What's in Eugene Teo's HTC One (M8)

What's in Eugene Teo's HTC One (M8)
Eugene Teo, captain of Singapore Men's water polo team.

Talk about getting your feet wet for the first time.

Here is a fun fact about Eugene Teo, 27, captain of Singapore's water polo team: He could not even swim when he decided he wanted to play water polo.

"It was all because of a promise," he said. While still in primary school, he and a friend had seen the Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) team training at a public swimming pool in Queenstown.

"We thought that the sport looked pretty cool," recalled Teo.

Then and there, they decided that water polo would be their sport.

His friend ended up in a school that did not offer water polo as a sport and became a rugby player.

Teo entered ACS (Barker Road) and stayed true to his promise. But he first had to spend 1 1/2 years learning to swim, while the others got on with learning the basics of the game.

"By the time they had started with the ball, I had just finished swimming," he said with a grin.

Because his swimming was not up to their standard, he was made goalkeeper.

"I felt that I was bad at everything. The ball moves at a pretty high speed, so, at a young age, I would naturally try to avoid the ball, instead of trying to catch it, which made me a poor goalkeeper."

Still, he continued to train with the school team and, during the school holidays, twice a day.

After a growth spurt in his adolescent years, his persistence paid off and he became centre forward, leading the attack.

At 19, he was picked to join the national team. He has led the team to two SEA Games gold medals since becoming captain in 2011.

Since the SEA Games are often held towards the year end, he missed out on spending several holiday seasons with his family.

"I missed celebrating four of my birthdays, in fact. I spent all of them at the SEA Games," said Teo, whose birthday is in December.

"We still managed to get a cake into the athletes' village each time, though," he added with a chuckle.

When he gets time off, he enjoys "slacking" - watching Korean dramas, playing video games and spending time with close friends - a well-deserved break, perhaps, from his training routine. The team trains three hours, six days a week.

"I'm getting older, so I don't wish to party any more," he joked.

Currently a salesman with a start-up in the marine industry, Teo wants to concentrate on advancing his career before eventually starting a business, finding a partner and starting a family.

What excites him most now is the upcoming 2015 SEA Games here, a rare chance for the team to play in front of a home crowd.

The Games were last held here in 1993. For this year's SEA Games in June, the water polo matches will be held at the new Aquatic Centre at the Singapore Sports Hub.

The Singapore team has taken the gold at every edition of the SEA Games and ranks 16th in the Fina world rankings, higher than any other team in South-east Asia.

"I would say that we're confident of snagging a medal - the team has been gelling well for the past two or three years, so we're very confident of a gold medal," Teo said.

MyFitnessPal

A team at the Singapore Sports Institute uses this app to help us track our progress in our training. Our dietitian helps us keep track of targets for things such as our weight and muscle mass as competition dates approach.

This app even provides calorie counts for all sorts of local dishes, such as bak kut teh, and it is handy for keeping our diets in check.

Cookie Run

Cookie Run is a great game for killing time - it doesn't require lots of commitment.

I went through a phase where I played World Of Warcraft way too much - as much as 20 hours in a single day, so I stick to games like this so that I won't sink too much time into it.

Instagram

Instagram is a great way to catch up with friends and family.

I also follow a few accounts that post motivational images, which help to push me forward in life.

I even share a few with my water-polo WhatsApp groups if they're particularly inspiring.


This article was first published on Feb 18, 2015.
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