SINGAPORE — For nine SEA Games editions since 2007, Singapore could always rely on a member of the Quah swim family to win gold medals at the regional meet.
On Tuesday (9 May), a lean day for golds from the city-state's other athletes in Cambodia, it was perhaps befitting that the Quahs would be the ones to finally give Singapore victories to cheer about in Phnom Penh.
Jing Wen, the youngest of the three siblings at 22, edged her eldest sister Ting Wen in the women's 100m butterfly final at the Morodok Techo Aquatic Center to clinch the first gold of the day for Singapore. She clocked 59.02sec to beat her 30-year-old sister (59.51sec) and the Philippines' Jasmine Alkhaldi (1min 0.45sec).
Minutes later, Zheng Wen also stormed to gold in the men's 100m fly event in 52.04sec, the 26-year-old pipping second-placed compatriot Teong Tzen Wei (52.60sec) and the Philippines' Jarod Lang Hatch (52.91).
The two golds in quick succession seemed to give a boost to the Singapore swimmers, and Letitia Sim soon followed suit with victory in the women's 100m breaststroke, clocking 1:07.94 for her second gold of the Games following her 200m individual medley triumph on Sunday.
Malaysia's Phee Jinq En took silver in 1:09.60, while Singapore's Christie May Chue was third in 1:10.94.
And the Quah siblings saved the best for last, all three of them taking part in the mixed 4x100m medley with Nicholas Mahabir - and duly winning another gold in a time of 3:51.72.
Fittingly, as this was the first time the mixed-gender event was being contest at the Games, it meant that this was the first gold medal shared by the three siblings since Ting Wen started their gold rush in 2007.
Peter Gilchrist fails in quest to regain billiards singles gold
The swimming golds lifted the mood of Team Singapore, after several misses earlier in the day.
Former billiards world champion Peter Gilchrist failed in his bid to regain the men's English billiards singles gold he had lost in last year's Hanoi Games, after winning the event for six consecutive times.
Again he succumbed to Myanmar's Pauk Sa, the same man who ended his streak last year, and this time it was not even close as the 55-year-old was swept 0-3 (12-100, 76-100, 78-100) in the final.
"I've got to make 100-point breaks, and I had so many chances," Gilchrist told reporters after his silver-medal showing. "If I can't do that, the I don't deserve to win really."
In silat, defending champion Nurul Suhaila was beaten 10-26 by Vietnam's Thi Thu Nghia Quang in the women's tanding Class E (65-70kg) semi-finals, and had to settle for joint-bronze medal.
Two-time men's marathon winner Soh Rui Yong, who was a late addition to the Singapore contingent on appeal after settling his differences with the Singapore National Olympic Council, missed out on a medal after coming in fourth in the men's 5,000m race in 14min 48.4sec.
He will compete in the men's 10,000m event next, but not the marathon as he did not have enough time to prepare.
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