Dragon boaters flushed with success in HK

The Singapore team beat Chinese Taipei and the United States to become International Open standard boat champions. In addition, they won seven other gold medals and one silver.
The Singapore team beat Chinese Taipei and the United States to become International Open standard boat champions. In addition, they won seven other gold medals and one silver.PHOTO: HONG KONG TOURISM BOARD

Singapore sent a full squad of 46 rowers to compete across three main categories at the recent Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races and reaped the rewards.

Both the men's and women's national dragon boat teams put up a solid performance last weekend, achieving a record medal haul of eight golds and one silver.

The results were a massive improvement on last year's showing when they had to settle for a string of second-placed finishes.

Over 5,000 athletes from 12 countries and regions contested a total of 27 titles. Singapore's entries were in the open, women's and mixed categories.

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The men's team accounted for two golds and one silver.

They won the International Open 22-crew standard boat final and grand final. However, in the 12-crew small boat final, the team were pipped to the gold and had to settle for second place.

The women's team contributed three golds, winning the female iteration of the same races.

A combined effort by selected members from both teams added three more gold medals to the tally when they won all the events in the International Mixed category.

Women's team captain Chua Jia Min, 21, attributed her team's success to hard work and consistency: "I think everyone was very committed and gave their best during training... this allowed us to gel well."

The Singapore Dragon Boat Association (SDBA) said the meet served as a build-up to the World Nations Championships in October and is one of the key performance indicators used for selection.

Said SDBA vice-president Heng Wei Quan: "The results augur well but they still need to work hard as there will be stiffer competition from various international teams in October."

•The SDBA is conducting a crowdfunding initiative for the teams' bid to participate in October's World Nations Championships in Kunming, China: http://bit.ly/2rTGzwr

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 10, 2017, with the headline 'Dragon boaters flushed with success in HK'. Print Edition | Subscribe