Gold medals shared around on first full day of competition at SEA Games
07 June, 2015
After the first full day of competition at the SEA Games, all but one of the 11 competing nations have collected medals as the region's top athletes burst into action.
Only Timor-Leste is yet to win a medal but with 10 full days of competition and more than 1200 medals in total up for grabs, the odds are that every country will celebrate success at the 28th edition of the Games.
Saturday was another triumphant day for the host-nation with Singaporean athletes picking up 10 more gold medals to top the table with 17 in total.
Women's Compulsory Taijiquian - Singapore's Vera Tan Yan Ning in action. Photo credit: SINGSOC/ Action Images via Reuters
The republic's gold rush was spread over five different sports - at all corners of the island. Three came in wushu, via Vera Tan, Yong Yi Xiang and the men's duel weapons team.
There were two each in swimming, shooting and canoeing plus one in fencing. Quah Zheng Wen won the men's 100m backstroke at the OCBC Aquatic Centre while on the shooting range, Tessa Neo won the 10m air rifle and won a second gold in the team event.
Shooting - Women's 10m Air Rifle - Final - Singapore's Tessa Neo (L) celebrates her win with Jasmine Ser Xiang Wei. Photo credit: SINGSOC/ Action Images via Reuters
“I was very surprised to win, and my coach and parents gave me a lot of support,” Neo said.
Vietnam also had a day to remember, picking up nine more gold medals, including two for swimming sensation Nguyen Thi Anh Vie.
The teenager broke the SEA Games records for 800m freestyle and 400 individual medley to launch her campaign for 11 gold medals.
"I know I can do this," the 18-year-old said.
Hoang Quy Phuoc also set a SEA Games record to win the men's 200m freestyle for Vietnam while Thailand's Radomyos Matjiur got his hands on the wall first in the men's 200m breaststroke.
Men's 200m Breaststroke - Final - Thailand's Radomyos Matjiur celebrates winning. Photo credit: SINGSOC/ Action Images via Reuters
Thailand and Indonesia both won eight gold medals on Saturday to keep pace with the leaders while Malaysia, as expected, won the two golds in diving, with Jun Hoong Cheong impressively taking the women's 3m springboard.
Myanmar and Cambodia both won their first gold medals of the Games. Myanmar won three in all, in canoeing, sepaktakraw and wushu while Cambodia's first gold came in sepaktakraw, in chinlone-linking.
Singapore and Malaysia won their semi-finals in netball to set up a dream gold-medal match on Sunday.
Singapore defeated Thailand 59-29 and Malaysia beat Brunei 79-23. Both teams are undefeated after drawing with each other in the round-robin phase and Malaysia coach Asaari Aminah said it would be a close final.
“We are ready, physically, mentally, tactically, and in every way," she said. "I’m sure tomorrow’s game will be a good fight."