YOG Day 5 – Golden dreams: One gone, but another emerges
Gold Medalists Team Simon Biles during the medal ceremony after victory in the Gymnastics Mixed Multi-Discipline Team Final. Tamara is on top row, third from right.
By Justin Kor in Buenos Aires
On a day that Singapore’s chance for gold was dashed in badminton, the Republic won an unofficial gold in a mixed nation event for gymnastics.
Shuttler Jaslyn Hooi tried everything – tricky flicks, powerful smashes and some delicate net play. But it was simply not enough to beat her skilful opponent.
At the badminton women’s singles semi-finals match, she lost 2-0 to China’s Wang Zhi Yi, who is ranked second at the Games.
She simply could not catch up with Zhi Yi’s agile footwork and thunderous smashes, losing 21-10, 21-11. It was a fact she acknowledged after the game.
“My physical ability is not up to her standard. I had a lot of disadvantages on the court. I couldn’t keep up with her speed and strength,” said the 18 year-old, who had been struggling with an ankle sprain at the Games.
She faces another tough match when she takes on top seed Phittayaporn Chaiwan of Thailand for the bronze medal match.
“I’ll try to recover as much as possible for the next match and hopefully win a medal for Singapore,” said Jaslyn.
Over at the America Pavilion at the Youth Olympic Park, the mood was more celebratory.
Gymnast Tamara Ong’s 13-athlete squad came out tops in the multi-discipline team event.
Mixed-nation events are a special feature of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in a bid to build friendships among athletes, but their medals are not added to a country’s overall medal count at the Games.
“I didn’t quite expect a gold medal and I had never received a medal at a major Games before so I was a little nervous stepping up onto the podium,” said Tamara, 15.
“Luckily I had my friends within the team with me so it was a pretty fun experience.”
Day 5 of the YOG also marked the start of the athletics events, which was marred by bad weather.
In what was an unusually cold and rainy spring afternoon in Buenos Aires, high jumper Kampton Kam finished 6th out of 16 in stage 1 of the men’s high jump event after clearing 2.05m.
“I felt the weather did have an impact on my performance as I’ve never jumped in these conditions before and the constant changing in and out of my tracksuit to keep me warm was something I wasn’t really used to,” said Kampton, 17.
He will next compete at the second stage on Oct 14. And he is looking forward to the experience.
“It is a good learning experience for me at this great competition. These are all invaluable experiences that I can learn from and hopefully be able to face these scenarios again,” he said.
Other Singaporeans in action on day five
Women’s 50M Freestyle Heats – Christie Chue (26.83) Finished 22th out of 54. Did not qualify for semi-finals.
Men’s 50M Breaststroke Heats – Maximillian Ang (30.09) Finished 27th out of 36. Did not qualify for semi-finals.
Windsurfing Men’s Day 5 of 6 – Alexander Lim is ranked 7th out out 24, after 12 of 13 races
Windsurfing Women’s Day 5 of 6 – Marsha Shahrin is ranked 16th out 23, after 12 of 13 races