SINGAPORE — For three hours on Wednesday (10 May), Singapore hurdler Ang Chen Xiang's SEA Games medal colour was uncertain. Was he second in his men's 110m hurdles race following a photo finish, or were the actual photos inconclusive?
Finally, the race organisers at the Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh announced that the 28-year-old had received an upgrade from silver to a joint-gold medal with Thailand's Natthaphon Dansungnoen, after photos proved inconclusive that either had won.
Singapore Athletics had protested the original decision to award Ang the silver medal. The protest was rejected, but the case went to a convened jury, which decided to award to the joint-gold.
And so Ang - who had won silver in the same event at last year's Hanoi Games - became the first Singaporean to win gold in the men's hurdles since Osman Merican did it way back at the 1967 Bangkok Games.
The 28-year-old clocked the same 13.831sec with Natthaphon, and broke his 13.89sec national record set just last month. Filipino John Cabang was also close behind in third (13.855sec).
Elation even before gold confirmation
But even before his medal colour was confirmed, Ang was already elated with his effort.
He told reporters, "I knew it was a fast time, the execution was great. I was already very happy because I knew it would be a national record.
"Of course, if I got the gold, it would be the cherry on top of the cake. But have the cake first and we'll talk about cherries later."
Turned out, Ang will be getting both after the long deliberation.
Meanwhile, the men's 4x100m relay team of Mark Lee, Joshua Chua, Xander Ho and Marc Brian Louis won a bronze medal after finishing joint-third with Malaysia in 39.36sec. Indonesia took gold in 39.11sec, while Thailand were second in 39.13sec.
Shanti Pereira, who won the women's 200m race in record-breaking style on Monday, ran the first leg for Singapore's 4x100m relay team that came in fourth (45.16sec), in a race won by Thailand (44.24sec).
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