SEA Games: Schooling cheers grief-stricken Singapore

AFP

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Tran Tuan Quynh of Vietnam plays a shot during the men's team table tennis final match against Li Hu of Singapore at the 28th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Singapore on June 8, 2015. Photo: AFP/Sajjad Hussain Tran Tuan Quynh of Vietnam plays a shot during the men's team table tennis final match against Li Hu of Singapore at the 28th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Singapore on June 8, 2015. Photo: AFP/Sajjad Hussain

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Swimmer Joseph Schooling brought joy to grieving Singapore on Monday as he claimed another two SEA Games gold medals for the hosts and both in event-record time.
Flags flew at half-mast and Games venues observed a sombre minute's silence for the eight Singaporean victims, mostly schoolchildren, of Friday's Mount Kinabalu earthquake.
Schooling had pledged to swim for those killed in Malaysia, and he duly brought his Games tally to four golds with wins in the 50m freestyle and 200m butterfly.
His 22.47sec beat the six-year-old SEA Games freestyle record, while 1:55.73 in the 200m butterfly lowered the mark he set in 2011 at the age of 16.
Schooling, 19, remains on course for a stunning nine gold medals at Southeast Asia's Olympics as he sets his sights on a break-out July-August world championships in Russia.
Fans held up signs saying "Joseph you are the best!" as he spearheaded a triumphant night for Singapore in the pool as they grabbed six out of seven golds on offer.
It pushed them way out in front on the medals table with 40 gold medals, 14 ahead of Vietnam with Thailand third and Malaysia fourth on the third day of full competition.
Siblings Quah Zheng Wen and Quah Ting Wen won the men's 200m backstroke and women's 100m freestyle -- and both in event-record time in the fast Aquatics Centre pool.
Tao Li won the 50m backstroke and Singapore rounded off the night with victory in the women's 4x200m freestyle relay, which only featured three teams.
Vietnam's "Iron Girl" Nguyen Thi Anh Vien, who has entered 11 events and has already won four, faltered with bronze in the 50m backstroke and silver in the 100m freestyle.
Filipinos dominated the boxing with former world champion Josie Gabuco reaching the women's light flyweight final as she seeks her fourth straight SEA Games gold medal.
Five of the seven men's finals will be contested by her fellow countrymen including flyweight Ian Clark Bautista, victim of a judging controversy at last year's Asian Games.
Bautista lost on points to home favourite Choe Sang-Don at the Incheon Asiad, and he was praying lightning doesn't strike twice against Singapore's Hanurdeen Hamid on Wednesday.
"It's difficult when you fight against a boxer from the home country but I pray that the judges are good in the final," said Bautista.
Singapore also snatched gold medals in billiards, kayaking, equestrian, wushu and shooting in what was their most successful day yet at the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
But their sepaktakraw players were left reeling as a team-mate underwent surgery following a motorbike accident which also killed his younger brother.
As Muhammad Azreen remained in intensive care after his second operation, his traumatised team-mates slumped to a 3-0 defeat to Indonesia.
 
 

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