Women's softball team target silver
Inexperience cost the Singapore women's softball team a medal, the last time the sport featured at the biennial Games.
However, they are confident of securing a spot in the final this year.
"We are hoping for at least a silver," said catcher Elaine Chua, 35. "But you never know - if we're on form, we might even snatch gold. "
Chua is the oldest and most experienced player among the 17 in the team. A four-time SEA Games veteran, she coaches the sport for a living and is ideally placed to advise her juniors.
"There are instances where we fall short because of inexperience, so it is very helpful to have guidance from seniors," said 20-year-old pitcher Agatha Cheong.
The team have been training six days a week for over a year to prepare for the Games. Although they also have work or school commitments, attendance for each training session rarely falls below 90 per cent, said team manager Foo Pei, 44.
"They're a dedicated team," Foo said. "We try to develop their discipline and time management as part of their training as well."
Singapore's women's team finished seventh at the 2011 Asian Women Softball Championship and won a silver at the 2007 SEA Games, but the sport is still considered low-profile.
This could change if the team clinch a medal at this Games, but they will have to watch out for rivals such as defending champions, the Philippines, and Indonesia, who beat Singapore narrowly for a bronze in 2011.
Team member Lina Goh, 24, played against the Philippines as a third-base substitute in 2011, described it as a difficult experience.
She said: "It was tough to lose as I didn't have the capability to really help my team yet - but it's a different story this year. We're ready to give our best and win a medal."