SEA Games: Wakeboard and waterski team encouraged by good Games outing

Singapore's Sasha Christian (right) and Mark Leong with their gold medals from the SEA Games waterski women's and men's slalom finals respectively, and Kalya Kee (left) with her bronze medal from women's slalom final at Bedok Reservoir on June 1
Singapore's Sasha Christian (right) and Mark Leong with their gold medals from the SEA Games waterski women's and men's slalom finals respectively, and Kalya Kee (left) with her bronze medal from women's slalom final at Bedok Reservoir on June 13, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - The Singapore wakeboard and waterski team did the nation proud at their home training ground, Bedok Reservoir, when they won three golds, one silver and three bronzes in the SEA Games competition which ended on Sunday.

Paul Fong, president of the Singapore Waterski & Wakeboard Federation, was pleased with Team Singapore's achievements, saying they had done as well as expected.

"Now that we're kings of slalom, we're going to try to excel in one more discipline. We could be the kings of South-east Asian jumping," he said.

In the final day of the competition, Kalya Kee clinched a bronze in the overall women's event (slalom, jump and trick). She also set a new national record of 19.0m in women's jump ski en route to clinching her bronze medal.

Meanwhile the mixed wakeboard team - comprising Sasha Christian, Gooi Jia Yi, Melanie Tan, Joshua Tay, Samuel Chua and Frankie Ng - added a silver.

Double gold medallist Christian said: "I love competing in the team event. Every rider counts towards the result and it's special to share the podium with one another."

The silver medal was especially poignant for the male riders, who are all making their SEA Games debut.

Joshua Tay was determined to compete in this year's Games after missing out in 2011 due to a knee injury. Said the 31-year-old: "I love wakeboarding and there were no other replacements for the team, so I'd rather lose an arm than pull out."

While wakeboarding and waterskiing remains a niche sport, Fong is not worried about the quality of the Singapore team for future competitions.

He said: "We've never had depth, but I don't worry about quality because we have quality. The sport is niche, but we've got the right people."

berelow@sph.com.sg

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