Men's foil team bag their first-ever SEA Games gold medal
It was a close battle, but Singapore's men's foil team fought tenaciously in the OCBC Arena yesterday to claim the gold medal.
They beat the Philippines 45-40 in front of a roaring home crowd, securing a historic first SEA Games gold medal for Singapore.
Fencer Joshua Lim, 19, grabbed an early lead for the team, winning 5-3 in the first bout.
But it seemed shaky for the Singaporeans at times, with teammate Kevin Chan, 17, losing his first two bouts 6-5 and 7-5 before changing his fencing style to win his last bout 5-3.
"I was making the same mistake repeatedly," Kevin said after the match.
"But I'm very appreciative of how our coach shouted instructions on what I needed to change during my bouts, so I could do better."
The team had nothing but praise for their opponents.
"They were on fire," said fencer Tan Yuan Zi, 25.
"They weren't very strong contenders in the past few SEA Games, but they managed to unseat Thailand, who were the defending champions, during the semi-finals.
"They've put up a very good fight this time."
The team had been training intensively for the past year in preparation for the Games, and are looking forward to enjoying their win.
"It will definitely be a very good celebration," said Tan.
Earlier in the day, Singapore's women's epee team lost 29-28 to the Philippines in the semi-finals and had to settle for a bronze medal, while the women's sabre team also ended their campaign with a bronze after losing 45-36 to Vietnam.
The men's foil team's win gives Singapore gold medals in both team foil events, as their female counterparts had beaten Vietnam 45-26 in their final yesterday.
Singapore's men's epee team won a silver and the men's sabre team clinched a bronze yesterday as well.
The hosts' medal haul for fencing in this year's Games: three golds, three silvers and seven bronzes.