Water polo set for final-day golden flourish

Water polo set for final-day golden flourish
Singapore will play against Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines in the water polo competition. -TNP

After yesterday's official team draw at the Black Box auditorium at the Sports Hub, Singapore's water polo teams are expected to provide a final flourish at the end of the South-east Asia (SEA) Games.

Scheduled to take place from June 10-16, the latter date which is also the day of the closing ceremony, water polo has traditionally been a gold-mine for Team Singapore, especially for the men, who have plundered 25 consecutive gold medals since 1965.

The women's team also won the gold medal when their event was introduced at the 2011 Games in Indonesia.

Five teams - hosts Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines - will slug it out in both the men's and women's water polo events this year.

And there is no doubt that Team Singapore will finish with another two gold medals on the final day of competition.

Eugene Teo, captain of the men's team, is confident of making it gold No. 26, saying: "Preparations are good. We'll be going to Japan next week, and that's when we start gearing up for competition.

"We would love to win the gold medal again, and we'll be training hard for that."

Choo Chin Cheng, head coach of the women's team, added: "We just came back from China, and our girls are stronger and fitter.

"We have homeground advantage, we'll try our best to win and I hope our supporters will give us extra energy to play."

Meanwhile, Singapore volleyball will also be hoping for a milestone medal to add to the two bronzes from the men in 1993 and the women in 1981.

The men were drawn in Group B with Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia. The teams in Group A are Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Myanmar.

The women are in Group A with 2013 champions Thailand and Myanmar, while Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia make up Group B.

TOUGH

Volleyball Association of Singapore president Ang Wei Neng said: "Our men's team will fight it out with Indonesia and Vietnam for the top two spots in Group B.

"The volleyball competitions are scheduled for June 10 to 16.

"It's going to be tough for us because we are up against the 2013 silver and bronze medallists respectively.

"Our men's team have not competed since 1995. For us to qualify for this SEA Games is already an achievement.

"We will be going to Thailand for centralised training. We will try our best.

"Our women's team are in Group A that has three teams. We have to at least beat a team to reach the semi-finals. We hope for one of the teams to get into the semi-finals and win a medal."


This article was first published on April 16, 2015.
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