Azreen Sairudin was set to lead the sepak takraw regu team's quest for SEA Games glory. Instead, he is fighting for his life.
At press time, Azreen, 25, was in critical condition at Tan Tock Seng Hospital after the motorcycle that he and his brother were riding collided with a car along the Seletar Expressway (SLE).
Azreen's brother, Aqil Sairudin, 21, died from his injuries.
The Straits Times understands that Azreen had left Copthorne King's Hotel along Havelock Road, the team's residence during the June 5-16 Games, just after 11pm to return home to tend to some family matters.
At 2.54am, presumably when the brothers were on their way back to the hotel, the Singapore Police Force received a call about an accident along the city-bound side of the SLE.
Both brothers were conscious.
The news is a major blow to the sepak takraw team.
Azreen had been scheduled to compete in the team, regular and team doubles events.
His first taste of action would have come at 11am today, when Singapore faces Indonesia in the team event.
Said teammate Danial Feriza: "All of us in the team are shocked. Azreen is one of the leaders in the team, and he would always guide younger players like me."
Singapore Sepak Takraw Federation (Perses) secretary-general Abdul Halim Kader expressed his condolences to Azreen's family.
He said: "We will do all that we can to help the family during their time of grief."
He added that sports psychologists are aiding the team in coping with the tragic news.
Singapore's Games chefs de mission, Tan Eng Liang and Nicholas Fang, noted: "We are very sorry for the family's loss, and are currently in contact with Azreen's family to monitor his situation.
"The priority now is to focus on Azreen's immediate needs, and to ensure that the team's well-being is being looked after."
This article was first published on June 8, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.