By Low Jay Sen (The Straits Times)
SINGAPORE – Taekwondo exponent Chelsea Sim has won the gold medal in the women’s individual poomsae final – Singapore’s first title at the SEA Games since 1999 when S. Sinnathurai won in the men’s kyorugi flyweight category.
Compatriot Kang Rui Jie also won the gold medal in the corresponding men’s poomsae final.
The 19-year-old Sim beat off the likes of 2014 poomsae world champion Rinna Babanto of the Philippines at the Singapore Expo Hall 2 on Friday morning, to better her silver medal effort at the 2013 Games.
Sim totalled an average of 8.00 over her two routines to see off her closest competitors comfortably, with Babanto settling for the silver on 7.480 points and Indonesia’s Habiba Mutiara Mutiara and Kidavone Philavong of Laos were the joint bronze medallists after scoring 7.365 points and 7.350 points respectively.
Kang, 20, won the gold with his final score of 8.135 over two routines making him the clear winner over silver medallist Maulana Haidir from Indonesia, who was awarded 7.635 points. Third place went to Malaysian Yong Jin Kun on 7.305 points, and Sovannat Phal of Cambodia who finished with 7.245 points.
Sim and Kang then teamed up to earn Singapore their third medal on a productive day for taekwondo with a bronze medal effort in the mixed poomsae finals. Vietnamese pair Nguyen Minh Van and Nguyen Minh Tu finished first with 7.885 points, while Malaysia just pipped Singapore to the silver, scoring 7.785 points to the Republic’s showing of 7.720 points. Thailand took joint bronze with Singapore on 7.615 points.
Singapore also won 2 bronze medals through Ng Ming Wei (Men Under 54kg) and Chew Xin Wei (Women Under 46kg).