SEA Games: Peter Gilchrist rebounds from loss to win billiards gold with Alex Puan

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Singapore billiards players Alex Puan (left) and Peter Gilchrist in action at the men's English Billiards doubles final at the Hanoi SEA Games. (PHOTOS: SNOC/Kelly Wong)
Singapore billiards players Alex Puan (left) and Peter Gilchrist in action at the men's English Billiards doubles final at the Hanoi SEA Games. (PHOTOS: SNOC/Kelly Wong)

SINGAPORE — Three days after losing his 13-year winning run in the SEA Games men's English Billiards singles event, Peter Gilchrist bounced back from the disappointment in style, teaming up with Alex Puan to clinch Singapore's first gold in the doubles competition on Friday (20 May).

The four-time billiards world champion and his veteran partner defeated Myanmar's Pauk Sa and Min Sithu Tun 3-1 in the final to claim gold in the event for Singapore at last, after a run of seven consecutive bronze medals from 1999 and 2017.

Both Gilchrist and Puan were complimentary of each other's skills and temperament, with 54-year-old Gilchrist telling reporters that his partner had kept his nerve and played "all the right shots".

Similarly, 48-year-old Puan said, "With (Gilchrist) as a mentor, I think it helps. He has all the right answers for me and it's just amazing playing with the right partner."

In the final, Puan got the Singapore team off to an ideal start by taking the first game 101-65, before Gilchrist gave them a 2-0 lead in winning the second game 102-63.

In the third game, Pauk - who ended Gilchrist's winning run in the men's singles final on Tuesday - roared back with a superb round to take the third game 100-36. However, Gilchrist put on a masterclass of his own in the fourth, dominating to take the game 102-8 to clinch the gold.

"There's been three or four times when we've lost the doubles like 3-2... but fortunately it didn't happen today," Gilchrist told reporters. "It's great, it means more than the singles and it's a lot harder to win than the singles."

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