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27th SEA Games: double gold in table tennis for Singapore

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Youngsters Lin Ye and Zhou Yi Han have benefited from these SEA Games in the absences of senior stars such as Feng Tianwei (photo by John Yeong/SSC).

19 Dec 2013, Naypyidaw - Singapore’s male and female paddlers completed the team competition for Table Tennis by claiming a double gold after overcoming the challenge of Thailand in the finals of the competition. The feat is all the more remarkable considering that the entire team but one were making their debuts at their first SEA Games.

Zhan Jian led the men’s team’s charge towards gold, and the veteran paddler had arguably the toughest opponent of the lot in Thailand’s Nikom Wongsiri, who forced the match into its fifth set after bringing the game back to 2-2. He held his nerve to complete the job to win 3-2 and was later paired with Chen Feng in the doubles match to overcome Thailand’s Nikom and Chaisit Chaitat 3-0.

Yu Mengyu made full use of her experience to lead a youthful women’s team to victory, as she defeated Nanthana Komwong to set the ball rolling. Teenager Lin Ye then overcame her Thai counterpart Tamolawan Khetkhuan 3-1 before she joined hands with 19 year-old Zhou Yi Han to win the doubles match and seal gold for the women.

While home grown Isabelle Li did no feature in Thursday’s semi-finals and finals, she impressed in the group games and coach Jing Junhong believes the YOG silver medallist stands as good a chance as any of her other paddlers in the individuals competition that starts on Friday.

New Blood

Jing added that the absence of prominent stars such as Feng Tianwei at these Games was exactly for the purpose of blooding Singapore’s new generation of paddlers, and they did not disappoint.

“The SEA Games is a good platform for our youngsters where they are exposed to a good level of competition with pressure to perform. The importance of being able to focus under pressure cannot be stressed enough, and I am pleased with the way we have won particularly when we have come from behind to achieve it,” said Jing.

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