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Chua Siang Yee
Friday, Jun 27, 2014

Sports

S'pore synchronised swimmers take 4th gold at regional meet

The Straits Times | Chua Siang Yee | Friday, Jun 27, 2014

The Singapore synchronised swimming team, with an average age of just 16.3 years, competing in the team free combination final yesterday at the OCBC Aquatic Centre. Coach Maryna Tsimashenka said this is “the first step” to next year’s SEA Games.

As Benny Goodman's Sing, Sing, Sing blared from the speakers at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, Singapore's synchronised swimmers swam, spun and splashed their way to a gold medal in the team free combination final yesterday at the South-east Asian Swimming Championships.

It was their fourth gold in three days of competition, wrapping up a successful outing for a team formed only in January.

They had earlier bagged the team free, team technical, and duet free titles, missing out on the duet technical gold, which went to Malaysia.

Singapore coach Maryna Tsimashenka told The Straits Times: "We were preparing for five golds, and even though we lost one title, I am happy with the team's performances over the two days, considering we had one of the youngest teams in the competition."

The team had an average age of 16.3 years, compared to Malaysia (18.8) and Indonesia (19.4), their opponents in the team free combination final.

Tsimashenka added: "This is only the first step.

"And we want to use this as a springboard for next year's SEA Games."

The results certainly bode well ahead of the Singapore SEA Games, although the competition promises to be much more intense in 12 months' time.

Thailand, who had a silver and bronze at the 2011 Indonesia Games, sat out the competition.

There was no synchronised swimming at last year's Myanmar SEA Games.

Indonesia sent only the Yogyakarta province team, although national coach Ragil Sugirestu said it is likely this team, who train four hours daily during competition season, would represent the country next year.

Malaysia, who swept all five golds in 2011, fielded a team with several new faces.

Assistant coach and five-time SEA Games champion Shareen Png promised that her charges, who train six hours a day, six days a week, would put up a better show next year.

Singapore captain Stephanie Chen warned: "This result gives us more confidence because we know we're on the right track, but we cannot afford to slacken.

"The other countries will train even harder after this, and we have to step up our game."

Singapore's divers wrapped up the biennial championships.

Myra Lee bagged a silver in the 1m women's springboard and bronze in the platform behind Freida Lim who won a silver in the same event.

Twins Timothy and Mark Lee finished first and second respectively in the 3m springboard final.

After 10 days of competition, Singapore finished top of the medals table with 20 golds, 22 silvers and 14 bronzes from swimming, water polo, diving, and synchronised swimming.


This article was first published on JUNE 25, 2014.
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