KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia can expect an early cheer from synchronised swimming at next month’s Singapore SEA Games.
Based on their performances in the just-concluded Japan Open in Tokyo, Katrina Ann Hadi-Lee Yhing Huey look good to deliver Malaysia’s first gold in the duet event before the Games’ opening ceremony on June 5.
The preliminaries for the duet is on June 3 with the final on June 4.
Katrina-Yhing Huey finished well ahead of their South-East Asian rivals in the prestigious Japan Open at the Tatsumi International Pool. They collected 74.218 points to be placed 17th in the duet technical routine.
Debbie Soh-Natalie Chen, the other Singaporean pair, were 25th with a 70.309 total followed by Indonesia’s Claudia Megawati-Adela Amanda (26th, 69.120) and Thailand’s Nantaya Polsen-Thanyaluc Puttisiriroj (27th, 64.309).
Katrina-Yhing Huey were also the best-placed South-East Asian pairing in the duet free routine, chalking up 74.833 points for 22nd spot.
Stephanie-Crystal scored 74.466 points for 23rd spot followed by Debbie-Natalie (26th, 72.233), Claudia-Adela (27th, 69.166) and Nantaya-Thanyaluc (28th, 64.733).
But, it will be an uphill task for Malaysia in the team disciplines as Singapore were the best performers in Tokyo.
Singapore ended the team free routine event in 13th spot with a 73.833 total ahead of Indonesia, who were placed 20th with 69.733 points.
The eight-member Malaysian team of Katrina, Yhing Huey, Tasha Jane, Foong Yan Nie, Gan Zhen Yu, Gan Hua Wei, Lee Yiat Lum and Lee Yiat Xin finished 21st with a 69.400 total.
Singapore were tops again among the regional rivals in the team free combination in ninth place with 75.633 points while Malaysia collected 72.300 point to finish 14th.
“It was a good outing as we managed to gauge our chances against our Games rivals,” said 23-year-old Katrina.
Synchronised swimmming was last contested at the 2011 Indonesia Games. Three golds – team free routine, team free combination and duet free routine – are up for grabs in Singapore.
by Lim Teik Huat - The Star