A small gasp could be heard when someone wobbled just a tiny bit before diving into the pool. Then the expected boost to send a synchronised swimmer flying into the air never came.
But Singapore's national team wowed spectators on Tuesday evening as they swiftly performed to a jaunty compilation of Russian music. With their rapid footwork, the swimmers kicked, swam and flipped their way into top spot in the SEA Games team competition (technical routine).
The swimmers sealed the deal right at the end when they boosted their team-mate Debbie Soh into the air, nary a wobble in sight despite nearing the end of the fast-paced routine.
The team's gamble paid off as they came in first with 74.3445 points - nearly two points ahead of defending champions Malaysia - to put them on track to dethroning the regional rivals. The competition continues with the team free routine on Wednesday, which will also count towards the final ranking.
Singapore now have a comfortable 1.99-point lead ahead of their biggest rivals, but none of the team are about to slack off.
"We feel very satisfied with our performance. The two-point led gives us an advantage but we cannot be complacent and still have to do our best in the team free tomorrow," said captain Stephanie Chen.
Indonesia (68.1463 points) and Thailand (46.6419) were the other teams entered.