09 Jul 2018

Victorious one month ago in Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands, when he booked his place in the forthcoming Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, Pang Yew En Koen emerged as the most successful player at the recently concluded 24th South East Asia Junior and Cadet Championships; a tournament dominated by Singapore.

Staged in the Activity Centre located in Robinsons Place, the biggest shopping mall in Naga City; Singapore won no less than 11 of the 13 events on offer in the five day event, which commenced on Wednesday 4th July and concluded Sunday 8th July.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Impressively, Pang Yew En Koen, 16 years old, completed a clean sweep of available titles.

He joined forces with Gerald Yu and Josh Chua to secure the Junior Boys’ Team gold at the expense of Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun, Tananan Tantakool and Supakron Pankhaoyoy; a three matches to two verdict being the order of the day, Yanapong Panagitgun being player to cause the Singaporeans problems. He beat both Josh Chua (4-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 13-11) and by the very narrowest of margins, Pang Yew En Koen (11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 9-11, 14-12).

Defeat for Pang Yew En Koen but that was to prove his only reverse of the tournament.

The medallists in the Junior Mixed Doubles event (Photo: Lynn Ng)

He partnered Goi Rui Xuan to Junior Mixed Doubles success, the pair overcoming colleagues Dominic Koh and Wong Xinru in the final (11-8, 11-7, 12-10). Later in harness with Dominic Koh, he secured Junior Boys’ Doubles gold at the final expense of Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun and Supakron Pankhaoyoy (11-4, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9).

Three titles secured; as matters came to a conclusion, he made it four. He won the Junior Boys’ Singles event beating Josh Chua in the final (11-5, 8-11, 11-3, 11-4, 3-11, 11-5), after at the semi-final stage having ousted Gerald Yu (11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-3). In the counterpart semi-final, Josh Chua had overcome Yanapong Panagitgun in a titanic struggle decided by the very minimal margin (11-5, 4-11, 8-11, 12-14, 11-7, 11-8, 14-12).

Smiles of success for the Junior Boys’ Singles medallists (Photo: Lynn Ng)

Success for Pang Yew En Koen, there was also notable success for compatriot Wong Xinru.

After accounting for Jannah Maryam Romero of the Philippines at the semi-final stage (11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7), she secured the Junior Girls’ Singles title at the final expense of Malaysia’s Karen Lyne Anak Dick (11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 13-11). The win meant that Wong Xinru departed Naga City with two titles to her name; earlier she had partnered Goi Rui Xuan to Junior Girls’ Doubles gold, the pair defeating Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut and Monapsorn Saritapirak in the final (11-5, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8).

The Cadet Girls’ Singles podium in Naga City (Photo: Lynn Ng)

Two titles for Wong Xinru, for Zhou Jingyi, it was three; she joined forces with Ser Lin Qian to win the Cadet Girls’ Team and Cadet Girls’ Doubles titles, before being crowned Cadet Girls’ Singles champion. The pair recorded a three-nil win in the Cadet Girls’ Team final against Indonesia’s Dwi Aktaviani and Siti Aminah, before ending the hopes of the host nation’s Khieth Rynne Cruz and Althea Jade Gudes (11-4, 13-11, 11-4) to secure the Cadet Girls’ Doubles crown.

Titles secured in an impressive manner; it was the same in the Cadet Girls’ Singles competition. At the final hurdle Zhou Jingyi beat Thailand’s Wanwisa Aueawiriyayothin (4-11, 11-8, 11-13, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9) to reserve the top step of the podium.

Supporters and players urging their colleagues forward (Photo: Rachel Ramos)

Impressive from Zhou Jingyi, it was the same from Andy Wong. He allied with Lim Dao Yi and Izaac Quek Yong to gain success in the Cadet Boys’ Doubles competition, the trio recording a three-two win in opposition to Malaysia Wong Qi Shen and Amos Ling in a thrilling final, one that witnessed a quite remarkable recovery.

The Singaporeans trailed two-nil, after Lim Dao Yi had lost to Wong Qi Shen (11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 11-4) and Andy Wong had experienced defeat at the hands of Amos Ling (7-11, 11-4, 11-3, 9-11, 11-6). It was at that stage the recovery began; Izaac Quek Yong entered the arena to partner Andy Wong, they recovered from a two games to nil deficit to win the doubles (5-11, 6-11, 13-11, 11-7, 15-13), before Andy Wong beat Wong Qi Shen (7-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6, 11-8) and Lim Dao Yi overcame Amos Ling to seal the victory (11-5, 11-6, 11-8).

Success for Andy Wong against Wong Qi Shen in the Cadet Boys’ Team event; it was the same in the Cadet Boys’ Singles competition. After accounting for Izaac Quek Yong in the penultimate round (13-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4), he beat Wong Qi Shen to seal to title.

The Cadet Boys’ Singles podium (Photo: Lynn Ng)

Overall the record for Singapore read: 11 gold, two silver and ten bronze, surpassed their previous best 10 gold medals at the 2016 edition in Phnom Penh, Cambodia; an achievement that delighted Ellen Lee Geck Hoon JP, PBM, the President of the Singapore Table Tennis Association.

“Surpassing the best medal mark is certainly exceptional. Our athletes have worked and fought hard over the last five days and we are very proud of their achievements. This milestone is testament of our efforts and their achievements further attest that Singapore Table Tennis Association is on the right path of grooming our high potential talents into world-class athletes.” Ellen Lee Geck Hoon JP, PBM

Only two titles avoided Singaporean clutches; both finished in Malaysian hands at the expense of Thailand. Alice Chan Li Sian, Kuan E. Xian and Tee Ai Xin combined the win the Junior Girls’ Team title recording a three-nil win over Nanapat Kola, Monapsorn Saritapirak and Jinnipa Sawettabut in the final.

Meanwhile, Amos Ling and Wong Qi Shen won the Cadet Boys’ Doubles event; at the final hurdle they beat Charpen Chettanabodi and Saelee Puripong (11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8) to secure the top prize.

The officials at the 24th South East Asian Junior and Cadet Championships (Photo: Rachel Ramos)

Referee for the tournament was the host nation’s Rachel Ramos, the Deputy Referee was Malaysia’s Lee Yock Chin; Singapore’s Lau Pub Taai was the Technical Delegate.

The tournament was sponsored by the city government of Naga, the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) Naga District, and TopComs Marketing; in addition it was supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee.

Overall, of 116 entries were received, the participating national associations were Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The stunning venue in Naga City (Photo: Rachel Ramos)

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