Team Singapore punched above its weight

Team Singapore punched above its weight
Singapore's Veronica Shanti Pereira (L) crosses the finish line first to win the gold

Achieving a record total of 259 medals, with 84 of them gold, at this year's SEA Games is no mean feat ("Friendship the biggest winner at the Games"; yesterday).

And this little red dot - with just three million citizens - did just that, emerging second overall in the gold medal tally and first, in terms of total number of medals won, against our larger neighbours.

The competition itself, in any sport, is usually the easy part.

It is the years before the actual competition that require government support, organisational planning, personal sacrifice and dedicated training, involving sweat, blood and tears.

All this culminates injust one event that really counts for sportsmen.

The SEA Games have made Singaporeans proud, especially with the medals tumbling the host country's way.

The excitement, emotions and the thrill of victory ran high, notwithstanding the agony of defeat and near misses.

We experienced not only the joys and the disappointments, but also the amusing side of the Games.

What is most important is the enjoyment of the Games, and the hope that the event will inspire more, both young and old, to take up sports.

Kudos to the efficient government support, the tireless organisers, the generous sponsors, the various hard-working sports associations, the 17,000 cheerful and helpful volunteers, the supporters who eagerly thronged the various venues, and especially the sportsmen and women for making SEA Games 2015 a memorable success.

Who can forget the spontaneous singing of Majulah Singapura during the medal presentation ceremony when the sound system suddenly failed?

All this is a fitting toast to SG50.

Henry Low Chuan Hoe

This article was first published on June 18, 2015.
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