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SEA Games 2023: Koen Pang, Izaac Quek deliver men’s doubles gold

PHNOM PENH – Koen Pang and Izaac Quek were the balm for the sore as they delivered for Singapore the SEA Games men’s table tennis doubles gold medal on a day when their teammates faltered.

On Sunday, the duo beat Malaysia’s Javen Choong and Wong Qi Shen 3-1 (11-3, 8-11, 11-8, 11-4) at the Morodok Techo National Stadium Table Tennis hall to retain the title which Clarence Chew and Pang won in Hanoi in 2022.

The Singapore Table Tennis Association had tweaked the line-ups as the SEA Games organisers decided each player can participate in the team event and only two out of the singles, doubles and mixed doubles events.

A pall had cast over the Singapore camp after Zeng Jian and Chew lost 3-1 (13-11, 11-8, 8-11, 14-12) to Vietnam’s Dinh Anh Hoang and Tran Mai Ngoc in the mixed doubles final.

They had built a 10-3 lead in the first game, were level at 8-8 in the second, and had two gamepoints in the fourth, but became passive and squandered them all to settle for silver at the second consecutive Games. They had finished behind teammates Wong Xin Ru and Pang last year.

The Republic were then defeated in the women’s doubles final, although the result was less of a surprise as Zhou Jingyi and Wong lost 3-0 (11-4, 15-13, 11-7) to Thailand’s defending champions Suthasini Sawettabut and Orawan Paranang.

The Thai duo had also swept Zeng and Zhou in the 2022 final, as well as Goi Rui Xuan and Ser Lin Qian in Sunday’s semi-finals.

But Pang and Quek delivered in the men’s doubles, reeling off six straight points at the end to seal victory in emphatic fashion.

The results yesterday took Singapore table tennis’ tally at these Games to two golds, two silvers and three bronzes with the singles events to be played until Tuesday.