SINGAPORE - Following the Republic's best-ever away SEA Games haul of 57 golds, 58 silvers and 73 bronzes, the country's senior sports officials are seeking ways to achieve grander results on a bigger sporting stage.
At last month's SEA Games, Singapore finished fourth in the overall medal tally, behind hosts Malaysia (145-92-86), Thailand (72-86-88) and Vietnam (58-50-60).
Speaking at a post-SEA Games media conference at the Sport Singapore (SportSG) auditorium on Tuesday (Sept 12), SportSG chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin said: "It's obvious that our ambitions are higher than No. 4.
"As we progress from the SEA Games, I think the most important thing is to provide Singaporeans a way of following Team Singapore and understanding what progress and success look like."
Singapore's previous best away haul was 43 golds, 43 silvers and 41 bronzes from the 2007 edition in Korat, Thailand.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu praised the national athletes' "impressive performance" at the Games, saying that the results pointed that there was depth and breadth in Singapore sports.
"We have seen medals coming from games that have been in a drought for some years (golf, squash, cycling, women's high jump) ... these are some of the examples where our athletes are performing well in a wide variety of sports and events," she added.
"We also see that there's a very good pipeline - the younger athletes are doing well. More than half this team were (at the SEA Games) for the first time and many of these debutants have done exceptionally well, which means good prospects for us in the long run."
Of the 560 Games athletes, 303 were debutants. The debutants contributed a total of 71 medals (16 gold, 26 silver and 29 bronze).
The next edition of the biennial Games will take place in the Philippines, and Lim said: "We understand that the Philippines has always been an advocate that the SEA Games should mirror more closely what is contested at the Olympics.
"We do need to pay attention to what it would mean in 2019 to be able to punch above our weight."