SEA Games report card: How did we fare?
Team Singapore achieve new high on home soil but there's room for improvement for some sports
It was an extraordinary showing by Team Singapore, who amassed a record haul of 259 medals (84 golds, 73 silvers, 102 bronzes). While there were plenty of breakthroughs, there were also a few bungles, as The New Paper's DAVID LEE delivers the analysis of all the 36 sports Team Singapore competed in.
- SWIMMING (23 golds, 12 silvers, 7 bronzes) - A Games best; finished first out of nine nations
Showing how the selection of a world-class foreign coach can bring the best out of a prodigious pool of athletes, Spaniard Sergio Lopez has forged a united team with a strong winning mentality.
The swimmers contributed more than a quarter of Team Singapore's gold medals.
- CANOEING (7 golds, 5 silvers) - A Games best; first out of eight nations
Hungarian Balasz Babella has been moulding a team who can make waves at the Asian level and they showed the strides they have made with a tremendous showing at the Marina Channel. The fact that they are rueing the missed opportunity to hit double-figures in the gold count says a lot about their strength.
- NETBALL (1 gold) - A Games best; first out of six nations
The netballers have been a model for every team sport in Singapore, in terms of demographics of team composition, media and fan engagement, player development and, most importantly, the ability to perform under pressure and deliver.
- SYNCHRONISED SWIMMING (2 golds, 1 silver) - A Games best; finished first out of six nations
Almost a clean sweep for a discipline that has never struck gold is an inspirational story the girls can relate to future generations.
- BOWLING (4 golds, 5 silvers, 1 bronze) - A Games best since 1995; second out of seven nations
Singapore Bowling Federation president Jessie Phua awarded an A+ for the men's team for a surprise doubles gold and a B+ for the women's, who dominated the singles, trios and Masters, but lost the team gold and failed to medal in the doubles, and it's hard to disagree with her.
- EQUESTRIAN (1 gold, 3 silvers) - A Games best since 1983; second out of eight nations
Medalling and finishing in the top two in all four events show how a lesser-known sport can also contribute to Team Singapore's cause.
- FENCING (3 golds, 3 silvers, 7 bronzes) - A Games best; second out of 10 nations
Kevin Chan, Joshua Lim, Justin Ong and Tan Yuan Zi's win in the men's foil team event was a historic one, and the women also contributed two golds to continue their sport's rising reputation.
- FLOORBALL (2 golds) - debut sport
Last in, out with two firsts. The floorballers overcame the uncertainty of whether their sport could debut at this Games due to limited participation, and brought two golds and a sizeable block of fans.
- SAILING (10 golds, 7 silvers, 1 bronze) - A Games best; first out of seven nations
The national sailors achieved their target of recording a new best, but their campaign was a little marred by the loss of the team racing Optimist gold to Malaysia.
- TAEKWONDO (2 golds, 6 bronzes) - A Games best since 1993; fifth out of 11 nations
Under the leadership of Wong Liang Ming, all but one of their eight athletes won medals, including Chelsea Sim and Kang Rui Jie's poomsae golds - a first since 1999 - in a largely successful outing.
- WATER-SKIING (3 golds, 1 silver, 3 bronzes) - A SEA Games best; second out of five teams
Sasha Christian and Mark Leong led the way with record-breaking performances, and their colleagues put in credible displays as supporting casts to bag more medals.
- WUSHU (6 golds, 3 silvers, 3 bronzes) - A Games best since 1993; first out of 10 nations
Will we see a revival of a sport with a proud history? The pugilists have certainly done their part. They have a young team too. If nurtured properly, the future looks bright for wushu.
- ATHLETICS (3 golds, 3 silvers, 3 bronzes) - A Games best since 2003; fifth out of 11 nations
Shanti Pereira's emphatic 200m win indicates track is on the rise, but the returns appear to be diminishing in the field events.
- BILLIARDS AND SNOOKER (2 golds, 1 silver, 3 bronzes) - A Games best; second out of nine nations
Their best results still fell two short of their target. Peter Gilchrist is a model of consistency, but the rest need to step up.
- DIVING (3 silvers, 4 bronzes) - A Games best, second out of seven nations
The divers could not prevent the Malaysians from sweeping all eight golds, but still bagged their biggest tally to continue the sport's resurgence.
- GYMNASTICS (1 gold, 3 silvers, 4 bronzes) - A Games best since 2007; finished third out of eight nations
A respectable showing as the women's team made up for the loss of the artistic gold by winning the rhythmic group all-around gold.
- SHOOTING (5 golds, 9 silvers, 7 bronzes) - A Games best since 2007; second from eight nations
They wanted six golds, but finished with five. Jasmine Ser, Tessa Neo and Martina Veloso's first gold in the 10m air rifle team was a highlight but, with nine silvers, the shooters must feel disappointed.
- SQUASH (1 gold, 1 silver, 4 bronzes) - A Games best since 1995; second out of six nations
Malaysia are still a class apart, but Singapore won medals in every event, including a first gold in 20 years in the men's jumbo doubles. A good first step towards resurrecting the sport's popularity and performance of the '80s and '90s.
- TABLE TENNIS (6 golds, 1 silver, 3 bronzes) - A Games best since 2009; first out of nine nations
Expected to sweep all seven golds, they were stopped in the women's singles without a medal. The B may seem harsh but it's based on their own high standards.
- WATER POLO (1 gold, 1 silver)
The women's team's heartbreaking loss to Thailand just goes to show how precious and difficult the men's team's unbeaten streak is - one slip-up is all it takes to lose the gold, but the guys have proven invincible once again.
- BASKETBALL (1 bronze) - Joint-best performance
They spurned the chance to make their first final, but the injury-hit and demoralised men's team did well to recover from the disappointment to come from 10 points down and overcome a strong Thai team and at least match their previous best.
- BOXING (2 silvers, 4 bronzes) - A Games best since 1985; fifth out of 10 nations
The heart and spirit shown by our boxers were undeniable, but there is also the gulf in quality between them and the Thais and Filipinos.
- GOLF (2 silvers, 2 bronzes) - A Games best since 1989; second out of 10 nations
It's a question of what could have been? With homeground advantage and support, Johnson Poh and his teammates had all the ingredients to end a 26-year gold-medal drought. They came so close but just could not get to the finishing line first.
- HOCKEY (1 silver, 1 bronze) - Equal performance of 2001
They deserve plaudits for the rousing way battled for the draw against the Malaysia before losing on penalties in the final. But a more accurate reflection of their strength is the draw with the Myanmar senior team earlier.
- RUGBY SEVENS (1 silver, 1 bronze) - Equal performance of 2007
They have matched their previous best but, for teams touted to win gold, the results are somewhat of a letdown.
- SEPAK TAKRAW (1 silver, 7 bronzes) - A Games best; finished sixth out of 10 nations
Rallied by teammate Azreen Sairudin's injuries from a motorcycle accident, they medalled in all eight men's events, but never threatened Thailand and Myanmar's dominance.
- SILAT (1 gold, 1 silver, 6 bronzes) - A Games best since 2009; fifth out of eight nations
Alfian Juma'en's win turned out to be a face-saver than the cherry on the cake for a sport that had targeted three golds.
- SOFTBALL (2 bronzes) - A Games best since 2007
In the race to finish behind the Philippines, the women's team came so close to beating Thailand to make the final, taking the lead but losing 2-1. The two bronzes were no surprises though.
- TRIATHLON (1 bronze)
With just two events, local iron man Loo Chuan Rong did well to win a bronze in the men's event.
- ARCHERY (2 bronzes) - out of eight nations
There were many semi-final heartbreaks but at least the male archers won a medal for the first time since 1987.
- BADMINTON (4 bronzes) - A Games best since 2011; fourth out of nine nations
The emergence of 17-year-old Loh Kean Yew and their fighting spirit were highlights but these were the exception.
- CYCLING (2 bronzes) - sixth out of eight nations
Dinah Chan, hit by food poisoning, failed to retain her crown but surely the cyclists were expecting better.
- JUDO (2 silvers, 4 bronzes) - sixth out of nine nations
They won a clutch of medals, but missed out on the golds they wanted.
- ROWING (1 silver, 3 bronzes) - fifth out of seven nations
The men's lightweight four making a silver breakthrough was the major highlight.
- TRADITIONAL BOAT RACE (5 bronzes) - fourth out of six nations
Medalling in five out of eight is not too bad, but pales in comparison with other water sports.
- VOLLEYBALL (1 bronze) - A Games best since 1995
The women's team showed guts to beat Myanmar 3-2 and qualify for the semi-finals, earning a bronze. In truth, they are still far from Thailand and Vietnam.
- PETANQUE (No medal)
They may not have expected much, but an already obscure sport may have missed the chance to increase participation as powerhouses Thailand and Malaysia dominated.
- TENNIS (No medal)
There is still a long way to go for the Republic's tennis players, who did not make a single semi-final.
- FOOTBALL (No medal)
Some fans turned rebellious; the players criticised the coach; the coach quit; and the management made a hash out of backroom appointments. In the end, the Young Lions could not even get out of an easier Group A. One of just three sports from 36 that failed to deliver any medal for Team Singapore, this represents a failure.