When it comes to sporting interest, residents are most keen on following aquatics, badminton, and table tennis
Following a Covid-19 delay, the biennial Southeast Asian (SEA) Games kicked off in Hanoi last week, where more than 5,000 athletes will be vying for over 500 gold medals. Latest data from YouGov Realtime Omnibus indicates that Singapore residents think Thailand will be the best performer at this year’s Games, with more than three in ten expecting the nation to top the medal tally (35%).
A further two in ten said host nation Vietnam will win the greatest number of medals (23%), followed by one in six who said homeland Singapore would (15%). Notably, young adults aged 18-24 were most confident in Singapore’s performance, with almost four in ten saying the nation would lead the tally (36%).
One in ten residents were confident in Indonesia (13%) and Malaysia’s medal performances (8%).
Residents also seem to be soaking up the sporting atmosphere, with six in ten of those who are aware of the Games intending to follow them too (61%). Watching the competition on TV (57%) and catching up on news in newspapers and online media (57%) are the top ways residents intend to follow the Games. A further one in five said they would stream it online (23%), with those aged 35-44 (36%) most likely to do so.
Fewer said they would watch the sporting events at a bar or screening (7%) or go as far as to watch an event in person (4%).
With the most popular reason for following the Games being an existing interest in specific sports (37%), YouGov also polled respondents on the events they were most likely to follow. Aquatics (i.e., swimming and diving) was the most popular sport among residents (55%), with women (60%) significantly more likely to follow the sport than men (51%).
Next up were badminton (50%) and table tennis (39%), with men and women expressing similar levels of interest. Another one in three of Singapore residents said they will follow football (30%) and athletics (28%), with men more likely to express interest (37% for football; 32% for athletics).
While gymnastics was just out of the top five at the overall level (24%), it accounted for the biggest disparity in interest between men and women. Almost four in ten women are interested in following the sport at the Games (38%) – making it the fourth most popular sport among them – as compared to just one in ten men (13%).