NAYPYIDAW- As the curtain fell on the Myanmar SEA Games yesterday, Singapore will look back and remember the event as one that produced sweet results in unexpected quarters.
Paving the way for the Republic are Mok Ying Ren's first men's marathon gold, Chan Jing Ru's first archery gold in 30 years, Janine Khoo's first equestrian gold since 1995, judoka Ho Han Boon's first gold for his sport in 24 years, Dinah Chan's first gold for a woman cyclist and Saiyidah Aisyah's first gold in rowing since 1997.
The "breakthroughs" have not escaped chef de mission Annabel Pennefather's attention.
In her review of Singapore's performance yesterday, she said: "We have witnessed many breakthroughs in these Games and very pleasant surprise medals.
"We have seen many of those firsts here, from a wider range of sports, and several firsts in many decades and from quite a few young debutants."
She hopes that the athletes' achievements will inspire their respective sports to grow.
Remarkably, a few of the golden stars achieved success despite numerous obstacles and distractions.
For instance, Saiyidah triumphed despite less than ideal support as her association struggles to find consistent funding.
The 25-year-old, who became an instant online heroine after her win, hopes to raise rowing's profile and attract more funding.
Janine, 16, marked a remarkable comeback after being flung off a horse during training only two months ago. She broke her right cheekbone and fractured bones in her right eye socket.