Men’s paddlers continue to impress with runners-up finish in Bangkok

PETALING JAYA: The men’s team proved their silver medal feat in the Vietnam SEA Games last month was no fluke when they claimed a runners-up finish in the South-East Asian Table Tennis Championships in Bangkok.

The men’s team consisting of newly crowned national champion Javen Choong (pic), Leong Chee Feng, Wong Qi Shen and Lee Yong Yi put up convincing performances by toppling Thailand and Vietnam by 3-2 margins to top Group B.

Malaysia also beat the Philippines 3-0 in the group and defeated Indonesia 3-0 in the semi-finals.

At the SEA Games, the men’s team reached the final after 29 years before they were stopped 1-3 by Thailand.

The women’s team comprising Alice Chang, Tee Ai Xin, Im Li Ying and Karen Lyne also returned with a bronze medal after losing 2-3 to Thailand in the semis.

Karen also contributed two more bronze medals in the singles and doubles.

She went down 5-11, 5-11, 4-11, 5-11 to Suthasini Sawettabut of Thailand in the singles and together with Ho Ying, they lost 11-9, 5-11, 4-11, 11-6, 5-11 to Jinnipa Sawettabut-Wanwisa Aueawiriyayothin of Thailand in the doubles semis.

National coach Beh Lee Wei was pleased with the team as it was the last competition before they head for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

“Our men’s team did well to beat Thailand in the group stage and they fought hard to try to win in the final. It’s a well earned silver medal,” she said.

Thailand displaced Singapore as the new powerhouse of the sport in the region by winning four gold medals.

Besides winning both team titles, Thailand also took home the women’s singles and doubles crown.

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