National men's dragonboat team victorious at DBS Marina Regatta; women's team second

Singapore men's team (#3) crossing the finish line in first place during the DBS International Premier Men's Open on June 5, 2016.
Singapore men's team (#3) crossing the finish line in first place during the DBS International Premier Men's Open on June 5, 2016. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - The national men's dragonboat team won the blue riband event of the DBS Marina Regatta on Sunday evening (June 5) with ease, despite a team made up of paddlers with little international experience.

The 22-strong squad led from start to finish, crossing the finish line in 2min 5.87sec. A late charge by the National University of Singapore bore fruit, leading to a second place in 2:08.00. A team representing Ley Choon Group Holdings came in third (2:09.27).

Regional powerhouses Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia were absent from the event this year while Hong Kong finished outside of the podium positions.

Said Jarrett Tan, captain of the national men's side: "Most of us are new to the national team, and the objective of this race was to see where we stand. It's a good gauge for us, and nice to beat Hong Kong a week before we face them again at the Hong Kong International."

Indonesia, however, did send a women's team to contest the 12-crew International Premier Women's event, which they won in 2:36.99. Singapore were second in 2:41.39 while the Singapore Institute of Management were third in 2:42.90.

Said women's captain Chua Jia Min: "We knew where we stood against the Indonesians from the qualifiers, so the aim today was to close the gap. I think we did well and it's one of the better sets we've put in at the Marina Bay waters."

The winning teams of the men's Premier race take home $10,000 in prize money while runners-up get $5,000. The women's Premier race, a 12-crew event, award $5,000 to winners while runners-up get $3,000.