NEWS : Tough but more success will come

Discussion in 'Korean Open 2004 / Japan Open 2004' started by seven, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. seven

    seven New Member

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    BADMINTON
    Tough but more success will come

    (The Strait Times Interactive)


    WINNING the five-star Japan Open was a good mountain to cross, said Singapore Badminton Association chief Lim Swee Say. And, given Ronald Susilo's determination, high technical skills and mental strength, he is confident that more success will come.

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    [font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=-2]SBA president (right) was among the crowd who gathered to welcome Susilo (left) home last night. -- TERENCE TAN[/size][/font]

    Mr Lim, who is also the Environment Minister, had rushed from his weekly Meet the People session to be among 40 members of the badminton fraternity at Changi Airport last night to welcome the champion home.

    Later, speaking to the media, he cautioned: 'The path ahead will only get tougher.'

    Susilo, he said, accepted the fact that Singapore, being a small nation, cannot match the resources China, Indonesia or Malaysia can offer their players. One example is the lack of top-class sparring partners here.

    Added Mr Lim: 'I think Ronald accepts the point that as long as there is determination, as long as he keeps on believing in himself, work hard, work smart, success can still be achieved.'

    The 24-year-old became the first Singapore shuttler to win a prestigious title. Along the way to beating China's world No 5 Bao Chunlai 15-13, 15-6 in Sunday's final, he had also scalped Malaysian Wong Choong Hann of Malaysia (No 4) and Shon Seung Mo of South Korea (No 7).

    Although now a champion and No 8 in the world, Susilo remains the shy former Anglo-Chinese School boy.

    And how he blushed when the media questioned him on the non-appearance of his girlfriend Li Jiawei, the South-east Asia Games table tennis champion.

    'Blame it on the late arrival time,' he told Timesport last night. 'She has morning training and needs to rest. So I told her not to come. We'll have dinner to make up for it.'

    Li confirmed the story, saying: 'I had wanted to go to the airport, but Ronald said he would be busy with reporters, and would have little time for me.

    'Sometimes, he can be a little too considerate.'

    But truth, friends said, is that the couple is just publicity shy.

    Li also missed watching him win live on television. She said: 'I don't have cable TV at home, so I only knew the result from SMS messages. I was so happy, jumping about in my room like I'm crazy.'

    Li has another reason to smile. With the Japan Open victory, Susilo is virtually assured of accompanying her to the Athens Olympics from Aug 14 to 26.

    The Japan exploits have moved him from 15th in the world to No 8.

    In a rare display of public emotion, a subdued Susilo said: 'There's no time to rest. There's the Asian Championships next week and then preparations for the Olympics.

    'I thank God for helping me win. At last I've given my parents something for them to feel proud of me.'

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  2. HoNgHoNg

    HoNgHoNg Regular Member

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    hehe... didn't noe tat he got a chinese table tennis player gf :p
     
  3. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    It's still not too late to take note. I think Li Jiawei is by far the most successful Singaporean athlete in terms of the number of gold medals won and prize-monies earned at international games. She is ranked around 12th in world table tennis and is Singapore's table tennis star. As disclosed she and Jing Junhong, who thrilled all Singaporeans when she was in the Semi-Finals of the last Olympic Games, have qualified for this year's Olympics in Athens. She won 3 golds in the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games in women's team, doubles and mixed doubles and 4 golds, one individual and 3 team, in last year's December SEA Games in Vietnam.

    Like Ronald Susilo, Li Jiawei is a foreign-talent and was recruited from China when she was a teenager. She is now a Singapore citizen and was the Sportswomen of the Year 2003. The Singapore Table-Tennis Association (STTA) has been very successful in developing the game in Singapore and Li Jiawei, Jing Junhong and other China imports have played a prominent role in raising standards. Table-tennis, like Badminton, is one of only 8 sports to be taught at the newly opened Sports School.

    Ronald was caught seeing Jiawei off for the Commonwealth Games at Changi Airport in September 2002. Seven months later, in April 2003, at the Swissotel the Stamford, he was Li Jiawei's escort at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Jiawei and 10 other national athletes including Jing and Li Li, our very own badminton champion, were honoured and given a permanent place in our local Hall of Fame. Hopefully, Ronald will make it soon and this time, her girlfriend, Jiawei, will be his escot! But to see this young couple working so hard to bring glory not only to themselves, their families but also to Singapore by qualifying for a place at the forthcoming Olympics, is indeed a rare and happy occasion!
     

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