Berthier retains fencing title, Gong wins 900th Singapore gold

Women's foil fencers Amita Berthier (left) and Maxine Wong during their final. Berthier eventually clinching the gold after winning 15-10. (PHOTO SNOC/Kong Chong Yew)

UPDATE: Speed skater Cheyenne Goh clinched Singapore’s eighth gold of the SEA Games in the short track speed skating event in Manila.

SINGAPORE — Fencer Amita Berthier and chess player Gong Qianyun clinched two more SEA Games golds for Singapore on Tuesday (3 November) afternoon, pushing the Republic’s gold-medal tally to seven after three official days of competition.

Berthier, who became the world junior No. 1 fencer in women’s foil in May this year, came from 9-10 down against compatriot Maxine Wong in the individual final to rattle off six straight points for her eventual 15-10 victory in Manila’s World Trade Center.

She thus retains the women’s individual foil gold, which she had also won in Kuala Lumpur in 2017 after beating the Philippines’ Samantha Catantan in the final.

This time, the 19-year-old beat Catantan 15-9 in the semi-final, while Wong beat Vietnam’s Do Thi Anh 15-13 to confirm Singapore’s gold medal before the final.

Champion after nine rounds of chess

In Subic, 34-year-old Gong scored 7.5 points after nine rounds of rapid chess to emerge as the winner over silver medallist Ummi Fisabilillah and bronze medallist Irine Sukandar, both from Indonesia.

This is Singapore’s first-ever SEA Games gold in the chess competition, which was held in four previous editions (2003, 2005, 2011 and 2013). The Republic’s previous best showing was a silver medal by Jason Goh in the men’s individual rapid chess in 2003.

It is also the 900th gold won by the Republic since it began participating in the biennial Games in 1959.

Singapore chess player Gong Qianyun playing against Philippines' Shania Mae Mendoza en route to her SEA Games gold medal. (PHOTO: Sport Singapore/Dyan Tjhia)

Cheyenne Goh wins gold on second try

Later on Tuesday evening, 20-year-old Cheyenne Goh – Singapore’s first Winter Olympics athlete – clinched her first SEA Games gold medal in the short-track speed skating 500m race.

In her previous Games outing in 2017, she fell while leading in the same race, and could only finish third. On Tuesday, she led from start to finish, clocking 46.421 seconds to finish ahead of Malaysians Dione Tan (47.594 seconds) and Anja Chong (47.657) at the SM Megamall ice rink in Manila.

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