Singapore’s Isabelle Li has reached the final of the girls’ singles competition. She was in awesome form today. I watched her on television and could not help marvelling at the way she patiently picked Thailand’s Susathini Sawettabut apart.
This will be such a huge boost to young local aspiring paddlers who dream of playing for Singapore one day.
Isabelle still has the final to play for tonight. She will face either China’s Gu Yuting or South Korea’s Yang Han Eun.
But no matter what the outcome tonight, she is already a heroine in many people’s eyes.
Well done, Isabelle! Singapore boleh, local talent boleh!!
Below is the report on Isabelle’s match which I found on The Straits Times’ website
Yours in sport
Singapore Sports Fan
Isabelle storms into final
(The Straits Times Online, 23 Aug 2010)
By Gerard Wong
National paddler Isabelle Li has guaranteed herself and Singapore a silver medal in the Youth Olympic Games table tennis competition at the very least after she reached the final of the girls’ singles competition this morning.
The 15-year-old Singapore Sports School student was in superb form as she blitzed past Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut 4-0 in the semi-finals at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Watched on by International Olympic Committee president Jacque Rogge and Singapore Table Tennis Association president Lee Bee Wah, and cheered on by a vocal and boisterous partisan crowd, Isabelle Lee put in a calm and measured performance against Suthasini whom she had defeated 4-1 in the South-east Asian Junior Championships final earlier this year.
Suthasini looked a pale shadow of the girl who had conquered Japan’s Ayuki Tanioka 4-0 in the quarter-finals. Ayuki had defeated Isabelle in the preliminary rounds and as such, Suthasini should have gained a lot of confidence from her triumph.
Iinstead, she had a constant look of trepidation this morning and her furrowed brow continued to deepen as she went down 9-11 and then 6-11 in the first two sets.
Isabelle, on the other hand, maintained that solid defensive chopping display that enabled her to prevail over Romania’s Bernadette Soczs in the quarter-finals, returning everything that Suthasini threw at her.
She continued to hassle and harry Suthasini into making mistakes or hasty attempts at kills in the third set and finally won that 11-6.
In the fourth set, Suthasini started to put up a more spirited display. She led 3-1 but then the decider lurched from 4-4 to 6-6 before Isabelle finally started pulling ahead as the crowds chanted “Isabelle, jia you!”.
She led 9-7 and 10-9 and finally sealed the 11-9 win when Suthasini smashed into the net.
Isabelle, who competed in more than 20 tournaments around the world in the space of six months this year in preparation for the YOG, will face either China’s Gu Yuting or South Korea’s Yang Han Eun in this evening’s final.