Singapore relinquish water polo crown as Indonesia beat Malaysia
For the first time in SEA Games history, the Singapore men's water polo players will not be coming back with a gold medal slung around their necks.
At the New Clark City Aquatic Centre on Friday (Nov 29), Indonesia defeated Malaysia 14-7, a result that not only consolidated their position at the top of the five-team table, but also put Singapore, who have won 27 consecutive gold medals, out of contention for a 28th title.
The Republic, who still have games against the Philippines (Friday) and Thailand (Sunday) left, had lost 7-5 to Indonesia on Thursday.
It was their first defeat since the sport was introduced in the 1965 edition of the biennial Games, prompting coach Dejan Milakovic to apologise.
“Yes, we are all aware that’s the first loss ever at the Games. It’s a sport, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose,” he said.
“This record was very long and, unfortunately, today wasn’t our day.
“We are very sorry about it, all of us, but we are already looking ahead to the game tomorrow to give our best and try to get a better performance...”
Former Singapore captain Loh Zhi Zhi, who retired after last year's Asian Games, told The New Paper: “There is no certainty in sport. We can’t say for sure that we will win every game, though we aspire to hit such standards.
“(Upsets and disappointments) are part of the beauty of sport.”