SINGAPORE- The first medals of the 2013 SEA Games were given out yesterday - in chinlone, a traditional sport of the host nation, Myanmar.
Singapore also featured in the competition at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium in Naypyidaw, with the sepak takraw team contesting the performance-based sport, which involves players juggling a rattan ball similar to the one used in sepak takraw.
The six-man team of Muhammad Magrib Ibrahim, Muhammad A'fif Saiee, Muhammad Nurirwan Mazlan, Hassan Aziz, Muhammad Haffiz Ramli and Muhammad Farhan Aman came in last in the five-team contest with 156 points, with the hosts claiming top spot with 636.
Thailand (407) finished second while Malaysia and Laos were joint-third (246).
Despite coming in last, the Singapore team's coach Salleh Nanang was not too disappointed with the result.
He said: "We are still at the learning stage of this game and it is our first tournament."
Chinlone is making its debut at the biennial Games, which begins officially only on Dec 11.
The Myanmar women's team yesterday won the Games' first gold medal through the sport, which will offer eight golds over the next six days.
Singapore will compete for three of them.
The sepak takraw team first learnt of the game last year when Myanmar hosted an exhibition event. The hosts also sent a coach here in September to help the team learn the basics.
Despite their short learning time, team manager Mohamed Salim believes that the Republic can spring a surprise and claim a medal.
He said yesterday: "The skills can be very hard to learn, you've got to be very flexible.
"But the boys are in a good mood and, in the next events, the difficulty level is lowered.
"We can expect to win at least a medal."
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