Dragon boat: Singapore teams end up on podium

Dragon boat: Singapore teams end up on podium
The Thai national team crosses the finish line in first place during the finals of the DBS International Premier Open 500m dragon boat race at the Promontory@Marina Bay.

Yesterday's heavy rain did not dampen the spirits of Singapore's national dragon boaters, who put up commendable performances to end on the podium on the final day of the DBS Marina Regatta.

Only the International Premier Open and International Premier Women categories were contested while the Tertiary Open, Corporate Open and Corporate Women categories were exhibition races.

The Thais were the biggest winners at the Promontory at Marina Bay, with their men and women emerging as overall champions. Thailand's assistant team manager Norrapatch Ta In was happy with their results, ahead of the Asian Championships in Macau at the end of this month.

"We had to adopt a new race strategy for the finals by increasing our stroke rates for the race," he explained.

Singapore's teams both finished third overall, improving on their showing last year when neither made the podium. The women finished behind Thailand and the Philippines in the overall standings, after clocking 2min 37.05sec to take third spot in the 500m race.

The men finished narrowly behind second-placed Indonesia in the overall standings, with 22 points to their rivals' 23, while Thailand led with 30.

They nearly pipped Indonesia to clinch silver in the 500m race but their rivals had a stronger finish, clocking 1:58.52 to Singapore's 1:59.05.

Singapore men's team vice-captain Jerry Tan, 31, felt that it was a solid showing from the team, who started training together at the start of the year.

"Before the race, we said that we wanted to give the Singapore crowd a good show. I could feel the boys putting in the effort from the start, everyone was pushing, shouting and really wanted it."

Singapore's national teams will also be at the Asian Championships and Tan viewed the regatta as a useful run-out for the less experienced crew members.

"I think we managed to give the crowd a good performance today, we know we did everything we could, and we're happy with the result," he said.

yuntingc@sph.com.sg

This article was published on May 19 in The Straits Times.

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