SINGAPORE - President Tony Tan Keng Yam dropped in on Team Singapore athletes training for this year's SEA Games on Tuesday evening, encouraging them as they prepare for the Aug 19-30 Games.
He visited athletes from four sports - silat, fencing, netball and volleyball - training at the OCBC Arena and spent time watching their training while conversing with the athletes. All four sports won medals for the Republic when the last Games were held on home soil in 2015.
Said Dr Tan: "(The athletes) are quietly confident, working very hard. They know that the competition has increased... so they have to work doubly hard. From what I've seen today, I'm confident they will do well in Kuala Lumpur and do Singapore proud.
"They've put in tremendous amounts of work and we should admire them for their efforts, discipline... and the fact that they're determined to do well for Singapore."
Singapore hosted both the 2015 SEA Games and 2015 Asean Para Games, finishing with a record number of gold medals - 84 and 24 respectively.
Last year, Joseph Schooling won Singapore's first Olympic gold in the men's 100m fly at the Rio Olympic Games, while para-swimmers Yip Pin Xiu and Theresa Goh won two golds and a bronze respectively at the Paralympics.
Dr Tan spoke about how the exceptional medal haul has shown how sport unites the country.
He said: "What is important is (that) the attributes our athletes show in preparing for these Games reflect what Singapore is as a people - how we try, work hard, have discipline, and work together to keep Singapore going. We can show the same spirit and perseverance which our athletes have shown.
"I look forward to the forthcoming Asean and Para Games. We wish Singapore well and all of Singapore will be supporting Team Singapore athletes. I'm sure we'll have a very good result."