Hosts Singapore got off to a disappointing start in the Asian Youth Water Polo Championships at Toa Payoh Swimming Complex on Wednesday.
On the opening day of the Under-17 competition, the local boys crashed 6-13 to Kazakhstan in Group A in the morning while the girls lost 5-12 to India, also in Group A, in the evening.
"I think we played well today. Considering that this is our first-ever international match and that half of the team sat their examinations this morning," said Singapore girls' captain Neo Ser Han, 17, a student from Raffles Institution. "We were nervous. We didn't convert as many goals as we wanted and missed opportunities to take shots.
"We hope to stay relaxed tomorrow, keep our nerves under control and enjoy the game."
Meanwhile, the Kazakh boys showed they are the team to beat when they later thumped Sri Lanka 22-7, while the Kazakh girls thrashed Indonesia 19-4 in Group A.
The Chinese girls are serious contenders too, after whacking Sri Lanka 33-2 in Group B.
Ten boys and seven girls' teams are taking part in the competition.
The action continued on Thursday.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.