The quest for an unprecedented 28th consecutive SEA Games Gold medal, begins tonight when Team Singapore take on Zimbabwe at 7.30pm at the OCBC Aquatic Centre. From the 8th to 13th October, the Republic is playing host to the FINA Water Polo Challengers Cup Singapore 2019 Presented By TYR. 10 international teams from around the world, are seperated into two Groups. And each team will play 4 matches in the group stages, as the top teams in each group will square off for the gold medal match on Sunday.
Speaking after yesterday's pre-tournament media conference, Singapore head coach Dejan Milakovic said, “It's a great thing that we're hosting this tournament and finally we have a chance to play international games at home. The timing of this event is good as we'll be able to see the current form of the team and have enough time to finalize our preparations for the SEA Games."
The Serbian added, "It's important for our players to have as much exposure to international competition and for them to prove that they deserve a place in the national team. We will go into every game to win and hopefully finish up in the top spots at the end of the tournament”.
Echoing his sentiments yesterday was Philippines head coach Rey Galang who said, “This is a very important event for the national team. It’s an event where we can gauge where we are, in terms of our readiness, our preparation for the SEA Games, because other Southeast Asian nations are also participating in this tournament.”
Another regional powerhouse to watch for at the Manila Games is Indonesia. Speaking on the eve of their Challengers Cup match against India, Team Manager Dean Baldwin said, "For us, this tournament will be a good preparation before the SEA Games. Our expectations for this tournament is to check where we are currently, and where our players are in terms of fitness and game play.”
Today's first group matches sees India take on Indonesia at 3pm, followed by Ireland and Philippines at 4.30pm. Austria will play Chinese Taipei at 6pm and hosts Singapore will begin their campaign against Zimbabwe at 7.30pm.
Tickets are priced at $40 for a season pass (Tuesday to Sunday), $15 for the finals on Sunday, and $20 for a weekend package (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). The weekend package deal is available till 10th October.
Fans can purchase tickets at www.sportshub.com.sg/event-detail/574
1) Singapore Swimming Association Vice President for Water Polo, Mr Dominic Soh, speaking at the media conference of the FINA Water Polo Challengers Cup Singapore 2019 Presented by TYR on Monday, 7 October
2) Head Coach of Singapore's National Men's Water Polo Team, Dejan Milakovic
(Photo : Singapore Swimming Association)