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Thread: Singapore Badminton Scene
07-02-2012, 08:38 AM #1
Singapore Badminton Scene
Arena win Wee Kim Wee Badminton Challenge
Former SEA Games medallists Hendri Saputra and Hendra Wijaya help ensure Arena's dominance continues
Updated 09:10 PM Jul 01, 2012
SINGAPORE -- Former SEA Games silver medallists Hendri Saputra and Hendra Wijaya of Singapore led Arena Team to a 4-1 victory over the Singapore Management University (SMU) team in the Open Team event finals of the Wee Kim Wee Badminton Challenge Trophy 2012 at The Arena Country Club Sports Hall today.
The Open Team event final started off as a tight affair with former national team player Aaron Tan of SMU tied at one set a piece with former national team compatriot Ng Zong Ren of Arena Team on Court One.
However, Tan was edged out 19-21 in the final set as Arena Team took the lead, and they never looked back.
With brothers Hendri and Hendra, as well as other former national players like Ngo Yi Chye and Erwin Djohan, Arena Team swept SMU aside to make it five straight titles for the Arena team and their ninth since the tournament was inaugurated in 2003.
The run was broken only once, in 2007 when it was won by the Singapore Sports School.
"Standards have definitely improved this year as a lot more Singaporeans are playing badminton now," said Hendra, who with Hendri, also won the bronze for Singapore at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, in addition to their silver medal at the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand.
"They are certainly getting more support and improved facilities these days, but more can still be done."
Presenting the top three teams from each category with their medals and prizes were Member of Parliament (Choa Chu Kang GRC) Alex Yam.
Now into its tenth year, the tournament also witnessed overwhelming response from the schools for the boys' and girls' team events with 28 teams participating in the boys' and the girls' events seeing another 24 teams.
07-02-2012, 09:06 AM #2
BTW the Wee Kim Wee Badminton challenge is named after our late fourth President.
As I recall Mr Wee was very active in badminton during his younger days, both as player and as committee member of the SBA.
More details can be found in Wikipedia:
"The all-rounded sportsman excelled particularly in badminton. He founded the Useful Badminton Party in 1934 and was also the president of the Singapore Badminton Association as well as the vice-president of the Badminton Association of Malaya. In 1937, he was the junior singles badminton champion
07-02-2012, 11:58 PM #3
Singapore Open aiming for premier status
by Dan Guen Chin
04:45 AM Jul 03, 2012
SINGAPORE - The Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) is mulling a move to elevate the Li-Ning Singapore Open from a Badminton World Federation (BWF) Super Series to a Premier Series event.
It means the world's top-10 ranked shuttlers must participate in it, along with an increased prize purse from the current US$200,000 (S$253,000).
"The BWF has just opened the bidding process and we have until Sept 15 to make an official bid. I have to crunch out the numbers and present it to the SBA Executive Board for consideration," SBA chief executive officer Bobby Lee said.
Presently, it is the sixth-leg of the 12-stop BWF Super Series circuit.
Of the 12 stops, five - the South Korea, Indonesia, Denmark, China and All-England Opens - are Premier-level events offering at least US$350,000 in total prize money, with the Korean Open offering the most at US$1 million.
But things are set to change as the BWF will introduce a revamped BWF Super Series from 2014.
Under the new format, potential Super Series and Premier Series hosts must offer at least US$250,000 and US$500,000 in prize money, respectively.
However, the move would also mean higher costs incurred - staging a Premier-level event could cost three times more than the Li-Ning Singapore Open.
"There are the pros and cons. Higher investments also mean bigger crowds with the top 10 players guaranteed. It's a question of whether is it worth it to go Premier," said Lee.
But regardless of the decision, Lee assured that the Singapore Open would continue to be in the circuit.
He said: "Ultimately, even if we decide not to go ahead with the Premier event status bid, we are committed to being part of the Super Series. Which means we are going ahead with our bid to keep the Singapore Open as part of the Super Series."
07-09-2012, 03:13 AM #4
Performance of sin players at the singapore open 2012
Perhaps it's timely to assess the performance of our national players at the recently-concluded Singapore Open to determine how they currently stand in the international community, especially for those who are London Olympics-bound.
Unfortunately, this year's Open was without some of the very top players in the various events to make a more realistic assessment.
For example in MS, Sho Sasaki JPN was the highest ranked at only WR6, followed by compatriot Kenichi Tago WR8, while Juliane Schenke GER WR6 was also the highest ranked in WS.
Also, much has to depend on the luck of the draw. SIN players who faced higher ranked opponents at the start would have a tougher journey and more likely to be knocked out in the earlier rounds.
But this tournament had seen some pleasant surprises and upsets, although Juliane Schenke as WS top seed managed to emerge as winner. But not so lucky for Sasaki in MS, who was unceremoniously eliminated in R1 by youngster ex-World Junior Champion, Victor Axelsen DEN.
How did our Singapore players fare? As most of them are low in world ranking, not much was expected of them, but we were hoping that our Olympians-to-be like Gu Juan, Derek Wong and Yao Lei/Shinta Mulia Sari could do better. Unfortunately they had disappointed us somewhat. However our WD duo performed better of the lot and were unlucky to have lost narrowly in the QF to their higher ranked Japanese opponents.
Instead, it was Xing Aiying, as Singapore's third highest ranked WS player who did not qualify for LOG, who surprised many by putting up a gutsy performance to advance to the SF. Apparently, in the past, no Singaporean woman player has succeeded in advancing this far in a WS super-series tournament. In MS, Ronald Susilo managed to do so during his prime, in 2008?
Credit should also go to teenager Chen Jiayuan for aa above-par display before being defeated by much higher ranked Cheng Shao Chieh TPE in R2.
Here are the results based on the latest World Rankings:
Round 1 defeats (SIN players first):
1. WS - Gu Juan WR17 lost to Porntip Buranprasertsuk THA WR16: 21-18, 22-20
2. WD - Chen Jiayuan & Gu Juan WR192 lost to Jwala Gutta & Ashwini Ponnappa IND WR20: 21-9, 21-8
3. WD - Vanessa Neo & Thng Ting Ting WR77 lost to Chow Mei Kuan & Lee Meng Yean MAS WR63: 21-18, 20-22, 21-17
4. WD - Fu Mingtian & Xing Aiying WR60 lost to Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth & Rizki amelia Pradipta INA WR61: 21-11, 21-15
5. MD - Terry Yeo & Yi Liu WR74 lost to Mohammad Ahsan & Bona Septano INA WR6: 21-10, 21-13
6. MS - Derek Wong WR48 lost to Gurusaidutt R.M. IND WR44: 21-12, 21-13
7. XD - Terry Yeo & Dellis Yuliana WR63 lost to Fran Kurniawan & Shendy Puspa Irawati INA WR27: 17-21, 21-10, 21-8
8. XD - Yi Liu & Thng Ting Ting WR107 lost to Thitipong Lapoe & Peeraya Munkitamorn THA WR80: 21-11, 21-18
9. XD - Danny Bawa Chrisnanta & Vanessa Neo WR21 lost to Tan Aik Quan & Lai Pei Jing MAS WR42: 21-17, 13-21, 21-13
10. MD - Pribadi Setia Atmaja & Jeffrey Wong WR320 lost to Naoki Kawamae & Shoji Sato JPN WR11: 21-12, 21-19
Most disappointing: Gu Juan, Derek Wong and Danny Bawa Chrisnanta & Vanessa Neo.
GJ and Derek must work harder to give a better fight at the London Olympics.
1. WS - Chen Jiayuan lost to Cheng Shao Chieh TPE #4: 13-21, 21-17, 21-11
2. MD - Danny Bawa Chrisnanta/Chayut Triyachart lost to Ko Sung Hyun/Yoo Yeon Seong #2 KOR: 21-14, 21-17
3. WS - Fu Mingtian lost to Sung Ji Hyun #3 KOR: 21-17, 21-18
A ray of hope, especially for Chen Jiayuan and FMT and hope they can further improve for the next Olympics.
1. WD - Shinta Mulia Sari/Yao Lei #7 lost to Miyuki Maeda/Satoko Suetsuna #4 JPN: 21-19, 17-21, 27-25.
This match was so close that it could have gone either way. I wish that our pair can develop a more powerful, killing smash before the LOG.
1. WS - Xing Aiying lost to Cheng Shao Chieh #4 TPE: 23-21. 21-7
Xing was the toast of Singapore for being the first lady to reach the SF of a SS tournament. She even led in G1 with game point first but was unable to capitalise through lack of experience. It was good to see a rejuvenated Aiying, who first captured the US Open years ago, wanting to be as good as, if not better, than her WS teammates. This augurs well for our future Uber Cup ambitions with a more balanced women's team.
Unfortunately, not much can be said of our Thomas Cup team. Current performance of our men players left much to be desired and if standards do not improve, I'm afraid SIN will go further down the rankings.
Just hope that our players can put up a better fight at next year.
Last edited by Loh; 07-09-2012 at 03:22 AM.
07-09-2012, 05:14 AM #5
QF: WD JPN V SIN - the longest match of the tournament
This was undoubtedly the most exciting and absorbing match of the evening, with neither side giving away an inch but to fight for every point all the way.
In the end, 2010 champions, Shinta Mulia Sari/Yao Lei #7 lost very narrowly to Japan's pair of Mityuki Maeda/Satoko Suetsuna #4 with a final score of 21-19, 17-21, 27-25 in the longest match of the evening of 1hr 29 min.
In fact this WD was the longest match of the entire tournament, surpassing the WS SF match between Juliane Schenk and Sung Ji Hyun (1hr 22min) and the MS between Wang Zhengming and Kenichi Tago in R2 (1hr 11min).
As the score showed, the match could have gone either way and the Japanese were the luckier.
The Singaporean pair's attacking power was lacking and they will have to improve on this if they were to put up a better showing in London.
07-10-2012, 09:52 PM #6
Good luck, play hard and enjoy the game: Singapore badmintonchief
By Lin Wenjian | Fit To Post Sports – 16 hours ago
The players have been told to "uphold the ideals of Singapore and the Games" when they are in London (photo courtesy …
With the 2012 Olympic Games just a little more than a fortnight away, Team Singapore athletes are gearing up for the experience of competing in professional sports' grandest stage.
Pending the final approval from the Singapore National Olympic Council, Singapore will be represented at the 27 July to 12 August Games in London by 21 athletes in seven sports including table tennis, swimming and badminton.
For the four national badminton players who have earned their tickets to London, Bobby Lee, Singapore Badminton Association's chief executive, has only a simple message for them: "Good luck, play hard, enjoy the game. We are all supporting you."
But Lee's slightly laissez-faire approach to his players does not mean Derek Wong (men's singles), Gu Juan (women's singles) and the women's doubles pair of Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari have been putting their legs up and taking things easy ahead of the Games.
Far from it, Lee said. "All our four Olympians have worked very hard and sacrificed a lot throughout the qualification period to get to the Olympics," Lee revealed in an interview with Yahoo! Singapore.
"They know that it is an honour and a privilege to represent Singapore in the Olympics," he insisted.
Derek Wong and his fellow shuttlers have trained in Taiwan and Japan as part of their preparations for London 2012 …
The badminton chief is also grateful for the support shown to the players, noting that overseas training stints in Taiwan and Japan was possible only through the help of the SNOC, the Singapore Sports Council, and other corporate sponsors.
"We have also invested more funds into nutritional, psychological and physiological preparation for the players," Lee let on.
But, despite sparing no efforts in ensuring the players reach their optimal levels during the Games, Lee does not want to follow the lead of his counterparts at the table tennis association -- who are gunning for two medals at the Games -- and set specific targets for his charges.
"We have told them that representing Singapore at the Olympics is more than winning medals. It is also about being an ambassador of the country at the Games. They will need to uphold the ideals of Singapore and the Games when they are in London" he explained.
Lee is confident that the players will be able to do just that, believing "they will give a very good account of themselves at the Games".
He also urged them to make full use of "this privileged experience for a sportsman".
To detractors who are reluctant to cheer for Gu, Shinta and Yao -- who are among the naturalised citizens chosen to represent the country -- Lee's message is unequivocal. "I would like to ask Singaporeans to suspend their judgment, to understand the players' backgrounds better and to appreciate the work that they have done and will continue to do for Singapore, if we give them our whole-hearted support."
Singaporeans should appreciate the hard work of athletes like Gu Juan who are naturalised citizens, Lee said (photo …
07-11-2012, 11:38 PM #7
London Olympics: Singapore's medal hopes
04:45 AM Jul 12, 2012
Here is a look at some of the promising athletes who could add to Singapore's medal tally at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Singapore's flag-bearer won a historic silver medal at the Beijing Games in 2008 in the women's team table tennis event. The team's form going into the Games may not be the best, but winning a medal is not beyond them.
Tao Li became the first Singapore swimmer to reach an Olympic final when she clocked a then-Asian record of 57.54secs in the Beijing Games women's 100m butterfly semi-finals. The 22-year-old has been in poor form this year but insists she will be ready for the London Olympics.
Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei
Currently ranked 12 in the world, the duo proved they can go up against the world's best when they impressed at the recently concluded Li Ning Singapore Open. Their coach has tipped them to reach the quarter-finals at least but, with a little luck in the draw, they could go much further than that.
Having proved herself on the big stage - she won gold medals at both the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the 2009 SEA Games - the 21-year-old shooter will be eager to impress in her maiden Olympic Games and winning a medal will be the best way to do that.
Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari. TODAY FILE PHOTO
07-19-2012, 12:08 AM #8
Derek Wong: Dad, this is for you
by Dan Guen Chin
04:46 AM Jul 19, 2012
SINGAPORE - Somewhere in the Wong household in Serangoon North sits the 1983 SEA Games men's singles badminton gold medal.
It belongs to Wong Shoon Keat, his reward for pulling off a famous victory over Indonesia's Hastomo Arbi. Since then, no male Singapore shuttler has repeated that feat.
Yet, this milestone has never quite soothed the fact that he never got to compete at the Olympics, widely considered the sporting pinnacle - something his son Derek will have the opportunity to.
Next Friday, Derek will be part of Singapore's delegation at the London Olympics opening ceremony at the 80,000-capacity Olympic Stadium, with billions more globally tuning in on television and the Internet.
"I am proud of what my father has done in winning the SEA Games gold," Derek told TODAY.
"And my father is also proud of me that I am going to the Olympics, which he never had a chance to do ... In his time, badminton wasn't in the Olympics." Badminton made its debut at the 1992 Barcelona Games.
Derek added: "The Olympics is a very prestigious event and all athletes aspire to get there. I am no different.
"I remember watching and cheering (Singapore's former world No 6) Ronald Susilo at the Beijing Olympics on television four years ago. I told myself I must go to the Olympics one day as a participant."
Light-hearted bragging rights between Shoon Keat's SEA Games medal and Derek being the family's first Olympian has not stopped in the Wong household, although Derek's mother, Irene Wong, a Singapore women's No 1 title holder in the 1970s, stays out of the crossfire.
A medal contender he may not be, but world No 60-ranked Derek knows London will be a giant step in his badminton career.
"It will not be the end of the world for me if I fail in London," he said. "I will be back on the courts again. I am only 22 and have a few more years in my career."
The men's singles begin on July 28 at the Wembley Arena and Shoon Keat has helped analyse Derek's game on video, while Irene provides emotional support.
"I have always admired my father ... I don't know if I will ever win a SEA Games gold medal. But I know we both share a penchant for perseverance, hard work and a never-say-die spirit," said Derek.
"I am never afraid of hard work on the training courts. Like my father never was."
Derek aims to fulfil 1983 SEA Games champion Shoon Keat's unrealised Olympic dream. Photo by WEE TECK HIAN
07-25-2012, 02:20 AM #9
Olympics: Singapore sends 4 shuttlers to London Games
By Patwant Singh | Posted: 24 July 2012 1859 hrs
SINGAPORE: Singapore is sending four shuttlers -- two singles players and a doubles pair -- to the 2012 London Olympics.
The women's doubles pair of Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari is expected to make it to the quarter-finals, despite the trip being their first Olympic outing.
The duo's impressive performance at the recently-concluded Li Ning Singapore Open has boosted their confidence, and their coach is hopeful that they can reach the quarter-finals.
Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari are currently ranked 12th in the world.
"I feel that we are hoping for a medal and actually they've given us a very good role model so we have to put in our best," Yao said.
"We now need to take care of our condition and our game. I feel that the preparations are on track, we are ready," Sari said.
Another Olympic debutant, women's singles player Gu Juan, also wants to return home with a medal.
The only male player in the squad, Derek Wong, has a more modest target.
"I am expecting to do the best I can for every round and hopefully make the top 16 for the Olympic Games," he said.
Wong is hoping his 2012 experience would help him make a bigger impact at the 2016 Olympics.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Singapore's women's doubles pair of Jiang Yanmei and Li Yujia, went all the way to the quarter-finals.
That may be inspiration enough for Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei to go one better, or even surpass expectations -- and come home with a medal.
08-20-2012, 09:44 PM #10
Badminton: Shape up or ship out, father tells son
By Dan Guen Chin, TODAY | Posted: 17 August 2012 0653 hrs
SINGAPORE: The Republic's No 1 men's singles player, Derek Wong, has been given two years to turn himself into a potential world-beater, failing which he should rethink his badminton career.
The 23-year-old is currently ranked 57th in the world. His father, Wong Shoon Keat, won the men's singles gold medal when the 1983 SEA Games were held here and remains Singapore's only male shuttler to win the singles gold.
Shoon Keat told TODAY that he has given his son two more years to establish his status as a world-class player. "Right now, I must admit Derek is not there with the best in the world," said Shoon Keat. "The recent Olympics has shown that he doesn't have the complete game yet to compete against a world-class player.
"His net shots are weak and he doesn't have a defensive or attacking lob, which means he cannot set himself up to apply his greatest asset, which is his smash.
"I know Derek's game well. His strengths are his speed and a powerful smash. But in today's game, a smash alone will not take you far. Look at Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan. They have everything - net shots, drops, lobs and smashes.
"I am not saying that Derek can or should be a world No. 1, but what I want is for him to be able to challenge the world-class field and stay competitive. Look at his match against Denmark's Jan O Jorgensen (current world No. 12) in London. Derek clearly could not match him."
Derek has been with the national training squad for eight years and Shoon Keat said the early years when Derek trained under Indonesian coaches were not effective enough to put him on the right track.
"Luan Ching, his current coach from China, is a good coach. I trust him to make Derek into a better player. The Chinese have a different method of training and I believe Luan Ching can produce results. We will see in two years' time," said Shoon Keat.
Derek, who has a diploma in business management from the Singapore Institute of Management, is Singapore's top player after the retirement of Ronald Susilo and Kendrick Lee.
10-02-2012, 01:07 AM #11
SBA tastes success with Adopt-A-Player scheme
by Low Lin Fhoong
04:45 AM Oct 02, 2012
SINGAPORE - Dark clouds may be looming for the global economy, but local firms are still backing the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) and its shuttlers.
The SBA's Adopt-A-Player scheme was introduced in May 2010 and through the scheme, six players - Derek Wong, Terry Yeo, Gu Juan, Fu Mingtian, women's doubles pair Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari - have been receiving monetary incentives from local sponsors.
The SBA have targeted 20 "adoptions" and individual sponsorships for the national shuttlers.
Under the scheme, individual accounts are set up for the money that the athletes receive. These funds will be used to pay for their personal development courses, health and IT products, insurance and financial wealth plans. In return, the sponsors may engage them as product ambassadors or sports club coaches.
The sponsors to date come from various industries.
Builders Arina International Holdings inked a one-year deal with SBA this month to "adopt" Wong and Yeo and provide each of them with S$10,000 in financial support.
Reigning SEA Games gold medallist Fu is sponsored by Jumbo Seafood Restaurant, while team-mate Gu Juan has linked up with steel company Ann Aik.
World No 12 women's doubles pair Yao Lei and Shinta - who also competed at the London Games - have signed on with construction, property development and specialist engineering solutions provider Koh Brothers Group Limited and made a special appearance at the company's launch of its residential project, Parc Olympia, in August.
"This is a good boost and encouragement for full-time players like me," said Wong, 23, who is currently competing at the US$200,000 (S$244,000) Taiwan Open.
"I intend to use this sponsorship to further my studies in SIM (Singapore Institute of Management), where I am currently doing a diploma in business management."
When contacted, the sponsors said the sponsorships are a good way for them to do their bit for the sport and the community.
As Richard Tan, Managing Director of Arina International Holdings, who also organised the KF1 Corporate Challenge (karting) this year, said: "This is a good way to motivate players. Adopting them also allows us to place our brand on their competition T-shirts.
"The two players can also help us promote our events and I am planning for Derek and Terry to drive for my team at the KF1 Challenge next year.
"I want to bring up the level of sports here and support Team Singapore."
SBA Vice-President Francis Koh, who is also the Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of Koh Brothers, told TODAY: "Yao Lei and Shinta are rising women's doubles badminton players and I see the need to cultivate and develop their potential to represent our country.
"I am a great believer that sports builds healthy bodies and character. Sports sponsorships are another platform for us to fulfil our corporate social responsibility by giving back to society and contributing to nation building."
Derek Wong has been 'adopted' by Arina International in a one-year deal with S$10,000 in financial support. TODAY FILE PHOTO
10-03-2012, 10:49 PM #12
S'pore Open can improve: Badminton Chief
by Mohamed Shamir
04:46 AM Oct 03, 2012
DAN GUEN CHIN
SINGAPORE - The Singapore Badminton Association's (SBA) chances of hosting one of the five Badminton World Federation (BWF) Osim SuperSeries Premier events for the 2014-17 cycle have increased with South Korea planning to downgrade their Korean Open from a premier event to a SuperSeries tournament.
However, it appears that the national sports association still has a fair bit of work to do to convince the world body.
According to a report by the BWF evaluation committee, July's Li-Ning Singapore Open, which was held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, was rated a 6.5 upon 10, lagging behind prestigious competitions such as the All-England and China Opens.
SBA Chief Executive Bobby Lee told TODAY that it is possible to fix some of the areas that the Singapore Open was deemed to have fallen short in. According to him, a warm-up court, a mixed zone area for players and fans to interact briefly, corporate boxes for sponsors and players' lounge will be set up for future tournaments. Branding at the venue will also be ramped up.
However, there are some things, like the high costs of hotel rooms, that are beyond the SBA's control, Lee said.
Singapore also faces stiff competition from two other countries vying to host a SuperSeries Premier event, Lee said. "We are one of three countries, with Malaysia and Australia, bidding to host a premier event for the 2014-17 cycle," he said.
"It will be tough, as Australia is a newcomer while Malaysia is a traditional badminton power. These are factors in their favour."
The Singapore Open is one of nine BWF SuperSeries (or four-star) events, offering a minimum prize purse of US$200,000 (S$246,000) while the All-England and China Opens are top-tier five-star SuperSeries Premier events with a minimum purse of US$350,000.
The BWF report noted that the Singapore Open fell short in several areas- the absence of a warm-up court at the venue, the high cost of hotel rooms, as well as a lacklustre spectator turnout.
However, the report did excuse the Singapore Open for the last shortfall, attributing it to the withdrawal of top players - like China's Olympic champion Lin Dan and Malaysia's No 1 Lee Chong Wei - from the event because it was close to the London Olympics in August.
Venue branding was also an area which the Singapore Open did not do well in, with the report describing it as "incomplete".
"The moment you step into these two arenas, you know the All-England or the China Open is taking place," said the report. "The organiser of these two events gave their respective venues a thorough makeover with their distinctive branding. The recent Singapore Open didn't have that feel.
"But elsewhere, Singapore has scored top marks. It has a superb venue and they have done a good job in terms of safety and security for players and officials."
The BWF is expected to make its decision on the bids at its council meeting in Bangkok next month.
"It will be tough to exclude any of these cities bidding to be host," said BWF Chief Operating Officer Thomas Lund in the report.
"But whoever is chosen will best showcase the sport."
11-18-2012, 09:52 PM #13
SBA denies interest in M'sian shuttler
by Tan Yo-Hinn
04:45 AM Nov 17, 2012
SINGAPORE - The Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) has rubbished a report in a Malaysian daily which claims that one of Malaysia's most promising young badminton players was nearly poached by Singapore.
According to an article in The Star yesterday, 12-year-old Goh Jin Wei - who is seen as a future women's singles star and potential successor to former Malaysian star Wong Mew Choo - had been offered a "tempting package" that promised "a place in the Singapore national team and a scholarship up to university".
The report said that Jin Wei's mother had been close to accepting the deal, but was eventually talked out of accepting it by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and state officials.
However, the report did not state which organisation in Singapore had tried to poach her, nor where the scholarship was from.
"We are aware of Singapore's strategy to secure foreign players to strengthen their badminton programme but it came as a surprise that our shuttlers - Jin Wei specifically - had been approached," BAM General Manager Kenny Goh was quoted as saying in the report.
"They are making irresistible offers. We can't stop them from doing it but we must safeguard the interest of our juniors and the nation.
"Parents always want the best for their children. A good career in badminton and a scholarship to pursue their studies at a good university are ideal offers ... we will look into similar deals for our juniors."
The SBA is the sport's national body in Singapore and runs the national squads.
When contacted yesterday, SBA Chief Executive Officer Bobby Lee said he does not even know the shuttler in question.
"There is no such thing," he said. "We have never met or spoken to her or her family, so I don't know where all this is coming from."
Penang-born Jin Wei is regarded as a possible successor to two-time Commonwealth Games silver medallist and former world No 7 Wong - she retired last year after injuries took their toll - and is set to join the Bukit Jalil Sports School next year and train with Malaysia's top junior shuttlers.
When contacted yesterday, Goh confirmed they had tried to talk Jin Wei's family out of accepting the offer, but declined to elaborate further.
But the 44-year-old said: "It's the athlete and his or her family who make the final call, and we can only try to do our best to retain our best talents." TAN YO-HINN
11-18-2012, 09:59 PM #14
Goh episode forces BAM into decisive action
Friday November 16, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will do everything in their power to prevent a talent drain after Penang’s gifted Goh Jin Wei was nearly pinched by Singapore.
The 12-year-old Jin Wei, touted as a future women’s singles star, was offered a tempting package with the promise of a place in the Singapore national team and a scholarship up to university.
Jin Wei’s mother had been on the verge of signing the contract but a few state and BAM officials managed to coax her out of it. Losing Jin Wei (pic) would have been a big blow as Malaysia are desperately short of quality women’s singles players.
The youngster has beaten players older than her on the junior circuit and is seen as a potential successor to former international Wong Mew Choo.
No one has been able to fill the void since Mew Choo retired last year.
BAM general manager Kenny Goh said they knew of Singapore’s interest in Jin Wei.
“We are aware of Singapore’s strategy to secure foreign players to strengthen their badminton programme but it came as a surprise that our shuttlers – Jin Wei specifically – had been approached,” said Kenny.
“They are making irresistible offers. We can’t stop them from doing it but we must safeguard the interests of our juniors and the nation.
“We know that Jin Wei has been officially approached and we don’t want others to be tempted in the same way.”
The matter was discussed at the recent BAM council meeting and the association has been given the mandate to come up with attractive offers to ensure that the juniors stay in Malaysia.
“Parents always want the best for their children. A good career in badminton and a scholarship to pursue their studies at a good university are ideal offers ... we will look into similar deals for our juniors,” said Kenny.
Jin Wei currently trains at the state training centre but is expected to move to the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) next year so that she will get quality training together with the nation’s top juniors.
11-20-2012, 12:33 PM #15
She came to us first, insists sports school
By May Chen
The Straits Times
Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012
SINGAPORE - The Singapore Sports School (SSP) has denied accusations that it tried to poach one of Malaysia's top badminton youngsters.
But the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) continues to claim that 12-year-old Goh
Jin Wei was offered an attractive scholarship with the sports school, after being talent-
scouted at a tournament earlier this year.
Said How Kim Tho, manager of Malaysia's national junior programme: "Jin Wei and her mother had even gone down to Singapore to look at the facilities in the school and met
people from the SSP.
"When they decided to turn down the offer, they also went down a second time to tell the sports school in person."
But the SSP maintains that Jin Wei - touted as a successor to Malaysia's former world No. 7 Wong Mew Choo - had applied for the school's Foreign Sports Scholarship (FSS) of her own accord.
Said Irwin Seet, the school's director of sports: "Our school website provides information on a limited number of foreign scholarships offered each year and applicants from overseas need to apply for them on their own. We do not head-hunt, poach or approach potential applicants. Shortlisted applicants go through sports trials, academic tests and an interview to ascertain suitability.
"Jin Wei applied for the FSS and was successful, but she later turned it down as her parents felt that she was too young to be separated from them."
He also noted that the scholarship only provides for education in the secondary section of the school and does not have the ability to guarantee anyone a scholarship all the way to university - much less a spot in the Singapore national team.
The Star newspaper had reported that Jin Wei was made a tempting offer that included a spot in the Singapore national set-up and a scholarship up to university.
According to How, Singapore schools making advances on Malaysian junior shuttlers is not a new phenomenon.
"It is not just the sports school. Other schools in Singapore have also enticed some of our players to go over to Singapore in the last couple of years," he said.
"They approach them during tournaments and even during our national championships."
It is believed that a boy and a girl from Penang - both are 12 - have agreed to join Singapore schools from next year.
The Singapore Badminton Association's (SBA) current national youth team also have a pair of brothers from Malaysia.
Loh Kean Yew, 15, is a student at the Singapore Sports School, while older brother Kean Hean, 17, studies at Montfort Secondary School.
Added How: "We are not surprised, but we are not happy with these attempts behind our backs and we're looking at it quite seriously. We cannot afford to let our talent just drain away like that after we have taken care of them for the last few years."
But it is understood that approaching shuttlers with offers of scholarships in Singapore schools is all done above board.
Said SBA chief executive Bobby Lee: "At the end of the day, the girl (Jin Wei) is not under the BAM. Even if she has a contract with the Malaysian body, anybody can still offer anything and it's up to her to sort it out with the BAM."
11-20-2012, 09:26 PM #16
God-fearing man with an eye for good property deals (and donates to SBA)
The Straits Times
Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012
SINGAPORE - Those who have met the 51-year-old executive chairman of Overseas Union Enterprise (OUE) describe him as a devout and soft-spoken man.
Mr Stephen Riady is certainly open about his Christian faith.
He converted in 1992, at the age of 31, after his parents and siblings had done so.
One memorable demonstration was the huge signboard outside the Newton One condominium a few years ago. It read: "Fully Sold, Thanks be to God."
The condo was developed by the Lippo Group, of which Mr Riady is the president.
He became executive chairman of OUE in 2010, after buying out Malaysian tycoon Ananda Krishnan's stake in the company.
But soft-spoken as he is, the property deals Mr Riady has completed suggest a "sharp eye" for the market, said DMG analyst Goh Han Peng.
He added: "He's able to catch the property up-cycle in Singapore."
Mr Riady, a father of three who came to Singapore from Indonesia when he was 10, now lives in Sentosa Cove.
His house, by far the largest in the waterfront residential enclave on the eastern end of Sentosa Island, could be worth at least $95 million.
It sits on a premium plot of more than 28,000 sq ft and commands one of the best seafront views, according to The Edge magazine a couple of years ago.
Mr Riady has emphasised that Singapore is his home, and he is active in the philanthropy scene.
At a recent fund-raising dinner for the YMCA's 110th anniversary, Mr Riady put in a winning bid of $50,000 for the naming rights to a new orchid hybrid.
It was subsequently named Dendrobium YMCA. The avid badminton player also gave $1 million to the Singapore Badminton Association in December 2010.
An endowed professorship is also named after him: the Stephen Riady Distinguished Professor of Finance, at the National University of Singapore Business School.
His knack for business was clear at a tender age - he made his first million at 22 by investing in the stock market, while still studying for a finance degree at the University of Southern California.
He was already part of the family business set up by his father, Mr Mochtar Riady, two years before his graduation and would return to it during school holidays to learn the ropes.
"Actually, if I had a choice, I would have done something else, be a doctor or engineer," Mr Riady told the Business Times in a 2007 interview.
"My dad didn't say that I had to join the business, but in the early days, you already have the business. So somehow in university, you just naturally major in business. You don't think about it."
He went on to get an MBA from Golden Gate University in the United States and was also awarded an honorary PhD in business administration from Na-pier University in Edinburgh.
He was named Strategic Investment Entrepreneur of the Year in Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for Singapore in 2007.
Mr Riady is also executive director of Auric Pacific, which has brands such as Sunshine Bread and recently hired former SMRT chief executive Saw Phaik Hwa.
Ms Saw said Mr Riady was a very entrepreneurial businessman with a good sense of timing. "I see him as very much a Singaporean," she added.
12-01-2012, 10:25 PM #17
Badminton's world body rejects Singapore Open's bid
by Low Lin Fhoong
04:45 AM Dec 01, 2012
SINGAPORE - The Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) have failed in their bid to upgrade the US$200,000 (S$244,000) Singapore Open into a Super Series Premier event - which features a minimum prize purse of US$500,000 - from 2014 to 2017.
The SBA were notified of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) council's decision late last night, with the Malaysian Open awarded the rights to the five-star premier event ahead of Singapore and Australia.
Five-star events are guaranteed appearances of the world's top 10 shuttlers as it is compulsory for them to compete in at least nine out of 12 Super Series events.
The BWF calendar for the three-year period from 2014 to 2017 will consist of five premier super series in the China Open, All England Championships, Indonesia Open, Denmark Open and Malaysia Open.
The Singapore Open will retain its status as a Super Series event alongside Hong Kong, France, Australia, India, South Korea, and Japan. LOW LIN FHOONG
(Apparently, the BWF has also decided to change the format for the Rio Olympics after the London Olympics fiasco in the WD, where teams tried to lose their matches in order to gain an easier passage in the next round. While the winners of the respective groups will remain according to their seedings, the runners-up will be put into a new draw to determine which group they will go to.
There will also be changes to line-call decisions with the help of technology, principally slow-motion TV replays and players will be given a chance to challenge like in tennis, I think.)
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