Malaysia retain duet title
Katrina Ann Abdul Hadi and Zylane Lee were not happy after their duet free routine final yesterday at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
Malaysia's pair of synchronised swimmers received 75.5667 for their routine, while Singapore's Stephanie Chen and Crystal Yap scored 75.8667, but it was not enough for the hosts to overtake the overnight leaders as Katrina and Lee won the gold at the 2015 South-east Asia (SEA) Games.
In a close contest, Malaysia's golden girls - the two retained the country's synchronised swimming duet crown from the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia (synchronised swimming did not feature in 2013 in Myanmar) - claimed the top spot after chalking up a total score of 150.9103 points, with Singapore (149.8372) and Indonesia (138.1796) finishing second and third, respectively.
Speaking after the event, Katrina and Zylane, both 23-year-old veterans of the 2011 Games, revealed their surprise over their score in the duet free routine final.
"We really went all out today," Katrina said.
"We felt that we swam much better because we focused on eliminating the mistakes we made during the preliminary round on Wednesday, and we did. But we're just happy that we won in the end."
"I didn't know if I could do it," said a delighted Zylane.
"I was the reserve swimmer for a previous competition and I'm weaker in the technical area, so winning this means a lot to me as it shows that I've improved a lot."
While the girls had it tough in the build-up to the Games, it certainly helped them the last couple of days, as they performed with aplomb and looked stunning doing so in their glittering costumes.
"The costumes give us confidence," said Zylane.
"If we wear nice suits, we feel good and can then project that confidence in our performance.
"But they don't really make a difference in the scoring."
Their costumes, sponsored by the National Sports Council of Malaysia, are designed to suit the music and choreography of their performances, and the girls do give their opinions.
"We can give our input, though our coach has the final say and she usually accommodates what we want, if it's not too much trouble," said Katrina.
"However, we also have to keep in mind that we need to make the designs suitable for almost any kind of music, because we will use them for other routines.
"And we don't keep the suits, they are meant to be passed on to the swimmers who come after us."