The 28th SEA Games has witnessed the feats of many outstanding athletes. Here are 10 of the region’s outstanding champions that you can look out for when replaying video streams of the action on our YouTube channel!
Charmaine Soh (Netball)
Arguably Singapore’s hero of the SEA Games netball finals, the 25-year-old goal shooter was instrumental in her team’s win against Malaysia. The home favourites posted a spectacular 46-43 victory over their long-time rivals, winning them their first-ever regional netball title. Charmaine, in particular, contributed a total of 38 goals, including key shots during a pressure-filled fourth quarter, when the Malaysians had managed to level the score.
Eric Shauwn Cray (Athletics)
Crossing the finish line a good 20 milliseconds ahead of the runner-up in the 100-metre dash, Eric earned himself the title of the fastest male sprinter in Southeast Asia. He had beaten title favourite and defending champion Jirapong Meenapra from Thailand, who finished a disappointing fifth. 26-year-old Eric also retained his 400-metre hurdles title, smashing the Games record in the process.
Evan Dimas Darmono (Football)
Indonesia may have suffered at the hands of Thailand in the football semi-finals, but there’s no denying that they have a very exceptional player in the form of midfielder Evan Dimas, who netted a total of four goals in the tournament. Notably, the 20-year-old SEA Games debutant helped Indonesia to a win against Singapore, scoring a decisive first-time shot from just inside the penalty box that went straight into the top corner of the net – preventing the hosts from qualifying for the semi-finals and dashing their medal hopes.
Luisa Dos Santos Rosa (Taekwondo)
Winning a silver medal in the 49kg class for taekwondo, Luisa established herself as Timor Leste’s best-performing athlete at the 28th SEA Games. She was one of only two athletes from the young nation to have made the podium, alongside bronze-medallist Henrique Martins Borges Pereira from boxing.
Besting Singapore’s Mohd Zahruddin Nur Fadzlyn during the semi-finals, she eventually lost out on the top spot to 2014 Asian Games champion Chanatip Sonkham of Thailand in the gold-medal match. This achievement was a step-up from the bronze medal that the 23-year-old had attained at the 2013 SEA Games, one of Timor Leste’s ten medals that year.
Nay Lin Tun (Football)
Football underdogs Myanmar ended up making it all the way through to the finals on an unbeaten run. Drawing only once with Cambodia in the group stages, the team’s achievements would not have been possible without their 22-year-old captain, Nay Lin. Boasting a total of three goals to his name, the gutsy midfielder was also the key player that scored in the 81st minute of the semi-finals match against Vietnam, to send Myanmar into the gold medal match.
Nguyen Thi Anh Vien (Swimming)
The 2012 Olympian and double Asian Games bronze-medallist from Vietnam had given this year’s hosts Singapore, traditionally strong in the pool, a tough time indeed. Winning eight out of her nation’s ten swimming titles, on top of an additional silver and bronze medal, the 18-year-old ranked second only to Singapore’s Joseph Schooling on the overall athletes’ medal table.
And, as if this stellar showing still isn’t enough, Anh Vien also broke the Games records eight times in total, notably setting two in the same event – the 400-metre individual medley – on the same day.
Noppawan Lertcheewakarn (Tennis)
The 2009 Wimbledon Junior singles and doubles champion has not had much to show on the senior circuit yet, but Noppawan’s excellent performance at this year’s SEA Games might just be the breakthrough that she needs.
She swept the top position in all three women’s events (singles, doubles, and team) at the Games, notably partnering Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) multiple-title-holder Tamarine Tanasugarn to win the decisive match of the team event, triumphing over the Philippines with impressive 6-0 and 6-2 sets.
Ooi Tze Liang (Diving)
Tze Liang might be just 21 years old, but he should certainly be considered a diver of international repute, having garnered a gold medal for Malaysia at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
This year’s SEA Games saw him snatching titles in the three-metre springboard and 10-metre platform events, as well as the three-metre synchronised springboard and 10-metre synchronised platform with Ahmad Amsyar Azman and Chew Yiwei respectively. His four gold medals, all won by comfortable margins, made up half of Malaysia’s total of eight diving titles.
Suthasini Sawettabut (Table tennis)
Perhaps the biggest breakout star of this year’s regional meet, 20-year-old Thai table tennis player Suthasini took the region by surprise when she won the women’s singles title.
The young upstart, ranked 107th in the world, had beaten Singapore’s Olympic medallist and world number four Feng Tianwei in the group stages, before making it all the way to the finals, where she emerged victorious over Malaysia’s Commonwealth Games medallist Ng Sock Khim. Suthasini also took home silver medals for the mixed doubles and women’s team, as well as a bronze for the women’s doubles.
Wang Wenying (Fencing)
Beating defending champion Nunta Chantasuvannasin of Thailand in the semi-finals of the women’s individual foil event, Wenying went on to make Games history as Singapore’s first individual fencing gold medallist in 26 years, in what was only the women’s team’s fourth-ever SEA Games title. Days later, the 34-year-old went on to win the gold medal in the women’s team foil event as well, contributing to Singapore’s historic total of three fencing titles this year.