Wushu ends on a high with six golds
Late gold adds flourish to a successful SEA Games campaign
It was the icing on the cake.
Singapore's wushu's contingent ended their SEA Games campaign on a high at Expo Hall 2 last night when Fung Jin Jie, Tan Xiang Tian and Tay Wei Sheng won the men's duel (barehand) gold medal with a score of 9.70 points.
Philippines came in second with a score of 9.68 while Indonesia claimed a bronze with 9.67.
That took Singapore's wushu tally to six golds, three silvers and three bronzes.
The Republic's wushu exponents had earlier bagged four gold medals from the men's duel event (weapons), men's optional changquan, women's compulsory taijiquan and women's optional changquan events.
Yesterday afternoon, team captain Lee Tze Yuan won the Republic's fifth gold medal in the men's optional taijiquan event, in what he described as the "biggest moment of (his) career".
The 24-year-old exponent put on a stellar performance for a score of 9.71, beating Filipino Daniel Parantac (9.70) and Indonesian Fredy (9.69).
As the national anthem was played and the flag was raised, Lee's eyes swelled and tears rolled down his cheeks.
With a tissue in hand, he said: "I was very overwhelmed with emotion, especially when the national anthem played. On home ground, it means so much more to all of us."
Clutching at his first SEA Games gold medal, he said: "This is a physical manifestation of all the hard work. This is the biggest moment in my wushu career."
His teammate Valerie Wee capped off her final SEA Games appearance with a silver medal after scoring 9.71 in the women's optional taijiquan category.
The 25-year-old could not stop Indonesia's golden girl, Lindswell Kwok, from clinching her second gold medal of the competition. Kwok scored a 9.73, while Malaysia's Ng Shin Yii took home the bronze with a 9.69 effort.
Singapore also bagged another silver yesterday through Samuel Tan, 18, in the men's compulsory taijiquan.
And it was left to the men's duel trio to round off a successful SEA Games campaign.
"We're elated, definitely," said Tan after the medal ceremony.
"We're very grateful to our federation and coaches for giving us the opportunity to be standing on the podium today."
Member of Parliament Sitoh Yih Pin, who is also vice-president of the Singapore Wushu Dragon and Lion Dance Federation, paid tribute to the home support, which he described as "phenomenal".
He is also optimistic about the future of wushu in Singapore.
"Our athletes have been training very hard, and they are all still very young," he said. "So that augurs well for the future."