SINGAPORE - With just three weeks to go before the start of the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, Singapore athletes are prepared and raring to make a splash at the quadrennial event.
Some 40 Team Singapore athletes representing Swimming, Water Polo, and Diving attended a flag presentation ceremony at the newly built OCBC Aquatic Centre today as part of the send-off activities ahead of this year's Asiad.
Mr Lee Kok Choy, President of the Singapore Swimming Association, handed over the Singapore flag to representatives of the three different swimming disciplines, in the presence of Team Singapore athletes, parents, affiliates, sponsors, partners, and members of the media.
The parents also marked the occasion by pinning the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) flag collar pin on the collars of their children, before the raising of the national flag and singing of the National Anthem.
Representing the Swimming team to receive the flag were Amanda Lim and Christopher Cheong, while Tan Su-Lynn and Teo Zhen Wei Eugene from the Water Polo teams received the flag from Mr Lee. Fong Kay Yian and Timothy Lee were the flag bearers for Singapore's Water Polo Team.
The flag presentation ceremony also marks the first time that the newly appointed swimming EXCO has conducted an official send off for the various swimming disciplines for a major sporting event in Asia "We are very excited for all the athletes and confident that they will do Singapore proud at the 2014 Asian Games.
From all of us at the Singapore Swimming Association, fellow Singaporean supporters and parents, we wish the athletes all the very best , and they have our greatest blessings to excel at the games."said Mr Lee Kok Choy.
"It is a great honour for me to represent Singapore once again at the Asian Games. It is a very prestigious event and it gives me great motivation to don the colours of the National flag. I look forward to going to the games and will aim to match my personal best timings. Hopefully I will make Singapore very proud,"said Amanda Lim.
"We were inexperienced at the last Asian Games but after going through training camps and competitions, it has definitely made our team more mature. We just came back from a training camp in Japan so we're pretty accustomed to their speed," said Eugene Teo, captain of the Men's Water Polo Team.
All eyes will be on Singapore's stand-out swimmers - Tao Li and Joseph Schooling, with expectations of medals from these and other athletes at the Games. Singapore swim queen Tao Li won Singapore's first medal at the Asian Games 2010 in Guangzhou in the 50m Butterfly event.
Her counterpart, Schooling, recently powered his way into Singapore's sports history by clinching the nation's first ever swimming medal at the Commonwealth Games, winning silver in the 100m butterfly final. The swim team will be heading for a training camp in Nara, Japan from September 10 to September 16, before heading to Incheon.
As part of the Asian games preparation, the men's water polo team have just completed a training camp in Japan, while the women's water polo team competed in the FINA Water Polo World Cup which recently concluded in Russia.
The men's team have set a top-four finish in the tournament as their target, while their female teammates will be gunning for a top-six placing.
Singapore's diving team will be heading to Qing Huang Dao, China, for a training camp from August 31 to September 23 before making their way to Incheon.