Women bowlers rue the doubles gold that got away
This was one of two gold medals that eluded Singapore's women bowlers at the 2015 SEA Games on home soil.
After the fifth game of the six-game block at the Sunway Mega Lanes in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, the Republic were in the driver's seat to reclaim the women's doubles title.
After all, two of Singapore's three pairings were in the top three at that point - Bernice Lim and Jazreel Tan were leading with 2,123 pinfalls while Cherie Tan and New Huifen were third and 35 pinfalls behind.
Indonesia's Sharon Limansantoso and Tannya Roumimper were second on 2,119.
However, the leading duo faltered in the last game as they combined for just 333 pinfalls for a score of 2,456, and slipped to a joint-fourth finish along with Malaysia's Siti Safiyah Amirah and Shalin Zulkifli.
Women's singles champion Cherie and New also did not finish strongly by their high standards, adding 402 pinfalls for a 2,490 total to settle for silver.
Much of the pre-tournament talk was centred on the Singapore-Malaysia rivalry, but it was Indonesia - led by Roumimper's superb final game score of 257 - who broke the duopoly and won gold with 2,561 pinfalls.
Singapore's Daphne Tan and Shayna Ng took bronze with a score of 2,464.
In the men's doubles, Singapore failed to retain the gold they won two years ago.
While none of their three duos finished with a medal, fourth-placed Jaris Goh and Keith Saw finished just 43 pinfalls behind Malaysians Alex Liew and Syafiq Ridhwan's winning total of 2,647.
A blip in the fifth game that saw Goh and Saw, who won the men's doubles gold with brother Howard Saw in 2015, score just 380 pinfalls proved costly.
Singapore's other two male pairings - Timothy Tham and Basil Ng (2,442), and Darren Ong and Cheah Ray Han (2,315) - finished 10th and 14th respectively.
National senior assistant coach Jason Yeong-Nathan told The New Paper: "The bowlers fought very hard even though they were struggling at some point during the competition.
"The performance was not that great based on the results.
"Today was the first time we bowled on the long oil pattern and the lane change was pretty fast. Our decision-making was not as quick as we would have liked and sometimes it took a few frames before we got the line.
"We will discuss as a group on how to bowl the long tonight, re-strategise and get the team prepared for the upcoming events."