Singapore Sports Scene

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by Loh, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Desire to excel prompts Singapore floorballer to train abroad
    http://www.tnp.sg/sports/others/desire-excel-prompts-singapore-floorballer-train-abroad

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    National floorballer Siraaj Ramadhan hopes to pass on what he has learnt when he comes back from his stint with Finnish club SC Classic. PHOTO: SIRAAJ RAMADHAN

    Siraaj puts job on hold for 40-day Finland stint
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    Narendaren Karnageran

    Mar 28, 2018 06:00 am
    National floorballer Siraaj Ramadhan is not one to be easily contented with his skills.

    So when an opportunity to train with Finnish champions SC Classic came along, he jumped at it - even if it meant having to make sacrifices.

    Siraaj, who works as a full-time floorball coach, has had to forego his income while he undergoes a 40-day training stint in the southern Finnish city of Tampere.

    Eating out is an issue due to the costs and availability of halal food, but the 25-year-old has adapted by sourcing for halal ingredients and cooking his own meals.

    Then, there is also the freezing weather.

    Temperatures in the Nordic country can drop to as low as -21 deg C, but he just endures it all.

    Siraaj, who was part of the Singapore floorball team who won gold at the 2015 SEA Games on home soil, would not have it any other way.

    The training stint with SC Classic Academy, who have produced top players such as 2017 Finland Player of the Year Nico Salo, Sami Johansson and Krister Savonen, was a priceless opportunity that he did not want to miss.

    "I had to take it," Siraaj told The New Paper in a long-distance phone interview.

    "I'm not contented at being at my current level. I want to be better, I know I can be better.

    "I heed my parents' advice seriously as I see them as my pillar of strength. So when they said I should go, I knew there was no stopping me."

    To finance the trip, Siraaj dipped into his savings.

    "When I was informed of the chance to go over, I had less than a month before I had to leave for Tampere," said Siraaj, who departed for Finland on Feb 20.

    "So it was tough to raise funds at such a short notice. Inevitably, I wiped out my savings. I also launched a crowdfunding campaign to help ease the financial burden."

    It was not an option for Siraaj to go at a later date, as the club would be heavily involved in the league play-offs. If he had missed this opportunity, it might not come again.

    "I didn't want to postpone the trip to raise funds as it felt too much of a risk. As such, I thought I'd just have to make it work along the way," he said.

    To reduce expenses, Siraaj, who is also a certified strength and conditioning coach, has learnt to cook his own food, despite not having prepared meals previously.

    "The cost of living in Finland is very high. A Subway meal here costs 12.90 euros (S$20.90)," he said.

    "Also, the right kind of nutrition is very important to an athlete. So being particular can be limiting, especially since it is hard to get access to halal food.

    "So I buy halal-certified ingredients and cook my own meals. The bright side of that is I've picked up another life skill."

    Nothing seems to dampen Siraaj's spirit, not even the damning weather. With temperatures hitting as low as -21 deg C, the biting cold was brutal in the initial days.

    "My hands and face got so cold so fast, it was very painful. It was so terrible that I just preferred not to travel and explore, but just stay indoors. Thankfully, it has got better."

    What hasn't improved for the family-oriented Siraaj, however, has been his feeling of homesickness. He misses his parents, wife and close friends very much.

    He said: "The players here have tight schedules, having to balance training and school or work, therefore I tend to be on my own a lot.

    "So being away from loved ones can be even more difficult to handle.To make matters worse, I dropped my mobile phone while recording one of the training sessions and damaged it, so the only reliable means of communication with my wife and parents is through WhatsApp on my laptop."

    Despite the challenges, Siraaj, who turns out for Black Wondersticks in the Singapore Floorball League, would not have done anything differently as he feels his sacrifices will not be in vain.

    He said: "Floorball is my passion and excelling at my trade is of utmost importance to me. I have learnt so much from the intensive training regimen that I have been undertaking here.

    "I have grown as a player and, in my capacity as a coach, I feel there is so much knowledge I can impart to the Singapore floorball community as a whole."

    Singapore floorball coach Matti Joutsikoski, who is preparing the national team for December's World Floorball Championship in the Czech Republic, has only positive words for his charge.

    "I'm delighted for Siraaj," said Joutsikoski.

    "He is very dedicated and committed to his craft. The effort he puts to developing his skills in floorball and also as a strength and conditioning coach, I tip my hat off to Siraaj.

    "Classic SC are one of the best teams in the world, are current reigning champions in Finland and have an extensive history of producing world-class players and coaches.

    "It is a great opportunity not only for Siraaj to raise his standard, but also for him to bring some of the Singapore flavour to Finland floorball."
     
  2. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Commonwealth Games: Paddlers and shooters to lead Singapore's gold hunt once more

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    Shooter Martina Veloso said: "My training has gone well and I'm feeling good. The team is relaxed and we want to do well."ST PHOTO: ALVIN HO
    Published

    Apr 3, 2018, 9:36 pm SGT

    But chef de mission Chay is also hoping for ‘some surprises’ from the other sports

    Jonathan Wong on the Gold Coast, Australia

    The absence of Joseph Schooling in Australia has left Team Singapore looking to familiar sources for gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, which start with tonight's opening ceremony.

    While the 100m butterfly Olympic champion's form has been inconsistent of late, Schooling's pedigree meant he would have been among the favourites for his pet event on the Gold Coast.

    Instead, it is left to the Republic's paddlers and shooters to do the heavy lifting. Both sports have combined to win an incredible 24 Commonwealth titles from the past three Games and should increase that haul over the next fortnight.

    The Singapore Table Tennis Association has targeted a clean sweep of all seven events at the Oxenford Studios, while shooters Jasmine Ser (50m rifle three positions) and Teo Shun Xie (10m air pistol) are aiming to extend their reign as Commonwealth champions.

    Fellow shooter Martina Veloso, who beat Ser to win the 10m air rifle event at last year's SEA Games and bagged two bronzes at last October's Commonwealth Shooting Championships, a test event for the Games, also fancies her chances.

    The 18-year-old said: "My training has gone well and I'm feeling good. The team is relaxed and we want to do well."

    Singapore chef de mission Mark Chay is leading the 60-athlete contingent, which is relatively inexperienced at this level.

    Two-thirds, or 40 of them, are making their Commonwealth Games debut. This includes all four para-athletes - the 2002 Manchester Games were the first major multi-sport event to include para-athletes in the main sports programme - with Paralympic medallists Yip Pin Xiu and Theresa Goh not making the trip Down Under as their events were not offered.

    While the paddlers and shooters are under pressure to deliver medals, Chay stressed this did not alleviate the expectations on the other nine sports. He said: "Everyone is here on merit and they want to do well.

    "For a lot of them, this is a step up in terms of the level of opposition, but I'm hopeful we'll see some surprises from our athletes."

    Schooling won a silver in the 100m fly at Glasgow 2014, which was Singapore's first medal in swimming at the quadrennial meet. A repeat of a podium finish from the trio of Darren Lim, Quah Ting Wen and Roanne Ho at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre is unlikely.

    Ho, however, believes she is in the right form to break her 50m breaststroke national record of 31.29sec and record a sub-31 swim, which would make her a podium contender.

    Only the top three finishers at the 2014 edition managed to break 31sec in the final.

    Stephan Widmer, national head coach and performance director, said: "The swimmers are as ready as the preparations have allowed them to be... One of the main aims here is... for them to come back from the Games better, with more experience for the future races in mind, especially with the Asian Games coming up later this year."

    The Singapore Badminton Association is also looking long term. The 10-player squad, with an average age of just 22.1 is the youngest the country has sent to the Games.

    The national shuttlers have won medals at every Games since 2002. Four years ago, now-retired Derek Wong (men's singles) and men's doubles pair Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Chayut Triyachart won silvers and Singapore bagged a bronze in the mixed team event.

    World No. 103 and Games debutante Grace Chua is under no illusions about the task ahead but added: "I am very excited because it is one of the biggest Games that I have been to; I am a bit nervous to be on such a big stage and I am hoping to do well.

    "We are prepared and confident but, at the same time we cannot be overconfident."

    Additional reporting by Lim Say Heng
     
  3. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Defending champs but Singapore men are underdogs: Pang

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    (From left) Gao Ning, Beh Kun Ting, Pang Xue Jie and Ethan Poh training at the Oxenford Studios. The team were drawn against Mauritius and Barbados in the group stage but face a tough task to reach the final.ST PHOTO: LIM SAY HENG

    Published
    5 hours ago

    Lim Say Heng
    sayheng@sph.com.sg

    Six months ago, filming for the superhero movie Aquaman was completed in the Oxenford Studios before they were converted for use for the Commonwealth Games.

    The Singapore men's table tennis team will require a superhuman effort at the same venue where they start the defence of their team gold tomorrow.

    While the Republic won the event in New Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014, they have fielded a mix of youth and experience this year - veterans Gao Ning, 35 and Pang Xue Jie, 25, are complemented by Ethan Poh, 19, Beh Kun Ting, 16, and Koen Pang, 15.

    The senior Pang said: "We have a realistic chance at the bronze. But there is always a chance for gold because, unlike the World Tour events, the Games are higher pressure and anything can happen.

    "We are underdogs for the gold, which is good for us because we will have nothing to lose."

    Poh says the Games feel "bigger" than the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur last year, but insists he will not be overawed by the scale.

    He said: "I am confident that we will do well as a team as we have prepared well, and I will try not to make myself nervous and treat it as I would for other tournaments."

    Even before the draw yesterday evening, England's world No. 52 Paul Drinkhall told The Straits Times: "It'll be very interesting this year; Singapore have been quite dominant in the last few years, but it is hard to find a favourite in the men's team event this year.

    "Singapore, England, India, Nigeria, and even Canada can fancy having a go at the gold."

    Third seeds Singapore are with Barbados and Mauritius in Group C and, depending on the draw for the knockout rounds, may face India or England in the semi-finals .

    The women, who have won every team title since the sport was introduced at the 2002 Games, face Malaysia and Sri Lanka in Group A.

    The top seeds, comprising Feng Tianwei, Yu Mengyu, Zhou Yihan, Lin Ye and Zhang Wanling, could face Australia, England or Canada in the semi-finals, and possibly India in the final.

    Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) senior high-performance manager Eddy Tay said: "Our players should not have a problem negotiating the group stage, but the draw for the knockout stages would be crucial.

    "What is also crucial in the preliminary stage is for our players to get used to the playing environment."
    Last month, STTA president Ellen Lee set the team the target of sweeping all seven golds.

    The men start their campaign against Mauritius tomorrow while the women play Malaysia.

    Yu, 28, said: "It is good that the matches are not as tight as other tournaments (like the SEA Games), there's just a match or two a day.

    "This gives us time to warm up and find our best form. There probably would be some rotation of players in the group stage as well, so physically we should be fine."

    Feng, 31, added: "We do have an advantage over the other teams, but we cannot underestimate them and must prepare well.

    "We hope to be able to bring some medals home for Singapore."
     
  4. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    These guys won $141,000 and a gold medal for Singapore by playing games for a living


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    PHOTO: Vulcan Post

    Vulcan Post
    Apr 03, 2018

    In Singapore, we’ve also seen an increasing interest in eSports – in fact, it’s estimated that there are around 500,000 gamers here, and that number is growing.

    2018 also marks the year that we’re going to be the host of the first-ever inaugural ASEAN eSports tournament.

    Announced by Minister Baey Yam Keng (Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth) in Parliament, the tournament will be held over the first weekend in August, as part of the SHINE Festival for Youth and GetActive! Singapore.

    As a highly popular and trending activity among youth, eSports has tremendous potential, as an innovative means of engagement, to connect ASEAN youth through shared experiences of competition, sportsmanship and fun.

    However, while countries like China, South Korea, United States, and Sweden have topped the list for earnings from eSports, Singapore is still seen to have some way to go before being seen as an eSports ‘superpower’.

    But one team has just proven that Singapore’s potential in eSports should not be overlooked.
    Singapore’s First-Ever Gold Medal For An eSports Team

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    Photo: Team Flash

    Gaming organisation Team Flash‘s Singapore FIFA team has just emerged as Asia’s champion at the finals of the EA Champions Cup (EACC), after beating the team from Thailand 3-0 in the grand finals.

    The three-man Singapore team beat out crowd favourites like South Korea, China, and Thailand to clinch the gold medal and US$108,000 cash.

    With its victory, Team Flash will be representing Singapore at the FIFA E-World cup later in June, which will have a prize pool of at least US$300,000.

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    Photo: Team Flash

    Team Singapore was represented by Amraan Gani “Amraan” Musa Bakar (23), Joseph “Zarate” Yeo (24) and China’s FIFA eSports player of the year, Si Jun “WeyuwenC” Li (26).

    If you’re wondering why there’s a Chinese player in the mix, it’s because new rules this season allowed one foreign player on each team, and Team Flash recruited Li into the Singapore lineup.

    “It felt surreal winning the entire tournament for Singapore,” shared Amraan.

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    Amraan Gani “Amraan” Musa Bakar.Photo: Team Flash

    With success in this competition, it shows that Singapore can challenge the best in the world.

    Singapore’s previous best-placed finish at EACC was in 2016, when the team won 3rd place and US$60,000 in cash.
    .
     
  5. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    The Bright Future Of eSports In SEA

    We talked to Terence Ting, founder of Team Flash, and found out more about how team members are being groomed into professionals, and literally playing games for living.

    We chat with owner and founder of Team Flash, Terence Ting, on what it is like to startup your own esports organisation. Full article: goo.gl/XP4xUs #esports #Dota2

    Posted by IGN Southeast Asia on Friday, 24 November 2017

    There are 11 full-time pro gamers employed by Team Flash – are they paid salaries and have HR benefits like employees in other industries?

    Yes, we pay them monthly salaries that are in line with the current market standards set in eSports.
    They also get the huge benefit of a full-time, 24/7 training incubator – where they eat, sleep and train with a regimented schedule.

    This ensures that we remain competitive and continue to develop our gamers holistically.

    We also make sure our players are insured before they travel, and are looking to up the ante of benefits in the long-term.

    They are also granted at least 7 days of annual leave a year, usually with 1 off-day a week where they are allowed to visit friends and family.

    Which countries are these full-time gamers from, and what games do they play?

    Currently, we have invested into two eSports incubators where our athletes are allowed to develop into full-time professionals.

    Our incubators are currently based in Vietnam (Hanoi) and Malaysia (Johor Bahru), with 6 full-time players in Vietnam for Arena of Valor and 5 full-time players in Malaysia for Dota 2.

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    Photo: Team Flash

    What about those who aren’t employed by Team Flash? How do their contracts work?

    A good example would be our FIFA team, who currently resides in Singapore but is not required to train under a daily regiment.

    Instead, we focus on bootcamping before major tournaments in our Malaysian incubator.

    We also pay them a monthly salary, but the market conditions are different as Singapore eSports is early stage and still taking off. This was also why we decided to invest into the SEA region as a whole to increase exposure and opportunities.

    That said, we will continue to look into full-time opportunities for our part-time players – who are also contracted to Team Flash albeit with different levels of commitment and set of obligations.

    This is also based on the road-map we draw up with our individual athletes on where they want to go, and how we can take them there in terms of talent management.

    What’s an average day like for a Team Flash gamer?

    We usually plan an early schedule for our gamers unless there is late night training and tournaments the day before.

    Our Malaysian and Vietnam teams have slightly different schedules, but it is typically a minimum of 3 arranged matches a day (or what we call Scrims) with other competitive teams throughout Asia.

    We also schedule regular exercise for the team, to ensure we have a balanced and healthy regiment.

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    Photo: Team Flash

    How are the gamers recruited?

    Unfortunately we do not have any open applications at the moment. However, we are looking at more ways we can engage the community, especially at grassroots level.

    We do not rule out having an open try-out one day, or what is more popularly known as a Sports Combine in the NBA leagues.

    We first narrow it down to the individual eSports market/s which we are interested in, and then look for the top 5% of gamers in that particular vertical.

    From there, we conduct comprehensive market research before selecting our shortlisted athletes – eventually doing a series of interviews to ensure they are the right fit for our organisation both values and skill wise.

    Once they have passed this due diligence process, we proceed to sign them onto our organisation which can range anywhere from 6 months to 1 year.

    In the future, we are also looking at working with our best athletes over a longer period – potentially stretching 2 to 4 years for our best athletes.

    Are there special qualities that you look out for when recruiting?

    Firstly, we gravitate towards players who have that fierce desire to compete and win.

    They won’t settle for anything less than first, and that’s the mindset of a winner which we love.
    Having the baseline level of talent is important, but a winner’s mentality ensures that our athletes will go further than the rest of the competition.

    Secondly, we look for a team player who is willing to sacrifice individual success for the greater good of the team.

    Like they say in football, what matters most is not the name at the back, but the team and country you are representing at the front of the jersey.

    Hence, we branded ourselves as Team Flash and the reason why we put the team before anything else.

    Lastly, we value integrity as the foundation of our work, and it is the same for our gamers.
    Without integrity, nothing works.

    What’s next for Team Flash?

    We have several big milestones coming up in 2018.

    From a competitive standpoint, we are having a great season so far with our latest gold medal for Singapore top of the list.

    Our next target would be qualifying for the Arena of Valor World Cup in Los Angeles later this year, with our mobile gaming team currently the best in Vietnam and ranked top 4 in the world.

    From a business perspective, we are also looking to raise our first investment round later this year and are currently talking to a few institutional funds.

    Even though we look like a huge organisation having invested in our athletes and operations, my co-founder Samson Oh and I are still largely boot-strapping until we raise more money and expand our teams. We also have some huge partnerships to announce at the end of this month!

    What do you wish for with Team Flash’s victory?

    We hope to not only inspire gamers throughout Singapore and Southeast Asia, but anyone who has a dream to go after it relentlessly.

    We also want to prove that eSports can be a viable career path today – be it as a professional gamer, content creator, team manager, YouTube streamer, and so on.

    This will set the path for generations to follow in the future, especially with the increasing popularity of gaming on a global level.

    We also want to provide a safe entry for brands who are looking to invest more marketing dollars into Southeast Asia’s eSports scene
     
  6. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Commonwealth Games: Shooter Martina Veloso wins Singapore's first gold

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    Martina Veloso celebrating after the victory in the women's 10m air rifle event. (Photo: Facebook/Team Singapore)

    09 Apr 2018 12:19PM (Updated: 09 Apr 2018 10:01PM)

    GOLD COAST, Australia: Singapore bagged its first gold medal of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Monday (Apr 9) after shooter Martina Lindsay Veloso won in the women's 10m air rifle event.

    The 18-year-old, together with India's Mehuli Ghosh, finished with a score of 247.2, setting a new Games record.

    In the shoot-off, Veloso finished with a score of 10.3 over Ghosh's 9.9.

    The gold is also Veloso's first-ever medal at the Commonwealth Games, after finishing fifth in the 2014 Glasgow Games. Veloso also won a gold in the same event at last year's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

    Singapore's other shooter in the event, 18-year-old Tessa Neo, finished in eighth. She was eliminated in the first round of the finals with a 57.3 score.

    Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/new...-martina-veloso-singapore-first-gold-10118686
     
  7. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Commonwealth Games: Singapore bags table tennis mixed doubles gold


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    Singapore's Gao Ning (left) and Yu Mengyu clinched table tennis mixed doubles gold at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday (Apr 15) morning. (Photo: Sport Singapore)

    15 Apr 2018 09:05AM (Updated: 15 Apr 2018 09:15AM)

    GOLD COAST: Singapore's Gao Ning and Yu Mengyu won gold for their table tennis mixed doubles event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Sunday (Apr 15) morning.

    The pair beat England's Liam Pitchford and Ho Tin-Tin 12-10, 12-10, 11-9 to clinch the top spot.

    This was Singapore's second table tennis gold at the Games after Yu and Feng Tianwei thrashed India in the doubles event on Friday.


    Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/new...pore-bags-table-tennis-mixed-doubles-10139574
     
  8. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Finally, S’pore women’s doubles Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu win first Commonwealth Games gold

    By Low Lin Fhoong[​IMG]Paddlers Feng Tianwei (photo, left) and Yu Mengyu at the victory ceremony for the women's doubles at the Commonwealth Games. Photo: Sport Singapore

    Published13 April, 2018
    Updated 13 April, 2018
    SINGAPORE — After a frustrating week at the Gold Coast’s Oxenford Studios, Team Singapore’s paddlers finally clinched their first gold of the Commonwealth Games on Friday (April 13).

    World No 4 Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu successfully defended their women’s doubles title in Australia, while avenging last Sunday’s chastening defeat by India in the team event.

    India’s Batra Manika, the top-ranked Indian paddler at world No 58, had shocked Feng on Sunday in the first singles of the women’s team final. Bolstered by that win, the Indian women then went on to crush defending champions Singapore 3-1 for the coveted team gold.

    Facing Manika and Das Mouma on Friday in the women’s doubles final, Feng and Yu delivered a clinical performance and stormed to an 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 victory over the Indian pair to the delight, and relief, of the Singapore camp.

    “We were disappointed to lose the gold medal in the team event, so we prepared very well, did extensive video analysis of our opponents and stuck to the game plan,” said Feng, 31.

    “We were determined to win the gold medal, and I am happy we won it.”

    Veteran paddler Feng will get another shot at redemption on Saturday, when she faces the towering Manika — who is 1.83-metre tall — again in the women’s singles semi-final.

    While the Singapore Table Tennis Association had targeted a clean sweep of all seven gold medals ahead of the Commonwealth Games, the men’s and women’s teams have fallen short in Gold Coast.

    With just two veterans, Gao Ning and Pang Xuejie, left in their ranks, the men’s team failed to defend their gold medal from the 2014 Glasgow Games as they were beaten by India in the semi-finals, before losing the bronze medal match to England.

    They are also out of contention for the men’s doubles title, with Koen Pang and Ethan Poh to contest the bronze medal play-off against India’s Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shankar Shetty on Saturday.

    Team Singapore’s paddlers are still on track to claim three more gold medals in Gold Coast, with the players in action in the men’s and women’s singles semi-finals, and mixed doubles semis on Saturday.

    Over at Brisbane’s Belmont Shooting Centre, double gold medallist Martina Lindsay Veloso saw her hopes of winning a third title in the women’s 50m rifle three positions dashed when the 18-year-old finished fourth in the elimination finals with her score of 432.3. Singapore’s defending champion Jasmine Ser finished sixth after shooting a score of 408.8.

    With two days of action remaining in the Gold Coast, Team Singapore’s 60-strong contingent has won three golds, a silver, and a bronze at the Commonwealth Games to date.

    At the 2014 edition in Glasgow, Scotland, Singapore’s athletes won a total of eight golds, five silvers, and four bronzes.
     
  9. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Commonwealth Games: Singapore's Gao Ning wins 2 golds in men's singles and mixed doubles

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    [​IMG]
    Singapore paddlers Gao Ning (left) and Yu Mengyu posing with their gold medals following their victory at the Commonwealth Games.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

    [​IMG]
    Gao Ning and Yu Mengyu (pictured) in action against England's Liam Pitchford and Ho Tin-Tin at the Commonwealth Games. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

    Published
    3 hours ago
    Updated
    37 min ago

    Lim Say Heng

    GOLD COAST (Australia) - Singapore table tennis player Gao Ning clinched two titles in one day, winning both the men's singles and mixed doubles golds at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday (April 15).

    In the singles, the 35-year-old beat Nigerian top seed Quadri Aruna 11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-5.

    Gao told The Straits Times: "I am thrilled to win this medal, even though I have won other Commonwealth Games gold medals in the men's doubles and team, as well as the mixed doubles today."

    Men's coach Liu Jiayi added: "Today his mental game was very strong... the main thing was that he really wanted to win."

    Earlier, Gao had combined with Yu Mengyu to beat England's Liam Pitchford and Ho Tin-Tin 12-10, 12-10, 11-9 in the mixed doubles final.

    The Singaporean duo trailed for both the first and second games, and faced game point at 9-10 in both games, but battled back to win them at the first asking.

    The scores were also close in the third game, with the Singaporeans first holding match point at 10-8. They eventually won at 11-9.

    Gao's win means the table tennis team will return home with three gold medals following Yu and Feng Tianwei's victory in the women's doubles on Friday. The team claimed silvers in the women's team and the women's singles (Yu), as well as the bronze in the women's singles (Feng).

    The Games ends later on Sunday and the final medal count for the Singapore contingent across all sports is five golds, two silvers and two bronzes.

    Yu, 28, told The Straits Times: "It was my first time pairing with Gao Ning in the mixed doubles, and we were more focused on this event because we wanted to take back the gold that we lost in 2014 (in Glasgow)."

    On twice coming from behind to win, she noted: "The standards of both pairs are about the same, so before the match we already anticipated this could happen and Gao Ning and I told each other that no matter how much we are trailing, we would fight for every point to catch up.

    "For the third game, we couldn't relax. Although we were leading 2-0 overall, we kept reminding each other to remain focused because at this point, the opponents may change strategies or become more aggressive.

    "I was happy that we managed to take the third game for the win."
     
  10. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Commonwealth Games: Praise for teen shooter Martina Veloso, chef de mission Mark Chay wants young team to 'gain confidence and improve'

    [​IMG]
    From left: Singapore assistant chef de mission Lim Heem Wei, Singapore National Olympic Council secretary general Chris Chan, CDM Mark Chay and Richard Gordon, head of high performance sports at the Singapore Sports Institute.ST PHOTO: COMMONWEALTH GAMES SINGAPORE

    Published
    Apr 14, 2018, 12:30 pm SGT

    Jonathan Wong
    Assistant Sports Editor

    GOLD COAST (Australia) - A largely transitional Team Singapore contingent which was selected for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games remains a work in progress.

    With a haul of three gold, one silver and one bronze medal so far, with three table tennis finals still to be contested over the weekend, that tally could rise.

    Singapore chef de mission Mark Chay, in his performance review of the 59-strong team on Saturday (April 14), a day before the closing ceremony, said he was satisfied everyone had largely "performed to their potential in a very competitive field".

    Almost two-thirds, or 39, were making their Games debut and Chay singled out the gritty performances of the young badminton, men's table tennis and rhythmic gymnastics teams.

    He added they "have a long runway ahead of them and it is important that they gain confidence in playing at this level and improve from now on".

    Special praise was reserved for teen shooter Martina Veloso, who won two golds (10m air rifle and 50m rifle prone). The 18-year-old is the only shooter at the Gold Coast Games to capture two titles.

    (Later table tennis players Gao Ning who won two titles in MS and XD and Yu Mengyu in WD and XD, also joined Martina.)


    Another teen athlete, para-swimmer Toh Wei Soong, also stood out. The 19-year-old and Games debutant clinched a bronze in the men's S7 50m freestyle. It was Singapore's first medal in para sports at the quadrennial Games, which since 2002 has included para sports on its programme.

    [​IMG]
    Related Story
    Commonwealth Games: Matured shooter Martina Veloso walks the talk
    [​IMG]
    Related Story
    Commonwealth Games: No singles gold for S’pore as Yu settles for silver, defending champ Feng claims bronze
    The highlights contrasted sharply with some disappointing results from the national paddlers.

    The women's team, led by world No. 4 and multiple Olympic medallist Feng Tianwei, failed to win gold in the team event for the first time after a shock defeat by India in the final.

    Feng also surrendered her singles crown, falling to India's Manika Batra, a player ranked 54 places below her.

    The men's team, which had four local-born paddlers plus veteran Gao Ning, who turns 36 in October,
    finished fourth in the team event. It was the first time Singapore did not secure a medal in this category.


    Singapore Table Tennis Association president Ellen Lee had set a pre-Games target of winning all seven golds on offer.

    Team Singapore also had to deal with a doping controversy after it was announced on Thursday that para-sprinter Mohammad Khairi Ishak had been provisionally suspended after a positive steroid test. He had been pencilled in to compete in the T47 100m final on Friday but did not get on the plane to Queensland.

    At the last Games in Glasgow in 2014, Singapore won eight golds (two from shooting, six from table tennis), five silver and four bronzes.
     
  11. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Swimming: Joseph Schooling appoints Dentsu Sports Asia as commercial partner

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    Dentsu Sports Asia will assist Joseph Schooling in a variety of areas as he embarks on his fledgling career as a professional swimmer. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

    Published
    1 hour ago

    SINGAPORE - Olympic champion Joseph Schooling has named Dentsu Sports Asia (DSA) as his commercial partner.

    The Japanese firm announced its official appointment by The Schooling Company on Thursday (April 19).

    DSA will assist the Singaporean in a variety of areas as he embarks on his fledgling career as a professional swimmer. These include advising and managing commercial and strategic opportunities, on-ground support for the swimmer during major events, advising on the training facilities prior to his competitions and developing Schooling’s social responsibility initiatives throughout the region.

    Schooling recently ended his collegiate career with the University of Texas. He has since announced two major commercial deals. He was named German luxury fashion brand Hugo Boss’ first Singaporean ambassador on March 25.

    The following week, DBS unveiled a seven-figure, three-year tie-up with the 22-year-old. Schooling will work together with the bank on a series of community activities and social media engagements targeted at the millennial segment. The partnership also includes internships and mentorship sessions for the swimmer which fit into his training schedule.

    Heading the DSA operations is Kunihito Morimura (CEO & President of DSA), a sports marketing professional bringing over 20 years of experience in Asia's sports business industry. He said: "We are honoured to work with Joseph and his family. He is truly an inspirational athlete and we are excited to help bring out his full potential as he grows to be an athlete that can proudly represent Singapore."

    May Schooling, Schooling's mother and the founder of the Schooling Company said: "We are pleased to have Dentsu Sports Asia on board to help Joseph as he turns professional. Their extensive expertise and experience in the sports industry is key in helping him grow as a professional athlete in the region."

    Schooling's next major competition is the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang in August.
     
  12. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Ex-STTA president played big role in developing sport

    Published
    Apr 22, 2018, 7:34 pm SGT
    Updated
    Apr 22, 2018, 8:06 pm

    We thank Mr Sebastian Tan for his feedback (STTA president's boldness good for Singapore table tennis; Forum Online, April 18).

    Our former president and current adviser, Ms Lee Bee Wah, has done much during her term as president to develop table tennis in Singapore. Under her leadership, our local youth reached new heights.

    Isabelle Li, then 16, won a silver medal in the Youth Olympic Games in 2010. In addition, high-potential youth like Pang Xuejie, Li and Clarence Chew were fielded in the SEA Games, Commonwealth Games, World Championships and Asian Games respectively.

    At the 2011 SEA Games, despite strong objection, Ms Lee insisted on fielding local players in the regional event. In both the 2011 and 2013 SEA Games, Li bagged the silver medal in the singles event and took home the gold medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    Despite his young age, Chew has won a total of two gold, three silver and four bronze medals at the 2013, 2015 and 2017 SEA Games. In 2014, Chew, then 19, was instrumental in earning the men's team a joint-fifth position at the World Championships, despite being the youngest and most inexperienced player.

    In the 2011 SEA Games, Pang, then 18, and Ma Liang, then 20, also helped to create history by winning the gold medal in the men's doubles event - the first time that Singapore won the gold and silver medals in the men's doubles event at the SEA Games.

    Ms Lee also established a development pipeline for young Singaporean paddlers to pursue a career in table tennis, which she hopes will one day produce more home-grown Olympians.

    The pipeline includes the introduction of the STTA-PAP Community Foundation Kindergarten Table Tennis Programme, which has benefited more than 5,000 kindergarten children since its inception.

    In addition, seven Zone Training Centres, a junior development squad and the "School Within-A-School Programme" at the Singapore Sports School are all important components of the development pipeline.

    Other initiatives include providing educational pathways for our outstanding national paddlers in local and foreign universities, including the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Beijing Sport University and University of Liverpool.

    In addition, Ms Lee also helped to set up the STTA Youth Endowment Fund, Meinhardt-STTA Scholarship and the million-dollar STTA-Dr Tahir & Associates Future Ready Trust Fund to further help Singapore-born paddlers achieve their Olympic dreams.

    Ms Lee's contributions to the development of local youth in table tennis are invaluable and the STTA is always grateful to her.

    The STTA is committed to continue nurturing and fielding Singapore-born players at major games and championships.

    Wong Hui Leng (Ms)
    Chief Executive Officer
    Singapore Table Tennis Association

    (Some argue that politicians should not be engaged in the sports scene. MP Lee Bee Wah has proven them wrong.)
     
  13. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Bowling: Singapore's Shayna Ng claims maiden PWBA Tour title in Las Vegas

    [​IMG]
    Shayna Ng (pictured, in 2017) won the Las Vegas Open on April 29, 2018.PHOTO: ST FILE

    Published
    8 hours ago
    Updated
    6 hours ago

    Lim Say Heng

    LAS VEGAS - In her bowling career that has spanned for more than a decade now, Shayna Ng has won medals and titles at various international and regional tournaments.

    The accolades include the all-events gold at the 2015 World Women's Championships, the 2012 AMF World Cup title, as well as the team gold at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.

    But the 28-year-old scored a first in her illustrious career on Sunday (April 29, Singapore time) when she won the Professional Women's Bowling Association (PWBA) Las Vegas Open title. It was her first title on the PWBA circuit.

    "It means a lot to me, I have been on tour for a couple of years now and I've made a couple of (TV finals), but I've never won anything yet. So this means a lot to me," Ng told the PWBA website, referring to the televised step-ladder finals.

    Ng finished third in the 2016 US Women's Open and the 2013 United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Queens.

    The Singaporean topped the 112-strong field after the two qualifying rounds with 3,640 pins at the South Point Bowling Center, but fell to third after the Round of 32 with 5,403 pins from 24 games, behind Latvia's Diana Zavjalova (5,502) and American Liz Johnson (5,424).

    But Ng displaced Johnson in second place after the Round of 12 to enter the step-ladder finals on Sunday as the second seed.

    She told The Straits Times: "It would have been ideal to be the top seed because if I were the top seed, I would just need to win one match (to win the title)... but I was glad it turned out well."

    Leanne Hulsenberg beat her fellow USBC Hall of Fame inductee Liz Johnson 213-202 in the first round of the step-ladder finals, but lost 167-193 to Ng in the second round of the finals.

    Ng told ST: "Both Leanne and Liz are super experienced players, they both are Hall of Famers and either would have been hard to beat.

    "But, in bowling, your main opponent is really just yourself. It is really about overcoming the pressure and just staying in the moment to focus at one shot at a time.

    "Having said that, I think the match against Leanne helped me loosen up a bit more, and allowed me to understand the lanes, the same ones that were used in the final match."

    Ng used that advantage to beat Zavjalova 231-211 in the last round of the final to win her second title in two weeks. She had defeated team-mate Bernice Lim to clinch the Thailand International Open title in Bangkok on April 14.

    "I guess I've just been bowling pretty decently and I'm jus trying to maintain my current form," said Ng, who collected US$10,000 (S$13,240) in prize money for her PWBA win.

    "It's pretty surreal to be winning two titles back to back, but I'll take it and enjoy the moment while it lasts."

    With her victory yesterday, Ng joins her team-mates Jazreel Tan (2015 Lubbock Sports Open), Cherie Tan (2016 Sacramento Open), Lim (2016 USBC Queens) and New Hui Fen (2016 Tour Championship) as winners on the PWBA Tour.

    Singaporeans Daphne Tan (10th), Joey Yeo (12th), Lim (18th), Geraldine Ng (29th), Cherie Tan (31st), New (36th), Jazreel Tan (38th) and Tracy See (55th) also competed in the Las Vegas Open.

    The bowlers will compete in the PWBA Sonoma County Open in California from Thursday to Saturday before returning to Singapore.
     
  14. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore men's softball team qualify for world championship

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    The national men's softball team defeated Indonesia 10-3 to clinch bronze at the Asian Men's Softball Championship in Jakarta last Friday. PHOTO: SINGAPORE BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL ASSOCIATION
    NATALIE CHOY

    Apr 30, 2018 06:00 am

    Singapore's national softball team have qualified for their first WBSC Men's Softball World Championship in Prague next year, after they finished third at the Asian Men's Softball Championship in Jakarta last Friday.

    World No. 21 Singapore edged out the 35th-ranked Indonesia 10-3 in the bronze play-off.

    They finished behind seven-time champions and world No. 3 Japan and runners-up the Philippines (17th).

    This is the Republic's best showing at the quadrennial championship. They were fourth in 2014.

    The result also propelled Singapore into the top 16 of the world rankings to earn a spot in next year's World Championship.

    Captain Ivan Ng said his team's historic feat was a surreal accomplishment.

    The 30-year-old catcher said: "There were tears of joy, an overflow of emotions when we beat Indonesia to finish in the top three.

    "Qualifying (for the World Championship) only hit us a while later because to a lot of players, the thought of making it to the world stage never really occurred to them."

    Having a structured training plan was key to the team's success, he added.

    "We worked hard on our offence, our game plan was to train our players to handle tough pitches," said Ng, who was also captain of the 2015 South-east Asia Games squad that clinched a bronze medal on home soil.

    He admitted that getting a podium finish at the World Championship in the Czech Republic is a lofty goal, as Singapore will be pitted against the world's best softball teams.

    EXPOSURE

    "We see it as a good experience and exposure for the team, especially the younger players," he said.

    One of the coaches, Ulysses Mejia, agreed and said: "We will work harder to raise our level of play and put Singapore on the world map for softball.

    "(But our main goal is to) contend for gold at next year's Manila SEA Games."

    The women's team last qualified for the 1982 World Championship in Taipei.
     
  15. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore head coach Fandi praises young defender Jacob’s display
    https://borneobulletin.com.bn/singapore-head-coach-fandi-praises-young-defender-jacobs-display/

    April 27, 2018
    | Fadhil Yunus |

    SINGAPORE head coach Fandi Ahmad hailed the maturity of defender Jacob Mahler for his coming-of-age display against Lao PDR in Group ‘B’ of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy for ASEAN Youth Football Tournament at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Wednesday.

    The 18-year-old played an influential role in helping his side to a 5-1 victory and Fandi singled out his contributions after being promoted from the under-18 team.

    “I’m very happy with Jacob’s performance. He was a last-minute inclusion because of our problems at home,” said Fandi in a post-match press conference.

    Jacob, who plays his football for the NFA Under-18, was called up to the squad and was installed straight to the starting line-up.

    “We promised our under-18 team that when he comes he will play. We don’t put players on the bench,” he continued.

    The young defender, who was an unsung hero, did not go unnoticed with his coach lavishing praise for an assured performance.

    “He did very well in the middle of the park, he closes down men, winning balls and it was a matured performance by him.”

    The head coach was also visibly pleased with his team’s performance with Ikhsan Fandi and birthday celebrant Rusyaidi Salime both bagging a brace.

    “The team’s performance overall was really good. We created a lot of chances and crosses and they (Lao PDR) also gave us some problems with their speed.

    “This type of teams, even Thailand and Myanmar, they are very good in their one-twos.

    [​IMG]
    Singapore head coach Fandi Ahmad (above) and Mehmet Kale, head coach of Laos PDR during the post-match press conference. – PHOTOS: KHAIRIL HASSAN

    [​IMG]

    “We must be aware and I thought we were focussed at the back and we were compact in defence. When we moved forward, we had numbers and that made the difference.

    “I thought they were a fighting team but I thought we were also very competitive today. That is the mission to be as competitive as we can and importantly we must create chances,” the head coach said.

    The Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy serves as a benchmark for the Singapore team to show their competency that they earn the right to play in the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang.

    A good showing will boost the chances of the Young Lions, who are yet to make it to the knock-out stages since the inception of the tournament in 2002.

    “Our mission is to get to the final and hopefully we will win it which will be our ticket for the Asian Games. If not, we have to find another team to play in Singapore where we have to do a qualification for the Asian Games.

    “This team is a development team for the Asian Games, SEA Games and also the Olympic qualifiers.”

    The former Singapore international is also hoping that his charges could supplement the national team to replace the ageing squad.

    “The majority of them are 19 and 20 year-olds which is a good age. For us, we have a mission and this is a very tough team to take with a lot of obstacle for me and my coaching staff because of the National Service (NS) and students.

    “This is also a development for the players and hopefully they can move up to the national team. We hope to develop more players for the national team as our players are getting older.”

    Meanwhile, his opposite number Lao PDR head coach Mehmet Kale signalled that their match with Cambodia could be a shootout for the final qualifying berth if Singapore emulate their opening game exploits.

    “If Singapore is so good, then we still have a chance. If Singapore play like this against Cambodia (in the next fixture), then Cambodia and Lao is a final,” he said.
     
  16. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore women paddlers thrash India
    http://www.tnp.sg/sports/team-singapore/singapore-women-paddlers-thrash-india


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Yu Mengyu doubled Singapore's lead over India when she outlasted Manika Batra 3-2 (12-10, 8-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8) in the second match.PHOTO: ITTF

    Lim Say Heng
    Sports Correspondent
    May 01, 2018 09:59 am

    The Singapore women’s table tennis team beat India 3-0 in a Group A encounter at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad, Sweden, on Monday (April 30) to avenge their Commonwealth Games team final loss on the Gold Coast last month.

    Feng Tianwei beat Madhurika Patkar 3-0 (12-10, 12-10, 11-3) to give the Republic the lead, before Yu Mengyu doubled the advantage when she outlasted Manika Batra 3-2 (12-10, 8-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8) in the second match.

    Lin Ye scored the winning point when she beat Mouma Das 3-0 (11-8, 11-2, 11-5) in the third match.

    Inspired by world No. 58 Batra, India shocked Singapore 3-1 in the team final at the April 4-15 Commonwealth Games.

    It was the first time Singapore did not win the women’s team gold since the sport was introduced to the Games in 2002. Batra also beat Yu and Feng en route to winning the women’s singles gold.

    However, there were notable differences between the Commonwealth Games and the World Team Championships, both in terms of the format and the composition of the Singapore teams.

    For the Gold Coast Games, the team competition comprised four singles matches and a doubles tie, but the World Team event’s format consists of five singles matches.

    Also, the Republic were represented by Feng, Yu, Lin, Zhou Yihan and Zhang Wanling at the quadrennial Games, but Zhou, 24, was replaced by unranked teenager Pearlyn Koh, 16, in Sweden.

    Zhou is not eligible for the World Team Championships, while China-born Lin, 22, is representing the Republic at the event for the first time she became a Singapore citizen in 2013, due to International Table Tennis Federation’s regulations on naturalised citizens representing their new nations.

    Players who are under 15 when they change nationalities will not be eligible for the World Championships, World Cup and World Team Cup competitions for three years.

    For players between 15 and 17 years of age, the sit-out period is five years, while those aged between 18 and 20 will have to wait seven years.

    Paddlers who are 21 and above when they convert their nationalities will not be eligible at all.


    The rules do not apply for major Games like the Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and the SEA Games.

    On Sunday, Singapore had defeated Sweden 3-2 and Russia 3-0, and will meet China on Tuesday. The men, however, lost 0-3 to Taiwan and 2-3 to Belgium, and will face Belarus on Tuesday.
     
  17. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    SEA Games 2017 gold medalist Pang Xuejie retires at 25 to set up business

    [​IMG]
    Singapore paddler Pang Xuejie has retired from Table Tennis, the STTA announced on Friday (May 11). (Photo: STTA)

    11 May 2018 07:30PM (Updated: 11 May 2018 07:30PM)

    SINGAPORE: Singapore table tennis player Pang Xuejie, who won the 2017 SEA Games gold medal in the men's doubles, has retired from the sport at just 25 years old to "pursue his other ambitions".

    In a statement released by the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) on Friday (May 11), Pang said that he was presented with a business opportunity to set up his own blockchain related company.

    "I believe that this is the right time for me to invest my time and energy to do it. My table tennis journey has been amazing and I would like to thank Sports SG, STTA, for the many opportunities, my family members and fans for their invaluable support," said Pang.

    The former Singapore Sports School student has been in the national team since he was 18 years old.
    He has three SEA Games gold medals to his name, as well as a mixed doubles silver and team silvers from the 2017 Games.

    Pang also partnered veteran Gao Ning to finish in the top 16 at the 2017 World Table Tennis Championships and top 8 in the World Tour Grand Finals.

    The left-handed attacker most recently represented Singapore in the Commonwealth Games.

    Pang has multiple individual accolades to his name. He was named the Most Improved Player of the Year at the 2010 STTA Awards, and the Best Youth Player in 2012.

    He was also given the Keppel-STTA Special Award of the Year in 2017.

    "Looking back on my table tennis career, it's been a roller-coaster ride but a really exciting one. I'm proud of what I've done. I'm proud that I've represented Singapore the way that I have," said Pang.

    "These special memories will live on in my heart and now I use the lessons I have learned as a sportsman to embark on a new journey into the business world."

    Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/new...-table-tennis-pang-xuejie-retires-25-10225684
     
  18. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    National sprinter Muncherji breaks own 400m record

    [​IMG]
    National runner Zubin Muncherji. TNP FILE PHOTO
    National sprinter rewrites his own record, says he can go faster
    [​IMG]
    David Lee

    Sports Correspondent
    May 15, 2018 06:00 am

    He joined the University of Indiana, which has a reputable track and field programme, last June in the hopes of realising his potential as a 400m runner and the move has paid off for Zubin Muncherji after he rewrote his national record on Saturday at the Big Ten Championships in Bloomington, Indiana.

    He ran 47.02sec and was 10th overall in the 400m heats, shaving 0.27 off his previous best of 47.29 set at the 2014 Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Taiwan.

    It was also within two per cent of 46.19 - South Korean Park Bong Go's sixth-placed time at the 2014 Asian Games - and means Muncherji has met Singapore Athletics' (SA) nomination mark for this year's Asiad in Indonesia. This is subject to the Singapore National Olympic Council's approval.

    The 21-year-old freshman, on a partial athletic scholarship, said his time at IU, which competes in the top division of the United States' National Collegiate Athletic Association, has been very beneficial.

    He told The Straits Times: "My finishing has got a lot stronger over the last couple of months. I knew I was going to run fast but it was just a matter of when.

    "It feels good to be back after facing so many injury setbacks over the last couple of years.

    "After I came here, I did a lot of conditioning and built up quite a bit of mileage on my legs.

    "The system here is extremely different where we compete almost every single weekend so our bodies are constantly put under a lot of stress and we get forced to adapt to it. I still don't think I have fully adapted to the training load yet."

    It is why he believes a sub-47 run is possible this year and is targeting a SEA Games gold.
    The gap remains big though. Filipino Trenten Beram won in 46.39 at last year's Kuala Lumpur Games.

    Muncherji said: "I want be able to go toe to toe with the top runners in Asia some day. A little self-belief goes a long way and you will achieve your goals if you stay the path, do all the little things right."

    He ran on the Mother's Day weekend and fittingly paid tribute to his mother Archana. He said: "This national record feels more of a gift for me than it is for her, so I may buy her flowers when I'm back in Singapore some time next month."

    SA general manager Yip Ren Kai lauded Muncherji's consistency and improvement and noted "we should expect more from him".

    "Looking at his times, training in the States has done him good as he is improving at a good pace... we hope he can further develop into a force to be reckoned with."

    The qualifying period for the Asian Games ends on June 17 with Dipna Lim-Prasad (women's 400m hurdles) and Rachel Yang (pole vault) having already met the mark. Besides Muncherji, Shanti Pereira (100m and 200m), the women's 4x100m relay team and Lim-Prasad (400m) have met SA's nomination standard.
     
  19. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    No fried carrot cake for Schooling, as he works to get back to winning ways

    By Low Lin Fhoong

    [​IMG]
    Koh Mui Fong/TODAY

    Singapore swimmer Joseph Schooling has banished oily and fatty food from his diet ahead of the Asian Games.

    Published23 May, 2018
    Updated 23 May, 2018

    SINGAPORE — Olympic swimming champion Joseph Schooling loves his black “chye tow kueh” (fried carrot cake), and his favourite place for it is Bee Bee Carrot Cake at Marine Terrace Market and Hawker Centre.

    So much so the hawker stall in the Marine Parade neighbourhood saw sales soar after Schooling won Singapore’s first Olympic gold at Rio de Janeiro, and especially after he made a stop there during his victory parade two years ago.

    Now that the United States-based swimmer is back in town during his summer break from school, he is not going to head there for his favourite meal though.

    Looking leaner and fitter, the 22-year-old said that he has banished oily and fatty food from his diet ahead of the Asian Games, which will be held in Indonesia from Aug 18 to Sep 2.

    His determination and resolve to recapture his racing form has surprised even himself, and the University of Texas senior told TODAY that he is “pretty motivated” and ready to pluck himself out from his post-Rio Olympics blues.

    After his gold medal triumph in Brazil, Schooling had set himself a goal of beating American legend Michael Phelps’ 100m butterfly world record of 49.82 seconds. He finished third at last year’s World Championships as former Bolles School teammate Caeleb Dressel swept seven gold medals in Budapest.

    In March, Schooling did not medal in his final National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) campaign, as Dressel stole the show with four gold medals and two NCAA and American records.

    In his first media interviews on Wednesday (May 23) since turning professional after the NCAAs, Schooling told TODAY that he is still trying to figure out what happened then.

    “I was training the best I’ve ever trained, even before the Olympics. (My coach) Eddie Reese was giving us a lot of harder training sets than what we’re usually accustomed to,” he said.

    “Sometimes, that’s how sports is. Sometimes, you think you prepare your best for it and the outcome isn’t what you want. It’s okay as long as you brush it off, you learn your mistakes and you come back and perform at a high level at the next meet.

    “I know how good I can be. I know my potential, I know what I can do. As long as I keep trusting the process and keep working hard, I don’t need to prove anything to myself.”

    A pep talk with American legend Michael Phelps while attending the One Championship event last week also gave the younger swimmer a much-needed mental boost.

    “He gave me some advice… Everyone goes through your struggles, even great players like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth. Don’t let a few sub-par performances discourage you, keep trusting the process, keep hammering away, keep being focused and the results will come as long as you stay on that path.”

    ‘TRYING TOO HARD’

    While Schooling had previously targeted three gold medals at the upcoming Asian Games, he is more cautious now. He will also be taking on extra duties in Jakarta by competing in the relay events.

    Having won a gold, silver and bronze in 2014, he said: “My goal for Asian Games is to do my best for the country, bring glory to Singapore and help out the younger kids… I’m super excited, particularly for the relays.”

    Schooling is also feeling “a lot happier, a lot more chill” as he heads into the Asian Games and leaves his struggles in the past year behind.

    “I felt like last year, I was trying too hard to rediscover that exact same feeling of how I felt before the Olympics. I’ve come to terms with being in a different spot of my career.

    “I got too caught up in what I did before the Olympics because it worked, but sometimes you have to change your training a little bit, try something new so your body adapts, you get better and on to the next level... The past few months, I’ve been coming to terms with that.”

    [​IMG]
    (Above) Schooling is training with the Singapore Swimming Association coaches till the Asian Games, before returning to Texas to complete his final semester of school.

    Schooling will be training here with the Singapore Swimming Association’s team of coaches and officials at the OCBC Aquatics Centre till the Asian Games, before returning to Texas to train with Reese and complete his final semester of school.

    On Friday, he is engaged to officiate the reopening of the Hugo Boss store at Marina Bay Sands, and will join Avengers: Infinity War stars Chris Hemsworth and Sebastian Stan at the red carpet event.

    Schooling was named the Singaporean ambassador of the German luxury brand in March, with Hugo Boss launching a limited edition collection to inaugurate the partnership. Fifteen per cent of the proceeds from the collection will go towards the Schooling Sports Academy, which aims to raise the level of sports in Singapore and support aspiring athletes in their pursuit of sporting excellence.

    He also recently signed a three-year, seven-figure commercial deal with DBS, which will see him working with the bank on a series of community events and social media engagements.

    GOING TO THE NEXT LEVEL

    The swimmer is not thinking too much about what he might do after he graduates from university in December, but as he will become a full-time athlete then, juggling sponsorship commitments with training and competitions will be key.

    “It’s something new, it’s something that excites me, and balancing this aspect of my professional career with my training is definitely very time-consuming.

    “But as long as you know what you want, you’re eating right, resting well, you can do both at a high level.”

    With the Tokyo Olympic Games just two years away, Schooling knows he has a fight on his hands to defend his 100m butterfly crown against Dressel and South Africa’s Chad le Clos.

    “I’m excited to race Caeleb, it’s always nice to have someone like Caeleb push you. Michael (Phelps) pushed me to get the way I was in Rio, and I think Caeleb is the perfect guy to push me to get to the next level in Tokyo, world championships, or the next stage of what I’m trying to do.”

    Serious career pursuits aside, the Avengers devotee has a fanboy goal to fulfil this week.

    He told TODAY: “I’m more excited to meet Chris Hemsworth than anyone. I love Thor, and I love all the Avengers, Iron Man and all that. It’s going to be sick, and I’m pretty pumped.”
     
  20. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    eSports: Pro gamers headed for Fifa eWorld Cup land long-term contracts with Team Flash

    [​IMG]
    Amraan Gani (left) and Joseph Yeo (right) are headed to Amsterdam for Fifa eWorld Cup Global Series Playoff that begins on June 1, 2018.PHOTO: TEAM FLASH

    Published
    May 28, 2018, 9:35 pm SGT
    Updated
    May 28, 2018, 9:56 pm

    SINGAPORE - They made history of a kind in April by becoming the first Singaporeans to reach a World Cup, winning the Fifa Online 3 East Asian Champions Cup Spring tournament and US$108,000 (S$145,000) in prize money.

    That landmark achievement has now earned local pro gamers Joseph Yeo and Amraan Gani long-term contracts with Singaporean eSports organisation Team Flash, the pair announced on Monday (May 28).

    Yeo extended his full-time professional contract with Team Flash till 2020, while Amraan, a second-year Nanyang Technological University maritime studies undergraduate, will continue to compete as a semi-professional till 2019.

    Both are headed to Amsterdam for Fifa eWorld Cup Global Series Playoff that begins on June 1 where, much like the group stages for the actual World Cup in Russia, the 64 top players who qualified will be whittled down to 16 for August's Grand Finals in London.

    Yeo, 24, said he was heartened by Team Flash's continuous support.

    "The organisation has been absolutely professional and been fully behind me in my pursuit to be the best player I can be. This gives me the confidence to set higher goals towards putting Singapore on the international e-sports map," said Yeo, whose gamer handle is Zarate.

    Added Amraan, 23: "It has been an incredible journey for me, and I'd like to thank Team Flash for allowing me to live my dream as an eSports player while allowing me to complete my university studies."

    Together with Chinese player Li Si Jun, the duo had beaten Thailand 3-0 in the East Asian Champions Cup final. Amsterdam's event will see players competing as individuals instead after a format change, with Li slated to represent a team from his native China.

    Team flash founder Terence Ting said he hoped the news would give more aspiring Singaporean eSports players the confidence to make it a full-time career.

    "We have set big goals for both Amraan and Joseph, and believe we can narrow the gap for them to challenge for the World Championship in the next three years," he said.

    The International Olympic Committee has recognised eSports as a viable Olympic sport. The sport is due to make its major Games debut as a demonstration event at this year's Asian Games in August, and could be a medal sport as soon as at next year's SEA Games in the Philippines.

    eSports is also becoming increasingly lucrative. The prize pool for the annual Dota 2 international
    tournament was US$24 million, and could be even larger for this year's edition in August.


    Team Flash also announced that gaming accessory companies Logitech and DXRacer had come on board as sponsors
     

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