Singapore had proudly boasted of making a clean sweep of the seven gold medals in the table tennis competition in the 28th SEA Games but at the Singapore Indoor Stadium the women’s singles final was between Malaysia’s veteran Ng Sock Khim, 31 and Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut, 20.
And it turned out to be a seven-set thriller between the Malaysian and Thai paddler and after a 54 minute battle it was Suthasini who registered a 7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 9-11 win to become the youngest ever women’s singles gold medallist in the biennial games.
Playing with a heavily strapped right knee, Sock Khim made her SEA Games debut in 1999 Brunei and was a silver medallist in the women’s singles and also won a bronze in the team event in the 2007 games in Korat, Thailand.
It was a commendable effort from the Malaysian who buckled in the final set to hand her Thai the gold medal. Suthasini is ranked 107 in the world.
In the semi-finals Sok Khim beat Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Nga 4-0 (11-8, 14-12, 11-7, 11-4) while Suthasini was taken the full distance before edging another Vietnamese My Hoang My Trang 4-3 (16-18, 10-12, 9-11, 13-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9).