Team Singapore's Mervyn Toh in action during the Men's Kayak Single (K1) 200m final (Photo by Vivek Prakash / Sport Singapore)
Mervyn Toh nearly delivered the Republic's first ever canoeing medal at the Asiad since the sport was introduced at 1990 Beijing Asian Games, missing out on Bronze by just six-tenths of a second.
On a bleak and rainy Monday afternoon, Toh ended the closely contested Men's Kayak Single (K1) 200m race in seventh place with a time of 37.350 - just 0.596 seconds shy of third place finisher Seiji Komatsu of Japan. Cho Gwanghee of South Korea took the Gold with his timing of 35.464 seconds, while Uzbekistan's Ernest Irnazarov won the Silver.
“Actually that gap between me and third is still considered quite big. The race didn't go as well as I hoped today but I believe that the mistakes I made can be rectified with more training,” said Toh, a Silver medallist at last year's SEA Games.
On a day when most of the medals were swept by the more burly Kazakhs and Uzbeks, Toh was quick to disagree that canoeing is all about raw power.
“Size does play quite a big part but I won't say that that is all to canoeing. One of the main factors is that we lack racing experience. That to me is the main thing that differentiates us from the rest of the competition. If you look at the previous Olympic champion in the K1 200m race, he's about my size,” Toh added.
Teammate Lucas Teo shared the same sentiments, saying that technique and endurance are also key factors in determining success when it comes to the longer distance races. With regard to what the team must now do to bridge the gap between them and the competition, Teo said: “Train harder. That's really all there is to it.”
Team Singapore's (R to L) Singapore's Bill Lee, Tay Zi Qiang and Brandon Ooi in action during the Men's Kayak Four (K4) 1000m final (Photo by Vivek Prakash / Sport Singapore)
Round up of all the other canoeing results on Monday:
Men's Kayak Single (K1) 1000m
Lucas Teo finished seventh out of nine competitors with a time of 3:54.657. Alexey Mochalov of Uzbekistan won the Gold with a time of 3:39.878 while Ahmadreza Talebian of Iran and Yuriy Berezintsev of Kazakhstan took home the Silver and Bronze respectively.
Men's Kayak Double (K2) 1000m
Bill Lee and Brandon Ooi finished eighth out of nine competitors with a time of 3:31.701. Kazakhstan won the Gold medal, Iran won the Silver and China bagged the Bronze.
Men's Kayak Four (K4) 1000m
Bill Lee, Tay Zi Qiang, Brandon Ooi and Lucas Teo clocked a timing of 3:15.898 to finish ninth out of nine competitors. The team from Kazakhstan won Gold with a time of 2:57.396 while China (3:01.374) and Uzbekistan (3:01.819) won Silver and Bronze respectively.
Men's Kayak Double (K2) 200m
Muhammad Syaheenul Aiman bin Nasiman and Mervyn Toh finished seventh out of nine competitors with a timing of 33.640 seconds. The Japanese duo of Momotaro Matsushita and Hiroki Fujishima took Gold with a timing of 32.348 seconds, while Kazakhstan took Silver and China won Bronze.
Women's Kayak Single (K1) 500m
Geraldine Lee clocked 2:02.853 to finish seventh out of nine competitors. China's Zhou Yu won the race with a time of 1:51.334. Kazakhstan's Natalya Sergeyeva and South Korea's Lee Sunja won the Silver and Bronze respectively.
Women's Kayak Four (K4) 500m
The quartet of Geraldine Lee, Annabelle Ng, Sarah Chen and Stephenie Chen came in sixth out of eight teams with a time of 1:43.671. China bagged Gold with a time of 1:34.477, while host nation South Korea took Silver with a time of 1:36.890. Kazakhstan (1:37.184) won the Bronze.
Women's Kayak Single (K1) 200m
Sarah Chen finished eighth out of nine competitors with a timing of 44.229 seconds. Kazakhstan's Inna Klinova won took home the Gold with a time of 40.638 seconds. China and Iran took Silver and Bronze respectively.
Women's Kayak Double (K2) 500m
Suzanne Seah and Stephenie Chen were placed seventh out of nine teams, clocking a time of 1:50.836. Kazakhstan won the Gold with a time of 1:42.208 while China and Japan took Silver and Bronze respectively.