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Major breakthrough for Singapore's synchronised swimmers

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synchro swimmers

Singapore's synchronised swimmers gave a good account of themselves at the TYR 2nd Southeast Asian Swimming Championships 2014. (Photo by Sport Singapore/Cheah Cheng Poh)

With sheer precision and technical ability, Singapore’s synchronised swimmers brought home their first regional gold medal as they impressed the judges in the TYR 2nd Southeast Asian Swimming Championships 2014, held at the Singapore Sports Hub’s OCBC Aquatic Centre.

Singapore synchronised swimmers ended the meet with an impressive haul of four golds and one silver medal, while Malaysia only managed a gold and four silvers.

It was a remarkable feat by the synchronised swimmers as they displayed a stark improvement compared to the 2011 SEA Games, when they played second fiddle to the Malaysians. In 2011, Singapore came in second in the duet technical, duet free and team free category and got a bronze in the team technical routine.

Moving in perfect harmony, the Singapore synchronised swimmers earned high scores for their execution of complex manoeuvres.

Their fluid discipline in the pool was complemented by their graceful movements as they clinched gold in the final synchronised swimming event, the free combination routine on Tuesday.

Once the euphoria was over, it was back to the drawing board for the synchronised swimmers in preparations for the next major event next year in Singapore.

“Currently, we are planning to make changes to our routine because we are in the SEA Games next year and other countries would have seen our routines by now. So we want to give them a surprise by showing a slightly different routine next time round,” explained Crystal Yap.

Stephanie Chen and Crystal Yap
Team Singapore's Crystal Yap and Stephanie Chen in action during the Duet Free finals. (Photo by Sport Singapore/ Philip Au)

A day before that, the Republic defied the odds as they bagged the team technical routine gold medal ahead of favourites Malaysia. It was also a close fight for top honours as the northern neighbour was just 1.3398 of a point behind, ensuring that the Singapore girls prove themselves worthy. Indonesia took the bronze medal.

synchronised swimming team singapore
Singapore defied the odds and bagged the team technical routine gold medal ahead of favourites Malaysia. (Photo by Sport Singapore/ Stanley Cheah)

“I feel great because we're on home ground and we managed to attain a gold medal. Also, in preparation for next year's SEA Games, this is a huge achievement for Singapore's synchronised swimming because we've never ever gotten a gold medal before,” expressed a delighted Stephanie Chen.

“We are happy that we have done Singapore proud, but we still need to work harder because our target is next year’s SEA Games,” added the Team Singapore synchronised swimming captain.

Over at the diving platforms, Singapore pipped Malaysia to first placing as they bagged three golds, six silvers and two bronze medals.

Mark and Timothy Lee

Team Singapore divers Mark and Timothy Lee (Photo by Sport Singapore/ Byron Wee)

Mark and Timothy Lee’s (above) average of 7.24 points in the synchronised springboard was sufficient to secure the gold medal in day one of the diving programme while Fong Kay Yian and Myra Lee clinched a silver in the women’s synchronised 3m springboard. 

Team Singapore diver Myra Lee (Photo by Sport Singapore/ Shao Jie)

Mark added gold in the men’s 1m springboard finals while his brother Timothy had to be contend with a silver.

The final day saw Myra coming in second in the women’s 1m springboard with a score of 212.05 while 16-year old Frieda Lim surprised the crowd with her dives as she took home silver while compatriot Myra Lee had to settle for bronze in the platform finals. 

Team Singapore diver Frieda Lim (Photo by Sport Singapore/ Shao Jie)

In the men’s 3m springboard finals, Timothy and Mark Lee took home the gold and silver respectively with scores of 368.55 and 364.40. The Lee brothers had surpassed expectations to achieve a total of 3 gold medals for the Championships.

“Overall, I am quite pleased, it is a new diving complex so it was a chance for Mark and I to get used to the boards in preparation for the 2015 Sea Games,” said Timothy who was recovering from an injury a month prior to the championships.

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