SEA Games: 75 golds possible for S'pore, but rivals set for battle

SEA Games: 75 golds possible for S'pore, but rivals set for battle
Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee (Singsoc) chairman, Lim Teck Yin.

Sport Singapore's chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin is an effusive man.

He is bold and confident - as an athlete, he was part of the water polo teams that won six consecutive South-east Asia (SEA) Games gold medals from 1985 to 1995.

But, when it comes to making gold-medal predictions for Team Singapore at the 28th Games here from June 5 to 16, he is restrained.

Addressing The New Paper's prediction of a record-shattering haul of 75 gold medals by the 748-strong contingent at the Games, Lim, the chairman of the organising committee, said: "I think an aspiration like 75 gold medals... well, I hope Team Singapore feel that way. "It is doable, of course it is. And I hope you're right.

"(But) I am very cautious about not respecting our opponents. We have recently gone out to film some of the South-east Asian athletes training, and I can tell you, they are dead serious.

"The Thai basketball team were not at (last week's) SEABA championships, because they are dead serious about their preparations.

"So while I would hope that Team Singapore share the same 75-gold medal aspiration, I would say respect your opponents and work hard for the remaining weeks."

Yesterday, the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) finalised the list of athletes representing Singapore at this Games.

Some 748 athletes will compete across 36 sports - far surpassing the previous record of 483 in 1993, also on home soil.

For Team Singapore to go well past the record 50 golds achieved 22 years ago, the powerhouse sports must deliver.

Sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis and bowling are once again expected to boost the gold tally.

However, the Republic will also need a few surprises from other sports.

In that respect, athletics - with 46 golds on offer - will be in the spotlight.

From the 1960 to the '70s, track and field could be counted on for a clutch of golds, with names like C Kunalan, Chee Swee Lee, Heather Merican and Noor Azahar to count on.

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