Asian test for water polo juniors

Asian test for water polo juniors
The 3rd Asian Youth Water Polo Championship, featuring the region's top Under-17 sides, will be held from Sept 25-30 at Toa Payoh Swimming Complex

The republic's water polo teams rule in South-east Asia. Since the sport's introduction at the South-east Peninsular Games - now the South-east Asia (SEA) Games - in 1965, Singapore's water polo teams have not failed to win the gold medal at the biennial event.

From today, though, the region's powerhouses will have to share their pool with bigger fish as a festival of water polo descends upon Toa Payoh.

Starting today, the Toa Payoh Swimming Complex will stage the Under-17 Asian Youth Water Polo Championship, followed by the Asian Water Polo Cup tournament next week.

The Singapore U-17 boys have their work cut out for them.

They start their Group A campaign today against Kazakhstan, who are ranked world No. 11.

The tournament is a daunting mission for both the boys and girls, but it is an exciting opportunity for them to showcase their talent in front of local fans in the biggest water polo event to be staged here in years.

Boys' captain Valampurithavan Thamilarasan said: "As most of us will move up to the national team in the future, this is a good competition for us to improve and gain exposure.

"The Asian teams are much bigger physically and more experienced than South-east Asian teams, but the experience we will gain from them will be invaluable.

"Kazakhstan will be a big threat because their men's team were the only Asian team to qualify for the Olympics. It's a bit daunting to be in the same group as them, but if we can play a good opening game, we can show the others that we are a team to be reckoned with."

Singapore's boys have been drawn in Group A, along with Philippines, Iran, Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan.

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