Yapp: SEA Games gold sweeter than world junior title
Aloysius partners veteran Toh to strike gold in 9-ball doubles
He burst onto the scene in 2014 when he became a junior world champion, winning the 9-ball pool singles category at the Under-19 World Junior Championships in Shanghai.
Aloysius Yapp was expected to rule the baize at the SEA Games on home soil in 2015, but he crashed out in the 9-ball pool singles quarter-finals.
In the doubles competition that same year, he and Toh Lian Han lost to the Philippines at the semi-final stage and had to settle for a bronze medal.
So one can imagine the 21-year-old's joy when he partnered Toh to win the men's 9-ball doubles gold medal at the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The duo, combining exuberance and experience, overcame Myanmar's Aung Moe Thu and Maung Maung 9-4 in the final at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Hall 4 last night.
Yapp, named the 2015 Sportsboy of the Year for winning the world junior title, said that the gold medal was his best achievement in the sport yet.
"This gold is sweeter (than the previous achievements)," Yapp told The New Paper.
"It's great to bring a gold back for Singapore, and I'm happy I did (the country) proud.
"We practised very hard every day for this... and yesterday's performance from the snooker doubles also motivated me to do well for Singapore as well."
On Wednesday night, the pair of Tey Choon Kiat and Chan Keng Kwang won Singapore cuesports' first gold medal in KL, after they defeated their Thailand counterparts 3-1 in the final of the men's snooker doubles competition.
For Toh, last night's gold medal had been a long time coming.
The 45-year-old has been one of the Republic's top pool players, but had only one SEA Games doubles silver (2007) and three bronze medals (2005, 2009 and 2015) to show for.
He pointed to the victory over Filipino duo Carlo Biado and Johann Chua in Wednesday's semi-final as a key moment in their gold-medal triumph.
"In the semi-final, we were tied 7-7... and we broke well, and then they broke scratch, and we managed to finish it," said Toh.
"I felt that was the turning point because Philippines are the powerhouses in this event."
He added: "Of course, we are very happy to win gold.
"Hopefully, Peter (Gilchrist) will get another gold for us in billiards, too."
The English-born Singaporean defeated Filipino legend Efren "Bata" Reyes 3-0 in the English billiards singles quarter-final yesterday to advance to today's semi-final.
Gilchrist is looking to clinch his fifth consecutive SEA Games gold medal in the event.
Gilchrist had partnered Yeo Teck Shin to a bronze medal in the men's English billiards doubles on Tuesday.