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08-31-2004, 08:30 AM #18
Imagine.. both are from different countries come together and settle down in a a foreign country which they serve their olympic and sport duties.
08-31-2004, 08:31 AM #19
THE STRAITS TIMES
S'pore Olympians Susilo and Jiawei to tie knot
By Pamela Tan
SUSILO has delivered on a promise he made to surprise his girlfriend Li Jiawei on her return from Athens on Tuesday.
The shuttler proposed marriage in a private moment at around 10 am on Tuesday, and the demure champion paddler said yes.
Jiawei arrived home in Singapore early on Tuesday and was promptly mobbed by fans at the airport. It was only later in the morning that the couple could find time to be together.
They became an item after the Manchester Games in July 2002 when he asked for her number through his badminton team mate, Li Li.
When asked if they were getting married a year later, at the 2003 Singapore Sports Awards night, Susilo had quipped: 'Not for now. Not yet.'
That was the night Jiawei was crowned Singapore Sportswoman of the Year for the second time, while he picked up the Meritorious award for making it to the final of Singapore Open.
Susilo and Jiawei are fresh from their turns in Athens, where both momentarily gave Singapore medal hopes.
He beat the world No 1 Lin Dan in the badminton's men's singles round of 32 before beating Germany's Bjoern Joppien to book himself a quarter-final berth.
He bowed out of the competition after a straight-set loss of 10-15, 1-15 to Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana in the quarter-finals.
Jiawei brought Singapore to within a whisker of the table tennis women's singles bronze medal when she beat world No 2 Wang Nan in the quarter-finals.
In the semi-finals, she led 3 sets to 1 against North Korean Kim Hyang Mi before losing 3-4.
Jiawei lost 11-9, 8-11, 7-11, 5-11, 8-11 to South Korean Kim Kyung Ah in the bronze-medal match.
Singaporeans - even those who don't usually follow badminton or table tennis - tuned in to watch them play during the Athens games.
And although they returned without medals, they are heroes for the effort and fight that they put up.
The last time Singapore won an Olympic medal was in the Rome games in 1960, when weightlifter Tan Howe Liang won the silver medal in his class.
08-31-2004, 07:38 PM #20Originally Posted by ants
Where is jiwei from? China?
08-31-2004, 08:10 PM #21
Jiawei says yes to Susilo
Jiawei says yes to Susilo
By Marc Lim
The Straits Times.
SINGAPORE'S No. 1 sports couple Ronald Susilo and Li Jiawei will make their dream match come true - as man and wife. The courtship which started two years ago turned to bliss yesterday when Susilo, 25, proposed to his 23-year-old sweetheart, hours after her return from the Athens Olympics.
She accepted - in tears.
Susilo said: 'She was so touched, she started crying. We have been together for two years now, so I felt it was the right time to pop the question, after the pressure of the Olympics was over.'
The couple had flirted with giving Singapore its second Olympics medal since Tan Howe Liang's weightlifting silver in 1960.
Susilo beat China's world No. 1 Lin Dan en route to a heart-breaking badminton singles quarter-final exit, while Li lost in both the table tennis singles semi-finals as well as the bronze-medal play-off in Athens.
Susilo, who returned last week, had told Timesport that he was planning a surprise for his girlfriend but did not want to give the game away, although there were hints that he would propose to her.
He was at Changi Airport to welcome her home at 6am yesterday, but did not have a chance to talk to her as she was greeted by VIPs, who included Minister for Defence and Singapore National Olympic Council president Teo Chee Hean, and Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan, as well as about 200 fans, some of whom had waited overnight to see Li.
When the couple finally had time for themselves, Susilo popped the question. He asked what she wanted and she replied: 'Nothing, only you.'
That was Susilo's cue.
He teased her by making her go through four empty ring boxes first, before whipping out a custom-made diamond ring from The Canary Diamond Company.
Li told Timesport: 'I was wondering what he was up to when he asked me that question. I knew marriage was on his mind, but never expected him to propose today.'
However, they have no plans to register their marriage or for a wedding ceremony yet.
But a hongbao there will be - of about $10,000, the same amount fellow paddler Jing Junhong got for her fourth placing at the 2000 Sydney Games - which will come from the Singapore Table Tennis Association for her good showing in Athens.
Susilo said: 'I was more worried about whether she would agree to marry me. Wedding? I'll think about that later.'
08-31-2004, 08:15 PM #22
If anyone has nice pictures of the couple, please post 'em here
08-31-2004, 09:23 PM #23
a real heartwarming congratulations for the couple of Susulo and Jiawei. what a romantic story to be able to compete for their country in the Olympics and then come back and ties the knot.
08-31-2004, 10:15 PM #24
Jiawei says "I Will" to Susilo
Another report from Tan Yo-Hinn of "Today", Wed, Sep 1, 2004:
Jiawei says 'I will' to Susilo
IT has been one of Singapore's worst kept secrets, but it was confirmed yesterday: Singapore's most famous sporting couple will tie the knot.
National badminton star Ronald Susilo proposed to his girlfriend, table tennis star Li Jiawei, just a couple of hours after she returned from the Olympic Games in Athens yesterday.
Mobbed on her arrival by hundreds of fans at Changi Airport, Li was whisked away to Susilo's car, where he plucked up the courage to pop the question.
Despite their star status, Susilo opted for a direct, no-frills approach.
There was no bended knee or brass band playing in the background.
"Just a very normal guy proposing to his girlfriend. That's all. There was no special arrangement lah!" said Susilo, who reached the last eight of the men's badminton singles at Athens 2004.
After collecting his girlfriend at Terminal 2, Susilo took her to Caldecott Broadcast Centre at Caldecott Hill where she appeared on MediaCorp TV Channel 8's Good Morning Singapore.
"I picked her up from Caldecott Hill. While driving back I asked her the question in the car. And she said 'yes'," said the excited 25-year-old as he proceeded to take her to one of their favourite romantic haunts.
There, Susilo gave Li four boxes — all of which were empty — which left her a little perturbed.
Finally, he brought out a rose-shaped jewellery box that contained the ring. But Susilo declined to reveal further details.
"It's so embarrassing lah! How can I say what sort of ring it is or how much it costs," said Susilo, who left last night for a short holiday. "Even she doesn't know how much it costs, so how can you know?"
After some gentle prompting, Li, who reached the last four of the women's table tennis, revealed her side of the story.
"Initially, I was taken aback when he proposed. But maybe it was because I was tired. Having just got off a 12-hour flight, I was feeling a bit dazed," she said, in Mandarin.
Aside from their sporting exploits, the pair have endeared themselves to the public in the way that the Mandarin-speaking, Beijing-born Li communicates with the English-speaking, Jakarta-born Susilo, who professes not to know any Chinese characters except those found on mahjong titles – his favourite pastime.
The pair use Singlish and Mandarin and send SMS text messages in hanyu pinyin
But what language did Susilo use to propose?
"He proposed to me in chan chan (mixture of) English and Mandarin," said Li. "I remember the exact words, but I won't reveal them to you. That's a secret between Ronald and myself."
The couple have yet to set a date to register their marriage.
Susilo, the 2004 Japan Open champion, revealed he had thought about proposing to Li earlier, but decided to put it off until now so that both could concentrate on the Olympics.
Both have been dating since the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, where Susilo had obtained Li's phone number from his badminton team-mate Li Li.
Li finished the Commonwealth Games with three gold medals (women's team and doubles, mixed doubles).
Both are among the top ranked players in their respective arenas. Susilo is the current world No 10 in men's badminton, while Li is the current world No 7 in women's table tennis.
At the Athens Olympics, Susilo lost 10-15, 1-15 to Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana in the last eight of the men's singles, but not before upsetting world No 1 Lin Dan of China in the first round 15-12, 15-10.
Li beat world No 2 and then-reigning Olympic singles champion Wang Nan in the last eight, but lost to North Korea's Kim Hyang Mi (4-3) in the semi-finals and South Korea's Kim Kyung Ah (4-1) in the bronze medal play-off.
But their greatest match is still to come, once they can settle on a date.
For those who wish to view their pix, you may try the following websites:
Last edited by Loh; 08-31-2004 at 10:21 PM.
08-31-2004, 11:38 PM #25
FairyTale Success for Foreign Talents
First sorry for the double posting in my previous news coverage post.
Ronald Susilo's and Li Jiawei's sporting journey in Singapore has been a fairy tale of sorts thus far.
Both were teenagers (about 14 years old) when they decided to emigrate to Singapore for a better future. Ronald came here for his secondary education in English. Jiawei was absorbed by the STTA (Singapore Table Tennis Association) to continue to be trained as a professional. It appears that Jiawei was a rather weak girl as a child and her parents decided it will be good for her to take up sports to strengthen her physically. She was good at TT but was never in the top echelon, therefore her move to Singapore gave her a chance to develop her skills and international exposure, culiminating in her appearance in the Athens Olympics quarter finals, although she failed to win a medal.
Ronald, on the other hand, studied in one of Singapore's better known secondary schools which confers a premium on sports personalities. Ronald was known to be a very good badminton player during his school days in Indonesia and therefore, I presume, he was quite readily absorbed into the school although he may encounter difficulty with the English language initially. He brought honours to his alma mater by helping to win many championships at National Schools level, I'm sure. He only turned pro after his secondary education here and he has now proven to the world that he is a world-class player, having won the Japan Open 2004 and beating WR 1, Lin Dan, in the first round of the Athens Olympics.
Ronald is now 25, Jiawei, 23. Both are foreign talents who responded to Singapore's strategy to import talented sports people, especially those who are still in their teens, to complement and provide a challenge to the relatively small local talent pool. The successful ones, like Ronald and Jiawei are held up as good role models for the local aspirants. Ronald is proficient in Indonesian and English and Jiawei, Mandarin. One would not expect these two young sports stars to be able to communicate, less so to want to tie the romantic knot! And it has to be Manchester, that faraway foreign English city that staged the last Commonwealth Games, to bring them together.
Of course, Ronald will take up Mandarin more seriously. He can speak simple Mandarin, perhaps better than me. And Jiawei will continue to learn English, which our foreign shuttlers, mainly teenagers from China, are required to do to enable them to assimilate into our culture more effectively should they decide to settle here, like Ronald and Jiawei.
In many ways, Singapore is a melting pot for foreign migrants of the Chinese, Malay and Indian ancestry. Now we have a broader spectrum of settlers who have become citizens. So we should not turn our back to those who want to settle here and call it their country, their future and their home.
Meanwhile, the Ronald-Jiawei fairy tale has only just begun. Do expect more interesting episodes in the years to come!
09-01-2004, 12:04 AM #26Originally Posted by Qidong
09-01-2004, 02:18 AM #27
so they called foreign talent hor?singapore looking for sportsmen like go shopping liddat i think very few represent singapore people are born singaporean
09-01-2004, 06:00 AM #28
Both from Singapore.But not birth in Singapore if not wrong
09-01-2004, 07:45 AM #29Originally Posted by seowman
An athlete has to qualify for the Olympics, so the standards are much higher. ln badminton and table-tennis, we do not have enough local talent who can measure up and it will take a long, long time to wait for our Singapore-born athletes to make it to the Olympics if nothing is done to raise their standards. One short-cut is to attract sports talented coaches and athletes from abroad to settle in Singapore by providing a satisfactory living for them and let them choose whether their ultimate future lies in Singapore. Their presence helps to raise our own local standards.
I can tell you that being a professional athlete here is not easy. You need to work hard and show results, otherwise your future may be filled with disappointments. A number of badminton imports have failed along the way. In future, it will be more difficult for Singapore to attract such foreign talents, who are largely from less-economically developed countries like China and Indonesia, once these countries have improved their economic conditions and life for their professional athletes becomes much better. They come here because they can enjoy better benefits now. Who would want to be uprooted from their parents, siblings, relatives and friends if they can help it?
Hitherto, Singaporean parents were concerned more about their children's academic pursuits for paper qualifications carry a much higher weight in the job market. But the parents' mindset is changing now because the first Sports School here is able to 'marry' studies and sports in a most flexible and conducive way to reassure the parent's and their sports talented children. Even at this early stage of the School's development, the management has quickly made arrangements to provide tertiary education to enable the SS student to pursue college and degree studies, either at home or abroad, not only in academic studies but also in sports-related areas more suitable to the SS graduate. Now, I think the parents must be most impressed! Consequently, I think it will be easier for us to produce champions in the not-too-distant future!
So, please don't belittle or pass snide remarks on our foreign talents who have decided to plant their roots here. Sports personalities like Ronald and Jiawei are rare, since they have been living in Singapore when they were teenagers and now as adults they have decided to become Singapore citizens and contribute their services to Singapore. How often does tiny Singapore have a chance to be known to the whole world? I think this couple has done remarkable for Singapore. Even in this forum, many of our members are now more aware of Ronald's badminton exploits, his background and in so doing they also got to know his gf, Jiawei, better.
As Singaporeans, we should be proud of this young couple who have brought excitement and recognition to many in our country. None of our so-called local born athletes have succeeded the way our foreign talents like Tan Howe Liang, Ronald Susilo and Li Jiawei have done so in the Olympics - the pinnacle of a sportsperson's experience! We must reach out to them, shower them with hospitality, congratulate them for their fine performances, thank them for bringing glory to Singapore, encourage them to do better and share with them the joys and sometimes disappointments they encountered in their athletic battles for Singapore. Therefore, I'm most heartened by the warm welcome home that both Ronald and Jiawei received at Changi Airport.
Ronald and Jiawei, we salute you and may you continue to find happiness in Singapore!
Last edited by Loh; 09-01-2004 at 07:52 AM.
09-01-2004, 11:57 AM #30Originally Posted by Loh
i agree. both were 'half baked potatoes' (i hope im using the right metaphor) when they came to singapore. it is the success of the singapore sports program that should take all credit for these two fine individuals performance in their respective fields.
its just like the manufacturing industry. doesnt really matter where the parts came from. it is the final product that counts. so Ronald is trully made in singapore!
cheers. and wishing them a blissfull marriage
09-01-2004, 10:01 PM #31
Singapore sport's perfect match
Sport brings them together, love blossoms, and now they will share lives
By Marc Lim
HE CAME to Singapore 11 years ago, with the aim of pursuing a better education, but later found his calling in badminton. She made the trip here eight years ago, with the dream of being a table tennis champion.
But what Ronald Susilo and Li Jiawei did not bargain for was falling in love, getting engaged and planning for a life together in their adopted land.
For Indonesia-born Susilo, 25, and China-born Jiawei, 23, theirs is a love story conceived in England, but nurtured in Singapore.
'You can say it was love at first sight,' said Susilo, who admitted to being smitten from the second his eyes met Li's at the Second Link in Tuas during the Singapore leg of the baton relay for the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.
'There was just something about her, besides her beauty.'
He plucked up the courage to get her phone number, albeit from a mutual friend, and began text messaging her in a mixture of English and pinyinised Chinese.
They got to know each other better during their competition stint in Manchester, sneaking in a chat here and there in between events.
But the real dating only began after they returned, sustained by a steady diet of gourmet food and horror movies.
And yesterday, after two years of courtship, Singapore's top shuttler plucked up even more courage to go the extra mile - and ask his sweetheart to be his wife.
He likened it to playing in a big tournament, complete with sweaty palms and a sleepless night.
He had already planned for the big day a week in advance, just days after he arrived home earlier from the Athens Olympics, where he was two wins short and Li one victory away from giving Singapore an Olympic medal after 44 barren years.
He planned to propose yesterday morning, shortly after his girlfriend and the last members of the Singapore contingent touched down at Changi Airport.
But an unexpected crowd of 200 well-wishers, including VIPs and ministers, who were there to greet her, meant the couple did not see each other until an hour after her arrival.
Susilo had revealed to Timesport last week that he was planning a surprise for his girlfriend, but did not want to disclose what it was, although there were hints that he would be asking for her hand in marriage.
So when another newspaper asked her whether Susilo had popped the question, Li was surprised.
'I didn't know what was happening and wondered why they would ask such a question, so I said no,' said Li, who made sure she stayed to sign autographs.
'I should have guessed because he was supposed to call me in Athens last week but didn't. When I queried him, he said he was busy.
'But I told him not to lie. What has he got to do? He told me to wait until I got back. I thought it would just be a gift.'
Yet, barely three hours after Li's denial to the other newspaper, Timesport received an SMS from Susilo which read: 'I have done it. I just proposed to her and she agreed.'
Said Li, who proudly wore her 'over one-carat' diamond ring yesterday evening: 'I just cried when I saw it. I didn't give an answer at first but I guess after I tried it on, he knew my answer.'
Susilo's parents have given their blessings, and although Li has yet tell her parents the good news, she said they knew it was coming.
She joked: 'Although Ronald and I never really talked about marriage, we both knew it was going to happen. But being a girl, I couldn't be the one to ask. So I just waited.'
Was she happy with her 'rock'?
'Yes, very satisfied,' she said with a laugh. 'He knows I only have one preference - big.'
pic 1 - Sept 25, 2002: Already a couple by then, but Susilo and Li play it coy at Changi Airport before Li's departure for the Busan Asian Games. The pair had met only months earlier -- on May 19, 2002 -- at the Manchester Commonwealth Games baton relay at the Second Link.
pic 2 -May 2, 2003: Decked out in their glamorous best, they ensconced themselves as the Republic's leading sports couple at the Singapore Sports Awards.
pic 3 - Aug 9, 2004:A happy Olympic sending-off for the Athens-bound couple, who were also celebrating Li's 23rd birthday that same day.
pic 4 - Yesterday: A VIP welcome back for Li (from left) from Acting Sports Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, SNOC president and Defence Minister Rear-Adm (NS) Teo Chee Hean and Singapore' International Olympic Committee member Ng Ser Miang.
pic 5 - Yesterday: Many among the 200-odd fans (left) clamoured for Li's autograph and to be photographed with her despite her pre-dawn arrival.
pic 6 - Last night: In a rare show of affection before the media, Susilo planted a kiss on his sweetheart's cheek when The Straits Times met them at Ngee Ann City. Li also showed her "over one-carat" ring to Timesport.
Last edited by - 73* -; 09-01-2004 at 10:06 PM.
09-02-2004, 02:30 AM #32
Awesome! Thanks -73*- ...
09-02-2004, 10:56 AM #33
PERFECT MATCH ... The golden couple of Singapore sports, shuttler Ronald Susilo (right) holds the hand of table tennis player Li Jiawei (left) as they show their engagement ring in Singapore on Tuesday.
09-24-2004, 03:00 AM #34
Ok, I must be really out of date coz I didn't know any of these when I was in Singapore. Too busy hibernating in my nest to care.
1. Congratulations to Ronald and Jiawei. So sweet.
2. Agree with Loh (check out his super long postings). I used to be pretty cynical about our foreign talent scheme as well but I'm beginning to rethink the issue. Yeah, we do shop for them, but it's not like we don't invest money into training them etc. So the credit is at least, in part, ours.
3. That MP Vivian Balakrishnan is one of the best-looking Singaporean politicians I have seen in ages (4th picture, dude in red beside Jiawei)!
4. Oh yeah, Li Jiawei looks really good in her gown (2nd pic), no?
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