With less than five months to go before the nation hosts the SEA Games, Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) secretary- general Chris Chan is quietly confident Team Singapore can put on a showing that matches their best ever at the biennial event.
The magic number is 50 - the Republic's record haul of golds, won when Singapore last hosted the Games in 1993.
Since then, the contingent's best return was 43 golds at the 2007 Korat edition in Thailand.
"The mood now is (one where) everyone is very optimistic," said Chan yesterday at the Singapore Sports Hub. "The athletes are going in with a bit of fire, a bit of oomph and that's important.
"Plus, you're on home ground. With a bit of rah-rah, anything is possible."
He noted that both Sport Singapore (SportSG) and the SNOC had come up with additional funds in support of Team Singapore's push for glory at the June 5-16 event.
SportSG, for instance, announced The Final Push in June last year, allocating funds on top of existing support schemes for potential medal winners at the SEA Games.
The SNOC has also allocated about $300,000 to 14 national sports associations to help boost their high performance training programmes to prepare for the Games.
Added Chan: "You never know - with a bit of hard work, a bit of push and with the crowd behind them, maybe the goal is possible."
Chef de mission Tan Eng Liang, a former national water polo player who competed at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, also expressed confidence.
He told The Straits Times: "It is Singapore's 50th birthday and we already hit 50 (golds) in 1993.
"As a target, we should at least hit 50 and above."
Singapore will welcome more than 7,000 athletes and officials across 36 sports when the opening ceremony for the region's biggest multi-sport event takes place at the National Stadium.
Tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies have already gone on sale, with tickets to the various competitions expected to be available from early next month.
The SNOC selection committee will meet on Monday to decide on the first batch of athletes who have made the cut to represent the Republic at the Games.
Said Chan: "That won't necessarily mean they're going to the Games.
"You may have four athletes who make the grade for an event that allows only two entries, and that is a good problem."
This article was first published on Jan 24, 2015.
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