SEA Games: Reigning Men’s Table Tennis Singles Champion Koen Pang Eliminated

HANOI — Reigning Singapore men’s table tennis singles champion Koen Pang was eliminated in the group stage of the SEA Games on Thursday (May 19th).

Pang, 20, lost 3-1 (11-5, 8-11, 17-15, 14-12) to Thailand’s Sanguansin Phakpoom in his final group stage match at Hai Duong Gymnasium.

Although disappointed, he vowed to learn from the experience.

The world No. 113, who plans to train full time and hopes to break into the top 100 soon, said: “I feel devastated not because of the result but because of the way I played the game today.

“I couldn’t control my nerves and let them get the better of me today. I didn’t expect the result to be like this but…I know where my weaknesses are and what to work on .”

Pang, who completed his national service on May 10, won gold in mixed doubles with Wong Xin Ru as well as bronze in men’s team and doubles.

His compatriot Clarence Chew, a runner-up in 2017 and 2019, is still in contention for the elusive singles gold medal after dominating his group. He will face Vietnamese Nguyen Duc Tuan in the semi-finals on Friday.

The 26-year-old won the men’s doubles title with Ethan Poh in their third SEA Games together, while he also has a silver (mixed doubles) and bronze (men’s team) medal.

With defending women’s singles champion Lin Ye absent, debutant Zeng Jian is the only Singaporean remaining in the event.

Fellow rookie Zhou Jingyi was eliminated Thursday by Malaysian Ho Ying, who won 3-1 (11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5).

Zeng, 25, will face Thailand’s Orawan Paranang in the semifinals on Friday.

The men’s and women’s singles finals will be played in the evening.

The Republic paddlers have won two gold, three silver and two bronze so far.

Their nine-match gold streak in the women’s team was halted by the Thais in the final while Zeng and Zhou settled for silver in the women’s doubles, losing again to Thailand.