NAYPYIDAW - Winning SEA Games gold medals has become a routine for national water polo coach Lee Sai Meng.
He won six as a player, and at the Zayar Thiri Swimming Complex in Naypyidaw yesterday, collected his third as a coach after Singapore beat Myanmar 21-13.
But he fears Singapore's dominance in the sport - this year's success marks the team's 25th consecutive triumph - could come to an end sooner rather than later.
"It's getting tougher and tougher because every country is investing and training harder," said the former goalkeeper, whose charges finished top after winning all four of the group games.
"We can't just sit there and think we are champions. We have to do something too."
Singapore were given tough fights by Thailand and Indonesia at this year's competition, winning both matches 8-5.
Lee said that he has begun grooming local kids as young as 10 to compete in regional tournaments, but added that National Service (NS) is a stumbling block to the next level.
Despite their dominance in South-east Asia, Singapore have only won the Asian Games gold in 1954.
Technical adviser Tom Hoad, who has been involved with Singapore water polo for more than two decades, said there is enough local talent in Singapore to make a splash at the international level.