11-5) to Sarayut Tancharoen.

Chew did well to try and force a decider but eventually, Padasak proved too strong as he beat him 3-2 (11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 3-11, 11-5) to help Thailand reach their first final since 2013. The Thais will face Malaysia for the gold today.

After six straight titles, the Singapore men's team's winning streak was ended by Vietnam in 2017.

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