Thailand’s Sommit Anusorn, Phaophat Piyaphan, Waenphrom Nathaworn, and Borriboonwasin Kasemsit clinched the Gold in the Men’s K4-1000m event in 3 minutes, 04.781 seconds. The Men’s K4 1000m event saw the first Gold to be awarded since the Opening Ceremony yesterday. Thailand successfully defended their Men’s K4-1000m title which they won in 2011 and 2013; the good news was well received by the Thai fans, who rejoiced in screams and shouts of joy and relief.
Thailand flex their prowess at the Men's K4-1000m. They clinched their third successive gold in this event. Photo: Justin Koh/SINGSOC
Thailand’s team manager Dinyo Tolieng, 53, revealed the secret to the team’s sustained success. “We have a good team – not just athletes, but also management who are guided by our President’s vision. We prepared the athletes from a young age and their time has improved over the years.”
A quick succession of five finals on the waters of Marina Channel saw Canoeing’s first few champions crowned in the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore. Due to the small group of athletes, all proceeded directly into the finals. Myanmar’s Vice President Nyan Tun graced the event, accompanied by his Sports Minister and Deputy Sports Minister.
The Men’s C1-1000m, K1-1000m, C2-1000m, and K2-1000m were held subsequently. Indonesia’s Marjuki Marjuki, Singapore’s Lucas Teo Guang Yi, Myanmar’s Htike Win and Wai Sai Min, and Singapore’s Brandon Ooi Wei Cheng and Bill Lee Wei Liang won the respective events.
Brandon Ooi (left) and Bill Lee finally strike gold in the Men's K2-1000m. Photo: Jonathan Lee/SINGSOC
Rivals Jaitieng Wichan and Teo met in the Men’s K1-1000m event. The Thai and Singaporean canoeists raced in the 26th SEA Games in 2011, Indonesia, where Wichan edged Teo out to clinch the Gold, and Teo had to settle for the Silver.
This time, it was a different story.
By the 500m mark, they were neck and neck, separated by a mere 0.0068 seconds. However, in the second half, Teo managed to pull away from the rest. Teo finished in first place with a time of 3:43.036, while Wichan finished second with 3:45.126.
Teo commented, “For the past four years, I’ve been training and following my coach’s plan. I hit my Personal Best a few times this year, so I was confident I could beat him. I worked on improving my time, and sharpened my race sense by going for more overseas races.”
“We’ve been rivals since 2011. Nevertheless, we congratulated each other at the finish line.”
Tension and rivalry spark in the race between two Gold medal contenders. Singapore's Lucas Teo (left) eventually won the race over Thailand's Jaitieng Wichan. Photo: Shaun Ho/SINGSOC
The Women’s 500m K1, K2, and K4 finals will be held at Marina Channel on June 8. Come down and support your favourite teams!