An Iran player attempts to score against Singapore on the last day of competition. Singapore went down 6-10 to Iran to claim overall bronze in the competition (photo by Raymond Koh/SSC).
The 3rd Asian Water Polo Cup, a regional competition held from 1st to 5th October 2013, proved a mixed bag of emotions for Team Singapore's athletes as they went up against established nations such as China, Thailand, Kuwait, Iran, Philippines, and Sri Lanka.
The first day of matches saw the Singapore men’s team up against their Philippines counterparts, with the local guys bagging a landslide victory as the game closed to a score of 22-2.
The women’s team was unable to replicate the success of their male counterparts and started off with a disappointing loss, going down 1-21 to China.
Luo Nan, head coach of the women’s team said: “Half of [the Chinese team] have Olympic experience and play well together… [but] I think… gaining experience playing more competitive games like today is what [our women’s team] need.”
Still, it came as a timely validation for the our national women team when they beat Philippines 20-4 the next day, as the team’s young player Neo Ser Han scored eight goals for Singapore in the match.
On the same day, the men’s team managed to beat Kuwait 8-4 in a closely-fought match. This surprised coach Lee as the last time they went up against Kuwait at the 2012 Asean Games, they lost to them by one goal in the 5th-6th placing match.
“I’d say more game experience and better fitness attributed to the improvements seen in the team… [and] new game tactics also kept the competitors at bay, especially on the defence side,” he said.
Singapore 6-10 Iran, AASF Asian Water Polo Cup 2013 (Photo Credit: Raymond Koh/SSC).
Day of Victories
On the third day, Singapore once again met China in the waters, this time represented by the men’s team, and this time they emerged victorious with a score of 8-0. It appeared to be a day of victories for Singapore, as the women’s team also beat Thailand 6-2. This served as motivation for them to continue fighting hard for the remaining games.
Said Paul Tan, vice captain of the men’s team, “Both teams put up a good fight in spite of the fatigue, which was very draining in the third period where no goals were scored… That we were able to keep a clean sheet is both an achievement and encouragement for our upcoming game.”
And as hoped by the Singapore men’s team, they managed to bag a 26-2 score against Sri Lanka on the fourth day of the Cup. This was the lead up to the last day, which unfortunately saw the Singapore men’s team lose to Iran with a score of 6-10. Consolation came in the form of the women’s team coming out victorious from their match with Sri Lanka, with a score of 21-1.
The final results for the men’s category are: Iran with Gold, Singapore with Silver, Kuwait with Bronze, and China, Philippines, and Sri Lanka in 4th, 5th and 6th place respectively.
For the women’s category, China took home Gold while Singapore took home Silver once again. Bronze was claimed by Thailand, and Philippines and Sri Lanka rounded out the set in 5th and 6th place respectively.