SINGAPORE - Singapore's female boxers have secured two bronze medals in their maiden SEA Games outing, in the women's light-flyweight and flyweight categories at the Singapore Expo Hall 1 on Monday.
Leona Hui lost her light-flyweight semi-final bout by unanimous decision to Josie Gabuco of the Philippines, and national team-mate Ang Fen Ni was defeated by Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Yen in her flyweight semi-final by the same ruling.
Both will receive a bronze medal for their efforts as there is no third/fourth place play-off in the boxing competition.
Hui faced an uphill task against Filipino Gabuco, the 2012 Amateur International Boxing Association (Aiba) light-flyweight world champion, and her opponent proved her mettle with a flurry of quick punches consistently finding their mark.
"She's a world champion and she's younger than me. But it was still a good experience for me, and I can learn so many things from her, like how fast she fights." Hui said.
Ang was disappointed with herself, and said her inability to execute her game plan was a source of frustration. She said: "I had a plan going into the fight after sizing her up, like one thing I wanted to do was slip when she threw a right and then hit her with an uppercut. Unfortunately, it did not work out as expected."
Nevertheless, coach David Alexis is upbeat about the future of women's boxing locally, and hopes this showing at the Games will be a platform for more female boxers to represent the Republic in future meets.
He said: "We have a small, good crop of girls coming up, we hope that we can prepare them for future Games. Leona (Hui) and Fen Ni (Ang) can be their role models."
The men's boxers will enter the ring later on Monday, and with four representatives in the semi-finals, Singapore will be hoping to see its first SEA Games finalist since Sevakumaran Palakrishna won silver in 1993.