SINGAPORE: They may not have won a gold medal at the Myanmar SEA Games, but the divers from Team Singapore still put on a sterling performance.
The six-member team won four medals, breaking a 28-year-old medal drought for the sport.
Republic Polytechnic student Mark Lee, 19, won a silver in the three-metre springboard - a first for the sport since 1985.
When Singapore hosts the 2015 SEA Games, Lee thinks home ground advantage could make a difference between silver and gold.
"If a lot Singapore fans come and support with the help of the home crowd, I am sure the scores will actually go up in terms of our diving," he said.
Together with twin brother Timothy, they clinched silver in the three-metre springboard synchronised event, and a bronze in the 10-metre platform synchronised dive.
Third in the three-metre synchronised event, Singapore's other divers - Myra Lee and Fong Kay Yian - were Malaysia's world-class divers topped in Myanmar, but Singapore hopes to challenge them come 2015.
Myra Lee said: "Right now what we are losing out to the Malaysians is in our dive difficulties, because they are doing like much harder dives than we are. So if we can pull up our difficulty, I think we will be able to give them a run for their money in 2015."
But 2014 is also set to be a busy year, with more overseas meets, including the Asian and Commonwealth Games.
Youngsters are being groomed - and all of them can look forward to better facilities at the Sports Hub, the venue for the 2015 SEA Games.
Lee Kok Choy, Secretary-General of Singapore Swimming Association (SSA), said it would be a significant improvement to have a sheltered and covered diving pool.
"We will have facilities that are all-covered, which is going to allow us to train even if there is inclement weather. Even if there is lightning storms, it will allow us to train with a greater level of intensity. We will also have this pool here (Toa Payoh), designated for development divers..."
The Sports Hub will host two major competitions in 2014 - the South East Asian Swimming Championship in June and FINA Diving Grand Prix in October.
These competitions will help the SSA finalise its nominations for 2015. - CNA/de
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