Gold medal continues to elude Gonzales in SEAG

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 04, 2015 09:30 PM
Gold medal continues to elude Gonzales in SEAG
Gonzales matched his silver medal finish in the 2005 SEA Games in Manila.

SINGAPORE -- The gold medal remains elusive for Richard Gonzales as he surrendered to Gao Ning of Singapore, 6-11, 9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 3-11, in the finals of the men's singles table tennis of the 28th Southeast Asian Games late Thursday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium here.

The 44-year old veteran, Gonzales failed to match the intensity of Gao in the last two games to settle for the consolation silver medal.

On the same note, Gonzales also won a silver medal in the 2005 SEA Games in Manila and bronze medal in the 2009 edition in Laos and 2013 in Myanmar as well as a bronze in the World Championship of Ping Pong last year.

But the gold medal still remains elusive.

Gonzales had a chance when he played like a grizzled warrior in booking an exciting come-from-behind win over Clarence Chew Zhe Yu of Singapore in the semifinals.

Stacked against a paddler 25 years his junior, Gonzales recovered from a slow start to formally complete the heart-stopping 11-14, 10-12, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 12-10 conquest and punch a ticket to the gold-medal match.

Until he ran into Gao, who is 19th in the latest world ranking of the International Table Tennis Federation.

After surviving Tanviriyachevchaku of Thailand, 9-11, 11-3, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6, 13-11, in the other semifinal pairing, Gao started out strong before unleashing a stronger finishing kick in clobbering Gonzales and sealing Singapore's seventh gold medal in the early stretch of this 11-country tournament which will formally opens on Friday.

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