SEA Games: Short-track speed skater Cheyenne Goh wins 500m gold

Singapore's Cheyenne Goh won the 500m title in 46.421sec.
Singapore's Cheyenne Goh won the 500m title in 46.421sec.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

MANILA - In Cheyenne Goh's maiden SEA Games final two years ago she led, fell, got up and finished third in the short-track speed skating 500m race. The 20-year-old, Singapore's first Winter Olympian, on Tuesday (Dec 3) redeemed herself at the 30th SEA Games, leading from start to finish to win the title in 46.421sec.

She finished ahead of Malaysians Dione Tan (47.594) and Anja Chong (47.657) at the SM Megamall ice rink in Manila to became Singapore's first Games champion in the sport.

"I was just happy that I actually did it, it definitely means a lot," said Goh, who will compete in the 1,000m on Wednesday. "It's one thing I was hoping to get (at the last Games), so in a way it was a bit of redemption for me."

She trains under the University of Calgary's Olympic Oval high-performance programme, where the volume of speed practice she has done contributed to her confidence ahead of the 500m. But she added: "I wouldn't say I was expecting the gold because all the competitors are quite close in standard. I was definitely hoping for it."

Her race plan was simple: "Get a good start and keep the lead, there's not really much more to that since the 500m is so short."

Goh qualified for last year's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where she competed in the 1,500m.

The Canada-based Goh moved from Edmonton to Calgary after last year's Winter Olympic and has been training there for the past 18 months. She was back to Singapore before the SEA Games to train with the relay team.

These efforts paid off on Tuesday as the quartet comprising Goh, Victoria Chin, Amelia Soo and Suvian Chua won the 3,000m bronze in 5min 12.447sec.

The relay final was a "messy race" that saw the skaters fall at least twice, said Goh.

 
 

"But we didn't give up at any point. It didn't go according to our initial plan but we just changed things around and had to be proactive and figure out how to deal with the falls, so it wasn't too bad," she added.

"We had a very specific order we had determined before, like the number of laps. But it was difficult to keep up with that because the wrong people were tired, so we had to figure it out on the spot. But it ended up OK."