SINGAPORE - Team Singapore enjoyed a dream start on the first official day of competition at the SEA Games on Saturday, winning a bumper harvest of 10 gold medals across five sports.
As expected, swimmers delivered, with Quah Zheng Wen winning the men's 100m backstroke event in a new Games and national record time of 54.51sec. The relay team, made up of Amanda Lim, Hoong En Qi, Nur Marina Chan and Quah Ting Wen, were also victorious in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
But Singapore's stellar performance came not just from the OCBC Aquatic Centre, but also across the island from the Marina Channel to the Singapore Expo.
Wushu led the way with three titles, with Vera Tan beginning the gold rush by winning the women's taijiquan (compulsory) in the afternoon. Yong Yi Xiang then won the men's changquan (optional) event before the men's team in the duel weapons event, made up of Colin Jesse Adalia, Lee Zhe Xuan and Lim Si Wei, also clinched gold.
In canoeing, Lucas Teo won the men's K1 1,000m event, while Brandon Ooi and Bill Lee combined to win the men's K2 1,000m event. Their victories made it the first time Singapore have struck gold in the men's canoeing events at the SEA Games.
Singapore's shooters were dominant in the women's 10m air rifle event at Safra Yishun Range.
Jasmine Ser, Tessa Neo and Martina Lindsay Veloso won the team event, and also stamped their authority in the individual event, as Neo took gold with Ser in runner-up position.
Martina, whose score was good for bronze, was not awarded the medal as SEA Games regulations state that no country can be allowed to win more than two medals in one event. The bronze was awarded to Malaysia's Nur Ayuni Farhana Abdul Halim.
Fencing accounted for one gold, when the women's foil team beat Vietnam 45-26 to take the title at OCBC Arena Hall 2. The Singapore side was made up of Wang Wenying, Liane Wong and Cheryl Wong.
But it was not simply Singapore's athletes who shone on Day 1 of competition. Vietnam's swim sensation Nguyen Thi Anh Vien lowered the Games' record in the women's 400m individual medley, dominating from start to finish to win in 4:42.88. Anh Vien also won the 800m free, making it two golds in two races.
The Philippines and Cambodia both won their first gold medal at the Games. Claire Ma Adorna came in first in the women's triathlon event, while Cambodia beat Laos to win the Chinlone-Linking event.