Dragonboat: Singapore national team strike gold in Hong Kong tournament

SINGAPORE - Both men and women national dragonboat teams put up a solid performance at the 2017 CCB Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races, achieving a record medal haul of eight golds and one silver.

The results sees the teams improve on last year's showing where they had to settle for a string of second placed finishes.

Set against the iconic backdrop of Hong Kong's skyline, over 5,000 athletes from 12 countries and regions contested for a total of 27 championships.

For the first time, Singapore sent a full squad of 46 rowers to compete across Open, Women's and Mixed categories.

The men's team were responsible for two gold medals and one silver.

They placed first in the International Open 22-crew standard boat final and grand final. However, in the 12-crew small boat final, the team narrowly lost out and finished second. 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.

Men's team manager Gan Chea Hau, 26, who also rowed in the team, enjoyed the experience: "We are honoured to have the opportunity to compete alongside other esteemed teams from across the globe."

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."

According to the Singapore Dragon Boat Association (SDBA), the tournament serves as a build up towards the World Nations Cup in October and is one of the key performance indicators utilised for selection.

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

The SDBA is currently conducting a crowdfunding initiative for their bid to participate in October's World Nations Cup in Kunming, China.

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