Short track speed skater Lucas Ng knows well the unpredictable nature of his sport, but even his experience could not alleviate the pain of of the unexpected yesterday.
The 28-year-old Singaporean, one of the favourites for the SEA Games gold in the 500m, did not qualify for yesterday's final owing to a penalty for kicking out - an infringement for crossing the finish line incorrectly.
During the heats at the ice rink at Kuala Lumpur's Empire City Mall, he had been trying to break away from the pack to cross the finish line first but he did not realise that he had also lifted up his back leg.
He then fell while crossing the finish line, and later learnt that he had received a penalty for kicking out, which occurs when both blades are not on the ice as the skater crosses the finish line.
Ng, the top South-east Asian finisher at this year's Asian Winter Games in Japan, said: "You just have to bear with it.
"There's no choice - you can't undo a penalty and you can't force yourself into the race. You just have to learn to live with it.
"(I'm) quite (disappointed), definitely.
"Everyone has worked hard, definitely we want a certain result… this wasn't how I expected myself to do but knowing the nature of the sport, I just have to suck it up."
The intensity of the races saw six penalties being handed out for various reasons to six different skaters.
In the women's 500m, Singapore's Cheyenne Goh was third in 1min 05.581sec, behind Malaysia's Anja Chong (48.448sec) and Vorravalan Leechinnaphat of Thailand (53.293sec).
Goh, 18, had led at the start, but fell in the middle of the race as her competitors caught up.
Ironically, Chong used to represent Singapore, and her mother Sonja, is still the president of the Singapore Ice Skating Association.
Despite admitting she was "a bit disappointed at first", Goh said: "I just got up and finished the race, because anything can happen."
She and Ng will both feature in the 1,000m and relay today.
Ng reiterated his determination to do well and forget about his mishap in the 500m heats.
He said: "I just have to sweep it under the carpet and start a new day tomorrow, just refresh (myself) and hopefully things will go as planned, and go right for me."