Singapore is assured of its first gold medal of the SEA Games as its water polo boys team beat Indonesia 8-5 on Monday morning in Myanmar.
After defeating the current runners-up Indonesia, Singapore will take the gold home even if they lose to Myanmar because of a superior head-to-head record over Indonesia.
It will be the Singapore team’s 25th straight regional title in water polo, dating back to 1965.
“There’s never an easy game for us,” said Singapore national water polo coach Lee Sai Meng, after his team defeated their closest contender Indonesia 8-5.
After the game at Zayar Thiri pool, Lee told reporters that the mounting pressure of staying as regional champions far exceeded any scale that might exist for it.
But the Singapore team has been dominant in winning their first three matches to lead the Games table on points.
Lee said, “We cannot disrespect any opponents,” but his team performed well against an aggressive, counter-attacking Indonesian squad.
Singapore got off to a fast start with two early goals from vice-captain Loh Zhi Zhi and Games debutant Toh Zhi Hong.
“Today was not our best performance,” claimed Lee. “The defence did well, but the attack is worrying – our forwards are not scoring, and they used to be our strongest point.”
He believes their misfiring is due to the pressure of expectation, said reports.
But Lee was pleased with his team’s performance in the final quarter, as they emerged victorious in a match that is expected to be their toughest.