SINGAPORE - There were no podium finishes to show for, but Singapore's synchronised swimmers can at least claim bragging rights ahead of August's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur after beating their Malaysian rivals across four events at the Fina World Championships.
Debbie Soh fired the first psychological salvo last Friday (July 14) when she finished 20th out of 30 swimmers in the women's solo technical with a score of 72.9689, ahead of Malaysia's Gan Hua Wei, who was 24th with a score of 71.3383.
On that same day, Soh and Miya Yong recorded a score of 74.7393 to their Malaysian rivals' 73.1753 in the women's duet technical to finish 28th of 40 pairs - three spots above the Malaysians.
The duo - part of the Singapore team that won gold at the last SEA Games - then combined for a 76.0000 in the duet free event on Tuesday.
They finished 28th out of 43 pairs with the highest score by a Singaporean pair at the world championships.
The performance was good enough to again put the pair ahead of Malaysia, who scored 73.7333 to settle for 32nd position.
Soh completed the regional sweep when she scored 75.6000 in the women's solo free to finish 21st out of 32 swimmers. Malaysia's Lee Yhing Huey finished 27th with a score of 72.2667.
"The results bode well for our preparations for the upcoming SEA Games. The solo and duet routines at the world championships are new ones that we have been working on for the past year, choreographed by our consultant Julie Suave, and I am delighted at the scores that we got ," said Philip Lee, the Singapore Swimming Association's vice-president of synchronised swimming.
"That said, the coaches and athletes will continue to fine tune all the routines including the team up till SEA Games."