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SEA Games: Singapore stay on track for table tennis doubles golds

PHNOM PENH – It was a day of mixed emotions for Singapore’s table tennis team at the SEA Games on Saturday as their doubles players won five out of six quarter-finals to stay on course for gold on Sunday, but their only defeat of the day saw defending mixed doubles champions Koen Pang and Wong Xin Ru eliminated.

Pang and Wong lost 3-1 (12-10, 4-11, 13-11, 11-8) to Thailand’s Sarayut Tancharoen and Wanwisa Aueawiriyayothin in the early afternoon, and the Republic almost had no representatives in the final for the first time since 1993 as Clarence Chew and Zeng Jian trailed 2-0 against Edouard Valenet and Angelou Laude of the Philippines.

However, from the jaws of defeat, the 2021 silver medalists snatched a 3-2 (9-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-5, 14-12) victory at the Morodok Techo National Stadium Table Tennis Hall to set up a semi-final against Thailand’s Padasak Tanviriyavechakul and Tamolwan Khetkhuan on Sunday.

Things then went smoother for the Singaporeans, who gained a measure of revenge against the Thais in the men’s and women’s doubles later on.

Pang partnered Izaac Quek to beat Sarayut and Sitisak Nuchchart 3-1 (7-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-3), while Ethan Poh and Beh Kun Ting also showed their resilience to overcome Phakpoom Sanguansin and Napat Thanmathikom 3-2 (11-6, 10-12, 11-8, 12-14, 11-5).

In Sunday’s men’s doubles semi-finals, Pang and Quek will face Filipinos Richard Gonzales and John Misal, while Poh and Beh will take on Malaysia’s Javen Choong and Wong Qi Shen.

Things were more straightforward for Singapore in the women’s doubles last eight, as Zhou Jingyi and Wong beat Jinnipa Sawettabut and Tamolwan 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-9), while Goi Rui Xuan and Ser Lin Qian won 3-0 (11-7, 12-10, 11-7) against Malaysia’s Karen Lyne and Tee Ai Xin.

Zhou and Wong will meet Malaysians Alice Chang and Im Li Ying in the final four, while Goi and Ser will try to upset Thailand’s defending champions Suthasini Sawettabut and Orawan Paranang.

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