Triathletes Chow and Loo dream big
Triathlon duo eye a historic dual podium finish at SEA Games next month
Singapore have bagged a men's triathlon medal in every edition of the biennial South-east Asia (SEA) Games whenever the sport was included.
Two gold medals were won in 2005 and 2007, and a bronze was clinched in 2015, when the Republic hosted the Games.
If all goes well, Wille Loo and Clement Chow could deliver a historic dual podium finish at the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur next month.
Triathlon Association of Singapore (TAS) coach Steven Chan has high hopes for the duo who were nominated by the national sports association for the Games.
"Both Clement and Wille have the fire in them," Chan told The New Paper.
"At the last SEA Games, they had a good chance of bringing back a medal each.
"This year, it's not out of reach either."
In the 2015 edition, the Singaporean duo lost an initial one-minute swim lead over eventual Filipino gold medallist Nikko Huelgas (2hr 4min 32sec) when they got into an accident in the bike leg.
The swim leg is typically a triathlete's best chance to get ahead.
Loo eventually settled for bronze with his time of 2:07:01, with Chow (2:07:30) finishing a close fourth.
Loo, 34, told The New Paper: "The goal (has always been) the gold medal.
"I was not satisfied with a bronze after the 2015 Games and I certainly will not be at this year's edition.
"(Clement and I) are aiming to win the gold and silver medals in Kuala Lumpur."
"I was not satisfied with a bronze after the 2015 Games and I certainly will not be at this year's edition."National triathlete Wille Loo on his target for the SEA Games next month
The last time Singapore won a men's triathlon gold medal was in the Philippines in 2007, when triathlete-turned-marathoner Mok Ying Ren romped home in 2:05:08.
Mok's triumph followed Cheng Jing Hean's classy win (1:58:41) in Thailand in 2005.
In January this year, Chow, 29, topped the local SEA Games qualification trials with a time of 2:00:03, with Loo just four seconds behind.
Chow and Loo boast personal best times of 1:59:23 and 1:58:49 respectively, clocked at the 2015 Subic Bay ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup.
Said Chow: "Our game plan at the upcoming Games is to lead in the swim, maintain that lead on the bike and finish the run strong.
"The Filipinos will always be the favourites, especially with the funding and support that they receive.
"Having said that, we expect to come away with the gold and silver.
"If our races go according to plan, we'll be well placed to beat the Filipinos."