SINGAPORE - Synchronised swimming is one of those subjective sports where allegations of biased judging often crop up.
Thankfully, Katrina Ann Hadi-Zylane Lee Yhing Huey proved superior in every aspect to claim the gold medal - Malaysia's first in the SEA Games in Singapore - in the duet technical and free routine event.
Having led the field after the technical routine on Tuesday, Katrina-Zylane amassed 75.567 points in the free routine for a 150.910 total at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
Although Singapore's Stephanie Chen-Crystal Yap outscored Katrina-Zylane with 75.867 in the free routine, they could only garner a 149.837 total for the silver.
Indonesia's Anisa Feritrianti-Claudia Megawati Suyanto took the bronze with 139.088 points.
It was Katrina's third duet gold in the SEA Games, having won two with former partner-turned-coach Shareen Png at the 2011 Games in Palembang.
The gold, however, was Zylane's first in the duet event and she was clearly pleased with her effort.
"It's our first gold as a pair and I'm just really happy and proud because I've been so stressed before the final," said Zylane.
"I think we did quite well today and we learned from our mistakes during the preliminaries and focused on our individual abilities more."
The 22-year-old Katrina said that "we are just glad to deliver the first gold for the Malaysian contingent".
"We were really quite stressed because the pressure was on us. It was also a very close competition and we really went all out for it," said Katrina.
"Since it's a subjective sport, it could have gone either way.
"I guess we're just really happy to win the first gold medal for Malaysia."
Malaysian chef-de-mission Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria, who gave out the medals, hoped Katrina-Zylane's feat would spur the other athletes to push harder for glory.
"The girls rose to the occasion today ... hopefully, the other Malaysian athletes will step up as well," said Norza.