Paddlers Show Their Class With Convincing Wins
By Cheong Wei Ming in Jakarta
Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images for SSC
Singapore’s paddlers were in fine form as they overcame their opponents in style at the SEA Games competition held at the Kuningan Sports Hall in Jakarta this morning (Nov 14).
In the group stage of the men’s singles event, Gao Ning defeated Laos’ Thavisak Pathaphon 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 while Yang Zi beat Timor Leste’s Elias Araujo Barros Da Silva (Timor Leste) 11-5, 11-4, 11-3. In the same stage of the women’s singles competition, Isabelle Li showed no mercy in her dismissal of Philippines’ Arlene Borja, winning 11-6, 11-2, 11-2.
On her experience, Isabelle said, “The first match of a tournament is always the hardest. So it felt good to win today.” While there was a big margin in the scorelines, things were not as easy as they looked. “I did a lot of preparation before this (match),” she said. On the crowd of Singapore supporters, she noted, “Seeing the support for me all the way from Singapore is very heartwarming. It provides the motivation for me to do my very best.”
The Young Team Singapore Ambassadors (YTSA), consisting of secondary school and polytechnic students, were present to lend their support. They sat with the Team Singapore contingent and cheered on the athletes with their clappers and choreographed cheers. “I have never been at a live event like this before. To be able to be here to cheer on the athletes feels good,” said Nicole Lian, 14, a student at St Anthony’s Convent.
Much To Cheer
Indeed, there was much to cheer. In the mixed doubles event, Singapore had already secured a one-two finish. Feng Tianwei and Gao Ning will meet compatriots Sun Beibei and Yang Zi in the final. Feng and Gao ousted Thailand (12-10, 11-9, 11-8) and Vietnam (11-6, 11-18, 12-10) in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively. On their part, Sun and Yang defeated Myanmar (11-5, 11-3, 11-4) and Thailand (11-9, 9-11, 11-2, 11-3) to earn their well-deserved place in the final.