Singapore Sports Scene

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

  1. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Tears for Ting Wen and Jing Wen as older sister wins 100m fly final
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    Quah Ting Wen. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

    Dilenjit Singh
    Sub Editor
    Dec 10, 2019 06:00 am

    It was a Singapore one-two in the women's 100m butterfly final at the New Clark City Aquatics Center yesterday, but the tears flowed for both the gold and silver medallists.

    Quah Ting Wen, 27, who won in 59.62 seconds, teared up on the winners' podium as the national anthem played while her 18-year-old sister Jing Wen broke down during the post-race interview.

    Jing Wen, who was the fastest qualifier in the heats and led for much of the final, finished just 0.11sec behind Ting Wen, with Jasmine Alkhaldi of the Philippines finishing third in 1:00.39.

    Said the elder Quah: "My coaches will probably not be happy with me saying this, I hate losing... and we all love to be No. 1, but if there was ever anyone (who) I wanted to beat me, it would be my sister.

    "I've been training with her for the last year and I know how hard she works, and I wanted this for her.

    "We've been on all three relays together, it's been really nice being in the same lane as her.

    "But I think I treasure today's race a lot because I don't have a lot of opportunities to swim beside her in a race...

    "I don't know how long more I'll be able to say that I'm on the same team or swim next to her... so tonight was special for me."

    Between the sisters, they have won 10 golds and a silver in the Philippines.

    Their brother - Zheng Wen, 23 - also starred in the pool, becoming the first swimmer to meet two Olympic "A" qualification times at a Games.

    His six golds and two silvers mean the siblings have contributed 16 golds and three silvers to the squad's tally of 23 golds, 10 silvers and four bronzes. - DILENJIT SINGH
     
  2. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Cue master Peter Gilchrist’s motivation is daughter Ysabel, 6
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    Above: Singapore's Peter Gilchrist celebrates winning his sixth consecutive SEA Games title in English billiards. PHOTO: SPORT SINGAPORE, DOROTHY CABUNAG
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    She loves it when he brings home medals, says six-time billiard champion
    Dec 10, 2019 06:00 am
    When he was younger, Singapore cue master Peter Gilchrist won for personal achievement and satisfaction.

    Yesterday, after clinching his sixth straight SEA Games title in English billiards at the Manila Hotel, the 51-year-old revealed that he has an added motivation these days - his daughter Ysabel.

    "I'm still excited to play, but I do it for different reasons now," Gilchrist told The New Paper in a phone interview, after defeating Myanmar's Nay Thway Oo 3-0 in the best-of-five, 100-up final.

    "I play for my daughter now. I have a six-year-old at home and she loves it when I bring home medals.

    "When I see her delighted with my medals, it keeps me going, the desire to win."

    That hunger also fuelled Gilchrist's sixth World Billiards Championship title in October.

    He may make winning look easy, but he was quick to add that nothing comes easy.

    Said the Spex scholar: "I train harder than anybody else.

    "People think I come in and play how I do just like that, but they don't put in the work like I do. I'm fortunate that Singapore supports me and allows me to train all the time.

    "I train six to seven hours a day, and work a lot more on my in-off play. I work on all aspects of my game."

    His effort has helped him reign supreme in the region since 2009, even though the SEA Games' shorter format poses a tougher challenge than the 1,000-up format at the World Championships.

    Gilchrist admitted that before going to Manila, he did feel some pressure as the defending SEA Games champion and reigning world champion, especially with the omission of the doubles event this year.

    He said: "Previously we had doubles, but here in Manila, it's do-or-die.

    "I couldn't afford to lose, even with the shorter format and strong competitors. I had one event and one shot to win gold."

    The billiards veteran's quest for perfection was hampered by Indonesia's Marlando Sihombing in the quarter-finals, and Thailand's Yuttapop Pakpoj in the semi-finals, as both games finished 3-1.

    "I would say winning is a habit. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so it would have been great to have a flawless performance," said Gilchrist, who did not drop a single frame in his gold-medal run two years ago in Kuala Lumpur.

    "I learn to keep going when I make errors, and not let it affect me. Sometimes being a perfectionist could be detrimental, so I keep it in check.

    "The Thai lad played a fantastic game; he wasn't intimidated by me at all. He held his ground and caused me to drop a frame."

    While Yuttapop made Gilchrist work, Myanmar's Nay, the Asian champion, was his toughest opponent.

    "But after I won the first frame, I became more confident," said Gilchrist. "The first frame is the most important."

    In spite of his accomplishments, Gilchrist is still hungry for more.

    "I'm looking to defend my world title. I've retained my SEA Games golds, but never the World Championship," he said.

    "I've still got a few years left in me, so I'll make the most of it while it lasts."

    Ysabel will help make sure of that.
     
  3. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore's swimming future is bright
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    From left: Swimmers Quah Zheng Wen, Lionel Khoo, Joseph Schooling and Darren Chua wrapped up a historic meet by sealing Singapore's clean sweep of the relay events for the third SEA Games running. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
    Singapore's 23 golds match their best haul of 2015 at home, with a near-perfect 5 from 6 on final day

    Dilenjit Singh
    Sub Editor
    Dec 10, 2019 06:00 am

    The final day of SEA Games action in the pool went swimmingly for Singapore, with the team matching their best-ever gold haul at the biennial Games last night.

    They nearly completed a clean sweep of the six events yesterday, with Christie Chue's silver in the women's 100m breaststroke representing the only one that got away.

    Singapore's swimmers proved to be sharks at New Clark City Aquatics Center, albeit with a nose for gold rather than blood as they racked up 23 golds - equalling their most successful Games in 2015 on home soil.

    It is also comfortably more than their best away haul of 19 in Kuala Lumpur two years ago.

    Said national training centre head coach Gary Tan: "It's like a wish come true for the team. The team just stuck to the game plan and every single day they just worked hard...

    "I cannot be more proud. This team, with all the younger kids coming through and the way they have been developing, there are more names in there... (than) just (Quah) Zheng Wen, Joseph (Schooling) and (Quah) Ting (Wen).

    "So the future looks good for Singapore swimming."

    What makes Singapore's performances in the Philippines more impressive is the improved diversity of gold medallists.

    The 12 swimmers who won individual races - including first-time gold medallists Elena Pedersen, 15; Gan Ching Hwee, 16; and Jonathan Tan, 17 - in Clark is double the number from the 2015 Games.

    Then, Tao Li, Schooling and Zheng Wen accounted for 14 individual golds among themselves.

    At the 2017 Games, there were seven individual race winners.

    On his young teammates' performances in Clark, the 23-year-old Zheng Wen said: "It's very impressive.

    "We're getting older and we don't know how long we are going to be on the same relay (team)...

    "So it's always nice seeing the next generation of swimmers coming up and pushing the boundaries...

    "I'm just pumped to maybe be a spectator and watch my younger sister (18-year-old quadruple gold medallist Jing Wen)... it'll be fun."

    To put the swimmers' haul from the Philippines in perspective, Singapore won over 60 per cent of all gold medals on offer.

    Over six days, they set 26 personal bests, nine national records, 15 meet records and made three Olympic "A" qualifying timings.

    Despite surpassing Singapore Swimming Association president Lee Kok Choy's target of 19 golds, national swimming head coach and performance director Stephan Widmer wants to improve the talent pipeline.

    He said: "Singapore came together... We had so many first-timers here that won gold medals, that shows the pipeline is starting to build.

    "We're not there yet, we want more upward pressure from more younger kids coming through.

    "I want coaches to dream as well, to put more swimmers in the team, but it's starting to go in the right direction."

    Last night definitely went in the right direction from the start, with Ching Hwee winning the women's 800m freestyle.

    It was a sign of things to come as Zheng Wen won the 200m butterfly, before Jonathan and Ting Wen starred in Singapore's fifth and sixth one-two finishes of the Games.

    The 4x100m medley relay team of Schooling, Darren Chua, Lionel Khoo and Zheng Wen then wrapped up a historic meet by sealing Singapore's clean sweep of the relay events for the third Games running.
     
  4. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Table tennis: Double joy for Singapore as Lin Ye, Koen Pang take singles golds


    10 Dec 2019 03:50PM (Updated: 10 Dec 2019 03:50PM)


    MANILA: Singapore took gold in the men's and women's table tennis singles events at the SEA Games on Tuesday (Dec 10).

    Both finals at the Subic Bay Exhibition Centre were all-Singapore affairs with Lin Ye, 23, and Koen Pang, 17, coming out top in their matches.

    Lin Ye faced defending champion Feng in the women's final, but the latter had to retire through injury in the second game after winning the first 11-6.

    Feng's retirement gave Lin her first SEA Games gold.

    Later in the afternoon, Koen Pang defeated Clarence Chew in straight games, winning 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 and 12-10.

    Pang, who is the world no 1 in the under-18 category, is Singapore's first local-born SEA Games singles champion in table tennis


    Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/new...s-singapore-gold-lin-ye-feng-tianwei-12171476
     
  5. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    SEA Games: Paddler Koen Pang becomes first Singapore-born men's singles champion; Lin Ye takes women's crown
    https://www.straitstimes.com/sport/...Ye+takes+women's+crown&utm_content=10/12/2019
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    Under-18 world No. 1 Koen Pang beat Thailand's world No. 192 Padasak Tanviriyavechakul 4-3 at the Subic Bay Exhibition & Convention Center.PHOTO: SINGAPORE TABLE TENNIS ASSOCIATION/FACEBOOK
    Published
    3 hours ago
    Updated
    2 min ago

    David Lee
    Correspondent

    SINGAPORE - Stirring comebacks were the order of the day for the national paddlers, and the future of Singapore table tennis does not seem so bleak, at least at the SEA Games level for now, as they secured both the men's and women's singles gold medals on Tuesday (Dec 10).

    Perhaps more significantly, the Republic now has its first local-born SEA Games men's singles champion as the Singapore Table Tennis Association bids to rejuvenate its ranks.

    Both finals were all-Singaporean affairs. In the men's event, Koen Pang beat teammate Clarence Chew 4-0 (11-5, 11-7, 11-7, 12-10) for the gold.

    Their female compatriots Feng Tianwei and Lin Ye contested the other final, won by the latter after defending champion Feng, who had won the first game 11-6, retired at the start of the second game during the final due to injury.

    Earlier in the day at the Subic Bay Exhibition & Convention Center, both Pang and Feng had posted stunning fightbacks from 3-0 down in their respective semi-finals.

    Under-18 world No. 1 Pang, 17, regrouped to beat Thailand's world No. 192 Padasak Tanviriyavechakul 4-3 (7-11, 10-12, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-3, 11-9) while world No. 9 Feng, also showed great tenacity and resilience to beat Thailand's world No. 150 Nanthana Komwong 4-3 (7-11, 3-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-4, 11-4).

    There are four events at this year's table tennis competition at the biennial Games. The Republic bagged two gold, three silver and two bronze medals.
     
  6. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    First global body for esports to be based in Singapore, helmed by Singaporean
    https://www.asiaone.com/digital/first-global-body-esports-be-based-singapore-helmed-singaporean

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    Sazali Abdul Aziz
    The Straits Times
    Dec 17, 2019

    A global governing body for esports was launched in Singapore on Monday (Dec 16), hoping to marry the fast-growing modern sport with Olympic values often tied to traditional ones.

    To that end, the Global Esports Federation (GEF) will be helmed by Singapore National Olympic Council secretary-general Chris Chan, who is its president.

    One of its three vice-presidents, Ms Charmaine Crooks, represented Canada at the Olympics, winning a silver medal in 1984 as part of a 4x400m relay team. The other two vice-presidents are Mr Wei Jizhong, an honorary life vice-president of the Olympic Council of Asia, and Mr Edward Cheng, vice-president of Chinese technology giant Tencent, which is also GEF’s global founding partner.

    Describing esports as “misunderstood”, Mr Chan noted that the GEF, whose vision is to be “the voice and authority for the worldwide esports movement”, is not the first organisation trying to lead esports globally.

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    Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu (centre), in a group photo with board members at the launch of the Global Esports Federation on Dec 16, 2019. PHOTO: The Straits Times
    The International Esports Federation, which started in 2008 and is based in South Korea, is one. Its mission is to have electronic sports recognised as a legitimate sport, and it lists 56 countries as member nations on its website.

    Mr Chan noted that the GEF does not “claim to be the (definitive) esports federation”.

    Its aim is to “galvanise the sport” and “bring some recognition and legitimacy to the sport”. It wants to “reach out to all the stakeholders involved in esports and (hopes) to work with everybody”.Added Mr Cheng: “With our collective effort, I believe esports will unleash the unlimited possibilities of sports in the digital age.” At yesterday’s launch, the GEF laid out five key objectives, namely:
    • To encourage and support the establishment of national esports federations with a set of relevant standards, guidelines and regulations;
    • To establish an athlete commission, with a focus on athlete well-being, development of standards for fair play, career support, and education to ensure safe, doping-free and ethically compliant practices;
    • To convene and stage esports competitions, conventions, fora and development programmes;
    • To develop world-class governance structures and guidelines for the GEF, and;
    • To create, develop and stage the annual flagship Global Esport Games, with the first Games – likely to be in China – to be staged at the end of next year. Esports made its debut as a full-fledged medal discipline at this month’s SEA Games, the first time it has been included at an Olympic-recognised, multi-sport competition.
    It was also included in last year’s Asian Games in Indonesia but only as a demonstration event, and has been dropped from the 2022 roster. Last year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Global Association of International Sports Federations held a forum about esports and the Olympics.

    It was meant to kick-start a dialogue and future engagement between the Olympic movement and the esports and gaming industry, which is expected to have a worldwide audience of 450 million and bring in US$1 billion (S$1.35 billion) in revenue this year.

    Mr Yip Ren Kai, a former national water polo player and co-founder of Reddentes Sports, a sports marketing agency that has made inroads into esports, said the formation of GEF is exciting for the sport here.

    “Singapore has always positioned ourselves at the forefront of technological advancement,” he said. “And from the hosting of the (inaugural) Youth Olympic Games in 2010, we have shown we are willing to take risks and try to add our own unique qualities... to help the Games become what it is today.

    “With GEF, this is another chance to show the world what Singapore and Singaporeans can do for esports and the industry players within it.”

    But while the launch of the GEF has been lauded by those involved in the sport locally as a timely one, there is still a long way to go before it can make an impact as it aspires to gain recognition from the IOC in the long term.

    Ng Chong Geng, president of the Singapore Esports Association, said: “The launch of GEF is very significant for both Singapore and esports here. “We hope this will help us elevate esports and tackle issues within the sport together as a community... The key thing is that we are listening to many of the recommendations and thoughts of the IOC.”

    One issue that needs addressing, said Ng, is the participation of women at the highest level of the sport.

    Another, he said, is exploring the new concept of “active esports” – those that require more physical exertion or skill compared to a regular console or PC game.

    This might help combat the perception from some quarters that esports is not a “real sport”, said esports athlete Robert Boon. The 22-year-old was part of the Singapore team that took part in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang event at the SEA Games in the Philippines earlier this month.

    “There’s still a certain stigma from the public that esports does not deserve to be a medal sport because of the lack of physical exertion... so I think before it can be an Olympic sport there needs to be a change in this aspect,” he said.

    Ng added: “Part of it is perception. It’s true the actual practice doesn’t require as much physical exertion (compared to some traditional sports), but it does require stamina, concentration and the same desire to win.”

    Other issues that have been raised in the past include the vast variety of games available which makes choosing what is contested tricky, licensing concerns as many games are tied to publishers and violence in certain games.

    Despite its detractors, esports has proven a hit. At the SEA Games, the esports competition, which featured six games, received over a million views with over 95 hours of total gameplay, potentially surpassing some of the less popular traditional sports.

    While gaining Olympic affiliation is currently a Herculean task, Chris Chan, GEF president, said it was not a “major concern” for the organisation at present, comparing esports’ current situation to the one urban sports – such as skateboarding, which is now an Olympic event – had in the past.

    Yip noted: “Esports has started to make its way into the mainstream already, although there is still some way to go to gain the buy-in from the traditional (sport) industry players.

    “This alignment with (the Olympic movement and its values) will bring it to the next level and that’s something that is welcome.”
     
  7. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    ST Star of the Month: Table tennis player Koen Pang targets Olympic berth after Games gold

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    Koen Pang now aims to qualify for this year's Tokyo Olympics.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

    Published
    Jan 3, 2020, 11:21 pm SGT

    Kimberly Kwek
    SINGAPORE - When paddler Koen Pang was promoted to the national team last January, he did not expect to feature in the SEA Games men's singles event.

    But a stellar year, which culminated in him becoming the first Singapore-born paddler to claim the SEA Games men's singles title last month, has him harbouring bigger ambitions this season.

    The 17-year-old now aims to qualify for this year's Tokyo Olympics. The table tennis competition is from July 25 to Aug 7.

    He said: "This SEA Games gold is a stepping stone for me going into future events, especially now that I'm changing from juniors to seniors. It is a confidence boost because I know I have what it takes to play against the senior players."

    His historic feat in the Philippines earned him The Straits Times Star of the Month award for December. The award is an extension of ST's Athlete of the Year prize, which was launched in 2008. Both are backed by F&N's 100Plus.

    ST assistant sports editor Jonathan Wong said: "Singapore won 53 golds at last month's SEA Games and there were a number of standout performances from our national athletes. But, even against this competition, Koen's achievement stands out.

    "He displayed great maturity to win the men's title and showed what an exciting talent he is for Singapore sport."

    National men's team coach Gao Ning added: "I'm very happy that he's gotten his award. He has really proven himself through his hard work and is now being recognised for it."

    It was initially hard for Koen to adjust to the intensity of training with the national team, but he gradually raised his level. Over time, training and competing overseas helped him improve as he learnt to adapt to different styles of play.

    Related Story
    SEA Games: 5 things to know about Koen Pang, first Singapore-born men's singles table tennis champ
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    Golden end to stellar year

    "Training and playing in competitions with different types of people gives you exposure to different playing styles," he said. "I learnt more ways to return the ball and how to give a high-quality ball back. For every match, it was important to know the player's playing style."

    Last August, he became the first Singaporean to reach No. 1 in the world Under-18 rankings.

    From there, he continued his stellar form as he clinched the world junior boys' doubles bronze with Josh Chua, the Republic's first medal at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Junior Table Tennis Championships.

    The world No. 177 now has his sights on breaking into the top 150 this year. To prepare for the Tokyo Olympics qualifiers, he has been training at least twice daily.

    It may be challenging for Koen, who will be enlisting for National Service in the coming months, but he is determined to make the most of his time.

    Related Story
    Table Tennis: U-18 world No.1 Koen Pang keen to make senior mark
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    Hard work pays off for Singapore paddler Koen Pang

    Singapore's first chance of earning a ticket to Japan will be at the I TTF World Team Qualification event from Jan 22-26. The quartet of Koen, Josh, Clarence Chew and Ethan Poh will have to finish in the top nine among 34 countries in Gondomar, Portugal.

    The men's team failed to qualify for the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Gao was eliminated in the men's singles second round while compatriot Chen Feng bowed out in the opening round.

    Koen knows that qualifying will not be easy, but is determined to give it a shot, saying: "We need to continue to try our best because there's a chance."
     
  8. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Twin national gymnasts land top scores in IB exams
    https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/twin-national-gymnasts-land-top-scores-in-ib-exams


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    (From left) Phebe Meredith Lau Zhi Ling and Michele Petrova Lau Xin Ling, both 18. Last year, besides attending school, the two had to juggle training with their Aesthetic Group Gymnastics team, as well as coaching the new generation of rhythmic gymnasts. The pair ranked among the top scorers from the Singapore Sports School in the International Baccalaureate Diploma exams.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
    Published
    6 hours ago

    Adeline Leong

    Twin sisters Michele Petrova Lau Xin Ling and Phebe Meredith Lau Zhi Ling have both been in gymnastics since their early days at Marymount Convent School.

    Michele joined the school team when she was seven, and her sister joined her the following year. At the age of eight, both got into the National High Performance Training Squad.

    Last Friday, the 18-year-olds ranked among the top scorers from the Singapore Sports School in the International Baccalaureate Diploma exams.

    Michele, to her surprise, achieved the highest score in her school - 44 points. "I thought that 43 would be the highest that I can go," she said.

    Phebe also did well, scoring 42 points, which puts her among her school's top five students.

    When asked how they managed to juggle both their commitments to the sport as well as their studies, the pair agreed that it all came down to time management and discipline.

    "We were usually very busy, so we had to use whatever free time we had to study," said Phebe.

    Last year, besides attending school, the two also had to juggle training with their Aesthetic Group Gymnastics (AGG) team, as well as coaching the new generation of rhythmic gymnasts.

    The twins have trained in rhythmic gymnastics for 10 years, but gave up the sport in 2018 due to injuries.

    In that same year, they discovered AGG, a new sport in Singapore, and joined its pioneer team here.

    "We were so amazed by the sport - it is so beautiful," said Phebe.

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    AGG allowed them to tap their previous training in rhythmic gymnastics while being more gentle on the body.

    The sisters became rhythmic gymnastics coaches to contribute to the continued development of the sport in Singapore. Their young charges range from four to 14 years old.

    "We enjoy it a lot, as we both like kids," said Michele, adding that coaching also helped them to become financially independent.

    "We have not taken any pocket money from our parents since we were 17."

    Having a packed schedule is nothing new to the sisters.

    "When we were in primary school, it was pretty hard for us," said Michele, about balancing their various commitments.

    After school, they would attend rhythmic gymnastic training from 4pm to 8pm. Back home, they would have tuition from 9pm to 11pm.

    "After that, we did our homework, before going to sleep and waking up at 6am the next day to catch the school bus," said Phebe.

    "It was very tough," admitted Michele, but the sisters said knowing that they were in it together helped.

    Ultimately, their hard work paid off, with both representing Singapore in rhythmic gymnastics at the 2017 SEA Games when they were 16, making them the youngest on the team.

    This year, the two plan to focus on three things: AGG, coaching, and applying for university.

    Both have NUS and SMU in mind.
     
  9. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Sports happenings in Singapore (30 Dec-5 Jan)
    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/weekly-ro...VWEcY55_c3YoylCF1i3194dUW6clG_2VV_gHbPW-IK2HI

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    Staff Writer, Singapore
    Editorial Team
    Yahoo News Singapore6 January 2020
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    Koen Pang will be participating in the National Table Tennis Grand Finale tournament from 2 to 12 January. (FILE PHOTO: Dhany Osman/Yahoo News Singapore)
    SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in the past week (23-29 December):

    SOF scholarship open for application
    SOF website before 4pm on 31 January." data-reactid="24">The Singapore Olympic Foundation (SOF) is inviting young athletes to apply for the Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim Scholarship. Interested athletes can apply online via the SOF website before 4pm on 31 January.

    There are four categories for the scholarship: Primary ($1,000), Secondary ($2,000), Junior College/Integrated Programme/Tertiary ($3,000) and Under-18 High Performance ($5,000).

    To be eligible, applicants have to meet a set of criteria such as scoring consistent results in relevant sports competitions. All categories except the U-18 High Performance award consider the household income of the recipients.

    The scholarship was launched in 2010 when Peter Lim donated $10 million to the SOF. In 2019, he announced a further commitment of $10 million to fund the scholarship until 2030. This donation remains the largest individual donation for a sports scholarship in Singapore.

    Koen Pang at National Table Tennis Grand Finale
    SEA Games men’s singles gold medallist Koen Pang will be representing New Century Table Tennis Club in the team event at the National Table Tennis Grand Finale tournament, which began on Thursday (2 January) at the Singapore Table Tennis Association building and will end on 12 January.

    This year’s tournament sees a record-breaking 66 team entries, as well as international participation from Malaysia, China, Korea, Thailand and India.

    Besides Koen, fans can also catch national players Clarence Chew, Wong Xinru, Josh Chua and Ethan Poh in action at the tournament. There are seven events in total: men's and women’s team, men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, as well as mixed doubles.

    Water Polo National League: Women’s Open begins
    The Singapore Water Polo National League 2020: Women’s Open kicked off on Saturday (4 January) at Our Tampines Hub, with nine teams vying for the women’s championship.

    The nine teams are: 28 Degrees-SAJC, Aquatic Master-Queenstown 1, Aquatic Master- Queenstown 2, National University of Singapore, Pacer, Raffles Alumni, Raffles Institution, SS-RP and TJC-OTH.

    Matches will be played every Saturday and Sunday until 8 February.

    Sustainability initiatives at SMBC Singapore Open
    Organisers of the upcoming SMBC Singapore Open have stepped up their sustainability initiatives to “keep things green” during the 16-19 January tournament at Sentosa Golf Club.

    For the first time in an Asian golf tournament, there will be water stations on tee boxes 1 and 10 for players to refill their bottles. The public can also access water stations on the course near the 17th and 18th holes, as well as around the club during the tournament.

    Players, officials, volunteers and media will be provided with reusable water bottles, while the official caterer will be using cutlery made of paper and wood instead of plastic, as organisers aim to reduce plastic waste by 20 per cent.

    They also plan to save more than 20,000 pieces of paper. Spectators are recommended to download to draw from the official app or visit the website, while all printed materials at the tournament will use recycled paper.
     
  10. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Floorball: Singapore's women's floorball coach Louise Khng leaves on high
    https://www.straitstimes.com/sport/womens-floorball-coach-khng-leaves-on-a-high


    [​IMG]
    Louise Khng, 37, head coach of the national women's floorball team, being thrown in the air by her players while holding her appreciation trophy during Singapore Floorball Association's appreciation lunch at Our Tampines Hub yesterday. Khng took up the role in July 2017 on a voluntary basis. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

    Published
    Jan 13, 2020, 5:00 am SGT

    Kimberly Kwek

    A month after guiding Singapore's women's floorball team to the SEA Games gold medal and a 12th-placed finish at the Women's World Floorball Championship - their best result since 2011 - head coach Louise Khng has stepped down.

    Khng, who also led the Republic to the Asia Oceania Floorball Confederation (AOFC) Cup title in 2018, said she wanted to focus on her career as a lecturer at Nanyang Polytechnic and other aspects of her life.

    The 37-year-old, who was previously the assistant coach, took up the main role in July 2017 and was doing it on a voluntary basis.

    The Singapore Floorball Association is searching for a suitable replacement and said the earliest an appointment will be made is April.

    When the national team resume training later this month, the squad of about 20 players will train on their own.

    It is a relatively quiet year for the women's national side with only one major tournament, the AOFC Cup in July.

    While Khng, a former national player, delivered silverware as head coach, those moments are bonuses to her. Her greatest achievement, she said yesterday, is moulding the team into a cohesive unit over the past two-and-a-half years.

    "I wanted to build a positive team culture where players could count on each other, whether it was on or off court," she said.

    "It was a good investment because what they have achieved last year is a testament to that."

    Seeing some of the younger players come through and perform at international tournaments is also something she is also proud of.

    Khng expressed her gratitude towards her coaching team and officials, who are also volunteers, and hopes the team will build on their success in the coming years.

    Captain Michelle Lok and vice-captain Debbie Poh paid tribute to Khng, saying she had gone beyond her duties as a coach to help them, recalling how she sometimes paid for team bonding sessions from her own pocket.

    Poh said: "She really cares about the team a lot and has done things for us, not just in floorball but everything else, so it's sad that she has stepped down."

    Lok added: "She's more than a coach, she's a friend to all of us. She has brought the team closer together and we're very appreciative for what she has done."
     
  11. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Cherie Tan is first Singaporean bowler to be named ‘Athlete of the Year’ by international bowling association
    https://www.todayonline.com/singapo...r-be-named-athlete-year-international-bowling

    By Mandy Lee


    [​IMG]
    Singaporean bowler Cherie Tan, 31, at the World Bowling Women's Championships in Las Vegas on Aug 30, 2019 when she won gold for the Masters event.
    Asian Bowling Federation

    Singaporean bowler Cherie Tan, 31, at the World Bowling Women's Championships in Las Vegas on Aug 30, 2019 when she won gold for the Masters event.

    Published15 January, 2020
    Updated 15 January, 2020

    SINGAPORE — National bowler Cherie Tan, 31, became the first Singaporean to be named the World Bowling Athlete of the Year for 2019 by the World Bowling association on Tuesday (Jan 14).

    Out of 10 international athletes nominated, Tan was given the title after a public vote on World Bowling’s social media channels, namely Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

    World Bowling is the international governing body for bowling, recognised by the International Olympic Committee since 1979.

    Tan said that being awarded the title was “surprising” because she did not know that she had so many fans who would vote for her. She added that some of her fans had congratulated her on Facebook.

    She told TODAY: “2019 was one of the best years of my bowling career. I am happy with the results and glad that the hard work I put in for the last decade has paid off.”

    In a Facebook post, World Bowling said that it felt the Singaporean bowler deserved the title because she topped the Masters category at the World Bowling Women’s Championships in Las Vegas, United States on Aug 30 last year.

    She became the first Singaporean to win gold in the finals by beating top-ranked player Maria Rodriguez from Colombia 2-0, winning 203-201 in the first game and 258-217 in the second.

    She also won the 2019 QubicaAMF Professional Women's Bowling Association Players Championship in Raleigh, North Carolina, US on Sept 8 last year.

    Later on Dec 6, her team of four clinched the women’s team gold in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Manila, Philippines.

    Mrs Jessie Phua, president of the Singapore Bowling Federation, said of Tan being voted by the online community as athlete of the year: “It’s an awesome recognition for one of our finest. Cherie is one of the most dedicated and hardworking athletes who has devoted so many years of her life to the sport.”

    The SEA Games was particularly challenging for Tan because the pressure to win was high.

    The last time her team won the women’s team gold was in 2011.

    Tan said: “I would like to thank my family, the Singapore Bowling Federation and Sports SG for their belief in me and for allowing me to develop in the past decade.”

    Her plan is to continue to hone her bowling skills this year.

    “I will work extremely hard to take it up a notch to remain competitive. Everyone is still improving and I do not want to be left behind.”

    Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapo...r-be-named-athlete-year-international-bowling
     
  12. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Bowling: Singapore's Cherie Tan humbled by Athlete of the Year accolade from world body
    https://www.straitstimes.com/sport/...-athlete-of-the-year-accolade-from-world-body

    [​IMG]
    Cherie Tan was voted the World Bowling Athlete of the Year by the international bowling community and public.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

    Published
    11 hours ago

    Kimberly Kwek

    SINGAPORE - Cherie Tan may have had a spectacular 2019 after making history on several fronts, but she is no longer thinking about her past successes.

    A stellar year saw the 31-year-old became the first Singaporean to win the Masters title in the World Bowling women's championships in August, before becoming the first Asian to capture the Professional Women's Bowling Association Players Championship the following month.

    She also won the SEA Games women's team gold with Shayna Ng, New Hui Fen and Daphne Tan in Manila last month and wrapped up the year by winning the Storm-Domino's Pizza Cup in South Korea.

    On Tuesday, she made history again by being voted the World Bowling Athlete of the Year by the international bowling community and public.

    She beat nine others in the running, including Australian Jason Belmonte and Americans Jakob Butturff and Danielle McEwan.

    World Bowling is the world governing body of nine-pin and 10-pin bowling. The vote was conducted on its social media channels - Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

    Tan said: "It's going to be really hard to match last year's performance and focusing on the past is not going to be helpful. (This year) is a new year and I'm going to start on a clean slate."

    The award came as a surprise for Tan, who said: "My social media presence is next to zero and the other nominees had huge fan bases. I'm humbled by the support I got from my friends, family and fans.

    "It's a huge honour and I'm always proud to be representing Singapore. This recognition puts Singapore Bowling on the world stage and I'm hopeful that I won't be the only one."


    Bowling: Cherie Tan makes history again in the US, becoming first Asian to win PWBA Players Championship[/paste:font]

    Bowling: Finally, Cherie Tan gets overdue milestone[/paste:font]

    Bowling: Cherie Tan caps terrific year with victory in South Korea, pockets $47,000[/paste:font]

    She saw great improvements to her game after making changes like adjusting her swing direction and timing at the end of 2018.

    Tan also focused more on the tactical side like ball transition, which resulted in better decision making in competitions.

    While there are no major tournaments this year, Tan is hoping to compete in the Asian Bowling Championships and World Singles.

    Singapore Bowling Federation president Jessie Phua praised Tan, saying: "It's an awesome recognition for one of our finest. Cherie is one of the most dedicated and hardworking athletes who has devoted so many years of her life to the sport."
     
  13. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Team Singapore

    MCCY Minister Fu encouraged by Singapore sports’ strong 2019
    https://www.tnp.sg/sports/team-singapore/mccy-minister-fu-encouraged-singapore-sports-strong-2019
    [​IMG]
    Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu. PHOTO: MCCY
    Jan 17, 2020 06:00 am

    The year 2019 saw many feats on Singapore's sporting front which gives us tremendous pride, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu.

    Speaking at the ministry's year in review yesterday, she said: "Our athletes have made us proud at the recent SEA Games. Fifty-six per cent are debutants, who contributed to nearly 40 per cent of gold medals.

    "Many of the athletes have been supported by our high performance sports system for many years, some of them since their early teens in the Singapore Sport School.

    "We are encouraged by this strong showing from our athletes."

    While there were many laudable achievements among the Republic's haul of 53 golds, 46 silvers and 68 bronzes - their second-best away performance after 2017 - there were also sports which performed poorly.

    In particular, football and athletics were taken to task by the Singapore Sport Institute for flopping at the biennial multi-sport meet.

    The Singapore Under-22 football team failed to score in their first four matches and recorded just one win in the Philippines, suffering their third consecutive group-stage exit.

    To compound matters, nine of the 20-man squad broke curfew during the tournament.

    Athletics was also in the news for the wrong reasons, with internal squabbles cited as a factor behind their poor performances. There were no gold medals to show for last year, unlike three in 2015 and two in 2017.

    When asked for her thoughts on those issues by The Straits Times, Minister Fu said they will be working closely with the national sports associations (NSAs) to rectify the faults.

    She added: "We want to help them to get the right governance structure in place and, over time, we'll like to work out a long-term sustained developmental plan with the NSAs.

    "We hope that by doing so, we are able to give greater certainty to the system, to the athletes, to the coaches, so that... they are able to get the maximum potential out of these efforts."

    Noting that it is not an easy process due to different views within each sport's fraternity, Minister Fu added: "But we want to work with them to the best of our abilities and it will be a constant frame for conversations between ourselves and SNOC (Singapore National Olympic Council) and NSAs."

    Besides the SEA Games, Singapore's athletes also made breakthroughs in other arenas last year.

    For instance, Yip Pin Xiu clinched two gold medals at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships last September.

    Bowler Cherie Tan became the first Singaporean to win gold in the Masters category of the World Bowling Women Championships last August, and became the first Asian to win the Professional Women's Bowling Association Players Championship last September. She was also voted World Bowling Athlete of the Year in an online poll.

    Three athletes also attained the top world ranking in their respective categories - Nur Syahidah Alim (para-archery); Koen Pang (table tennis, Under-18 men's singles) and Amita Berthier (fencing, junior women's foil).
     
  14. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore swimmer Quah Zheng Wen named most valuable male athlete of SEA Games 2019
    https://www.todayonline.com/world/s...med-most-valuable-male-athlete-sea-games-2019

    [​IMG]
    Quah Zheng Wen (second from left) poses with his SEA Games 2019 medals.
    Singapore Swimming Association

    Published12 December, 2019
    Updated 12 December, 2019

    MANILA — Singaporean swimmer Quah Zheng Wen was given the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for male athletes on Wednesday (Dec 11), having won the highest number of medals at the 2019 SEA Games — six golds and two silvers.

    "It's definitely an honour just to have our flag up there representing Team Singapore," said Quah after receiving news of the award. "It's a reflection (of my performance)."

    But more than winning medals, the 23-year-old was happy to have also qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the 100m butterfly and 100m backstroke events.

    "I came with the goal of trying to qualify for the Olympics. Honestly speaking, getting gold... was not what I was looking for at these Games.

    "It was a bonus. It's kind of a testament to how hard I'd been training. I'm glad for that. I'm just happy I accomplished what I set out to do."

    Read also: Singapore's swimmers finish with 23 golds, match best showing at SEA Games

    Vietnamese swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien won the MVP award for female athletes.

    Quah's performance at the Games earned the praise of his teammate Joseph Schooling.

    Read also: Swimming: Joseph Schooling wins 100m butterfly gold, retains SEA Games title

    “For him to come up and step up for three events tonight and do best times — back to back in the space of one hour and ten, that’s pretty darn impressive,” said Schooling last Friday, after Quah stretched him to the finish line in the 100m butterfly final.

    Clocking a personal best of 51.87, Quah qualified for the Olympics and came in 0.03s behind Schooling.

    “Kudos to him, he’s been having the best meet of all of us so far and we’re just trying to follow his example,” Schooling added.

    Read also: 2 Singapore swimmers break Schooling's SEA Games record in 50m freestyle

    Quah and his swimming compatriots, including his sisters Jing Wen and Ting Wen, were among the top performers in the Games with 23 gold medals — equalling their best performance in 2015.

    With 15 Games records, nine national records and 26 personal best timings, they also surpassed their away record of 19 golds in 2017, the Singapore National Olympic Council said in press release on Wednesday.

    Singapore sent its largest away contingent in history to this year's Games in the Philippines. They won 53 golds, crossing the 900 gold medal mark as the 2019 campaign came to a close.

    With 46 silver and 68 bronze, Singapore won a total of 167 medals — 51 of which were from Games debutants — said the Council.

    Quah said he was looking forward to the closing ceremony on Wednesday evening, where he would receive his award. CNA

    Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/world/s...med-most-valuable-male-athlete-sea-games-2019
     
  15. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Rosalind Choo
    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/singapore-fitspo-of-the-week-rosalind-choo-000057615.html

    Cheryl Tay
    Fit To Post Sports2 March 2020
    [​IMG]
    View photos
    Rosalind Choo is the president of the Sports Car Club Singapore. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

    Life goes beyond the digits on the scale and your body is capable of so much more. Yahoo’s #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to inspirational men and women in Singapore leading healthy and active lifestyles. Have someone to recommend?

    Name: Rosalind Choo (@ladyseals80)
    Age: 39
    Height: 1.65m
    Weight: 50kg
    Occupation: Insurance advisor/president of Sports Car Club (Singapore)
    Status: Attached
    Diet: A normal diet, except that the only proteins I take are fish, chicken and eggs. I still take my rice, vegetables and fruits, but I cut away sugary drinks, salty soups, sauces and dairy."
    Training: Three to five times a week in the gym.

    Q: What kind of sports did you do growing up?"

    A: I played badminton, netball, swimming, rock climbing, bowling, road cycling and golf.

    You only started going to the gym at the age of 30."

    Yes, my friend was a member at Fitness First and he was a former bodybuilder. This was back in 2010 and I was slim, so I asked if I can join him in the gym so he can guide me on how to use the equipment in the gym. I knew nothing about working out in the gym and I felt intimidated, so I joined him on his weights days four times a week. The other days of the week I will go for the group classes, like BodyStep, BodyCombat, BodyAttack and RPM, at the gym by myself.

    [​IMG]
    View photos
    Rosalind Choo's weight had ballooned to 66kg during a stressful period in her life, but she has since managed to lose those extra kilos. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

    You went through a series of accidents that halted your fitness progress.

    First, I suffered a slipped disc in July 2012 and was forced to rest and not exercise for six months. Then I picked up cycling again but met with an accident (this was in March 2013) when a car turned left abruptly into my path and I could not brake in time, so I crashed into the car and that put me out for a while.

    In February 2014, I fractured my left ankle while carrying things from the car and later that year in September I had an appendicitis operation. Then in August 2015 my dad had a mild heart attack and had to undergo a heart bypass. After that he also had to go through dialysis for kidney failure. This was a tough period because I had to spend more time taking care of him and my family while working.

    Through this series of events, I gave up exercising and eventually cancelled my gym membership in December 2015 and sought comfort through eating.

    During this tough period, and especially with frequent painkillers to ease the pains and aches, I often got hungry. Probably it came from the stress as well as gastric issues, which I had since I was 20. I usually have to eat food with painkillers because they are too strong for the stomach. If I miss my meals and take the painkillers, I will develop gastric pain (I was someone who never had regular meals). So to prevent this from happening, I told myself to eat so I will not get gastric issues when I took painkillers.

    Over a span of three years, you gained 16kg. When did you decide that was enough? "

    One day, I realised that I could not fit into most of my clothes anymore and photos of me taken by my friends turned out more and more horrible (showing flab and double chins). Then I weighed myself and I saw the figure 66 and I told myself I don't want to see the number 7, so I decided it is time I needed to take care of myself.

    Since I had cancelled my gym membership, I started jogging first to kickstart my momentum, and I also asked a few friends to start playing badminton. But due to time constraints and personal commitments, my friends stopped playing badminton and the momentum slowed. When we did play, they would eat after that and we ended up eating a lot more than we exercised.

    During this time, my weight came down slightly but it also went back up quickly. I didn’t know how to change my diet because I was afraid I would get gastric issues if I skip my meals. My friends were not able to help as well, because they love food and also have their own sets of health issues, like high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

    [​IMG]
    View photos
    Rosalind Choo used to dislike photos of herself, but has since become more confident. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

    Then you decided to do something with your car club Sports Car Club Singapore. "

    In my club, I have seen my own members discuss in groups chats about their unfavourable body check-ups and how they have to go through heart bypass or balloon surgeries (and they are only in their early 40s). It made me realise that all these members face the same issues as I did with their unhealthy lifestyles and diet, and that it was a challenge to incorporate workouts because they are so busy with work.

    I thought to myself: since I needed a change, why don't we do it together as a club and motivate one another? So in September 2018, we started a weekly one-hour group training with (fitness trainer) Gladys Leong at Hercules Fitness.

    How did you eventually lose 16kg?"

    This group class was only once a week and I was still doing my own cardio exercises twice a week. I lost a bit of weight but was stuck at 63kg. Gladys then told me to cut out dairy – no ice cream, bubble tea, tea with milk, yoghurts, cakes, breads – and also to take only chicken thigh as my protein.

    I also started preparing my own food. Instead of using soy sauce to marinate, I only used sea salt and herbs. Typically, I had two eggs for breakfast, chicken and rice for lunch, chicken and vegetables for dinner. After trying out this diet for one week, my weight dropped by another 5kg. In addition, I was working out five to six times a week, a mix of weights training at Hercules Fitness and cardio on my own.

    When did you feel the least confident about yourself?"

    I am usually a confident person but I realised that when people want to take photos with me, I either walked away or not want to look at any photos if I know I am in them. I just didn’t want to see any bad photos of myself and I also deleted a lot of my photos because I didn’t think they look nice.

    [​IMG]
    View photos
    Since becoming trim and fit, Rosalind Choo has won a gold medal in a bikini competition. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)
    In October 2017, my club organised a go-kart challenge and I had to present the prizes to the winners. I saw the photos and I felt I looked horrible in every single one of them. That’s about the same time when I realised it’s time I have to do something as I cannot keep deleting photos.

    Ever since I embarked on my fitness journey with Hercules Fitness and starting losing weight, I look better in photos and I don't shun cameras anymore.

    Are you satisfied with your body now?"

    I believe I have reached my desired weight but I still have many areas to improve. I wish to build more muscle and strength, especially in my back. My back has always been the weakest part. Though I have gotten more core strength to support my back, I hope my back can improve better.

    After going through this change, what are some of the comments you have received?"

    Many were quite shocked to see the change. Some believe I look better now, some think I am too thin and asked me to stop trimming down.

    What have you learnt through this transformation of yours?"

    Everything is all in the mind. I thought I could not go through the dieting process, but I managed to succeed. I thought I would not be able to handle weight training with my back issues but I survived. It’s a test of willpower – if there is a will, there is always a way. I even took part in a bikini competition and received a gold medal in the bikini classic category.

    [​IMG]
    View photos
    Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Rosalind Choo. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)
     
  16. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Cricket: Singapore rise to world top 20 in T20 rankings
    https://www.straitstimes.com/sport/singapore-rise-to-world-top-20-in-t20-rankings

    [​IMG]
    The outing in Bangkok saw Singapore's senior cricketers reach their highest International Cricket Council T20 world ranking of No. 20 since starting close to No. 70 about 20 years ago.PHOTO: SINGAPORE CRICKET ASSOCIATION
    Published
    Mar 8, 2020, 5:00 am SGT

    Singapore's senior cricketers continued their ascendancy by emerging champions in the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) eastern region tournament that ended on Friday.

    The outing in Bangkok saw them reach their highest International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 world ranking of No. 20 since starting close to No. 70 about 20 years ago.

    Wins over Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong sealed top spot in the five-team contest. The inconsequential last match against Nepal was abandoned owing to rain.

    Hong Kong finished second to accompany Singapore to a round-robin tournament in Malaysia in August, when they will play the western region's United Arab Emirates and Kuwait for a spot at the Asia Cup alongside giants India, hosts Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

    "This was a total professional outing for Singapore,'' said Singapore Cricket Association (SCA) chief executive Saad Khan Janjua.

    "From the approach to the playing arena, the boys were one solid unit and fought every inch of the way. There is every reason to be truly proud of this team."

    Singapore prepared for the event by hosting a team handpicked from Pakistan. SCA president Mahmood Gaznavi said: "In the past, we sent our players abroad. But we found that inviting appropriate players who could test our weaknesses would be a better option."

    The team also appointed top coach Dav Whatmore and strength and conditioning expert Rajesh Chauhan to help with preparations.

    Singapore cricket has celebrated a number of recent highs.

    The 2017 SEA Games T20 gold medallists beat world No. 11 Nepal en route to winning the Asian regional final. They earned a place in the T20 World Cup qualifiers in Dubai last October, when they beat No. 12 Scotland and Bermuda.

    In the same month, they beat a Test-playing, ICC full member country for the first time - Zimbabwe, then world No. 15, in the Singapore Tri Nations series.
     
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  17. Baddie lover

    Baddie lover Regular Member

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    Dav Whatmore is a great coach. He helped once upon a time minnows Bangladesh to reach heights in cricket nearly 13-15 years ago. Good luck to Singapore team. Didn't know Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand had cricket teams :p

    Wow, Singapore beat Scotland and Zimbabwe too. Good achievements.
     
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  18. Sumanth99

    Sumanth99 Regular Member

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    Good good, Thailand ladies also made some noise recently.
     
  19. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    https://www.straitstimes.com/sport/...late-rival-and-friend-indonesias-lukman-niode

    S'pore swimming legends pay tribute to late rival and friend, Indonesia's Lukman Niode

    [​IMG]
    Former Indonesian swimmer Lukman Niode died in Jakarta on April 17, 2020.PHOTO: PBPRSI/TWITTER

    Published
    Apr 17, 2020, 6:27 pm SGT

    Nicole Chia

    SINGAPORE - Former Indonesian swimmer Lukman Niode, who dominated the 100m and 200m backstroke events at the SEA Games from 1977 to 1983, died in Jakarta on Friday (April 17). He was 56.

    His death was announced by the Indonesian Swimming Federation (PRSI), which paid tribute to its former official, coach and team manager on Facebook, saying that "the world of sports and aquatics Indonesia has lost one of its best sons".

    According to Indonesia news reports, Lukman had this week tested positive for Covid-19, though the cause of his death was not identified. Fellow national swimmer Richard Sam Bera said on Facebook that Lukman had been in an induced coma in the intensive care unit of Pelni Hospital, before his death on Friday.

    Regarded as one of the nation's best swimmers, Lukman competed at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, swimming in the 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 200m backstroke.

    His first of nine individual SEA Games golds came at the 1977 edition in Kuala Lumpur, where he won the 100m and 200m backstroke. He retained both titles at the next three editions, before Singapore swimmer David Lim took the backstroke double in 1985 and 1987. He also won eight bronze medals in three editions of the Asian Games from 1978 to 1986.

    Among the former Singapore athletes who paid tribute to Lukman yesterday was two-time Olympian Lim, who described the Indonesian as his fiercest rival.

    "When I came on the scene he was the guy to beat in the backstroke events ... as a 15-year-old in 1981 (at the SEA Games) you always know who's the top dog in your race," said the 53-year-old, who is friends with Lukman on Facebook.

    "It was quite a friendly rivalry and an inspiration, in 1985 I was so determined to win that I visualised beating him when I did my race visualisation - he was constantly in my head.

    "We're not close friends but we talk whenever we see each other. When I was still coaching the national team in the 2000s I would see him at major Games, and we would just sit and talk."

    One of ex-national swimmer Ang Peng Siong's more memorable experiences with Lukman came at the 1983 SEA Games, where the latter was the defending 100m freestyle champion. In that race, Ang and compatriot Tay Khoon Hean formed a strategy to block Lukman's view of Tay so that Singapore could have a one-two finish. The move worked a treat as Ang won the gold while Tay was second.

    But there were no ill feelings, with 1982 Asian Games champion Ang, 57, saying: "Since then, we would always share our friendship and experiences together over coffee.

    "The rivalry among swimmers during races was strong and highly competitive. However, when we finished our races, we would enjoy the friendship and respect for each other ... we knew we were pushing each other to be the best we could be."

    Former swimmer Oon Jin Teik, who also competed at the 1984 Olympics, recalled fondly how he and Lukman became friends and pulled pranks on each other during meets.

    "Lukie was a talented sportsman and a real gentleman," added Oon, who was previously secretary-general of the Singapore Swimming Association and Singapore Sports Hub chief executive officer.

    The 57-year-old added: "After retiring from swimming, we became friends who helped each other in promoting sports. I used to share much about Singapore swimming and Singapore Sports Hub with him, knowing that he had a single mission to uplift the level of Indonesian sports. We also discussed the challenges of today's sports ecosystem.

    "Sports just lost a legend... I am totally devastated."

    Additional reporting by Low Lin Fhoong
     
  20. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore's first female Chef de Mission Pennefather passes away
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    Singapore's first female Chef de Mission at an Olympic Games, Annabel Pennefather, has died at the age of 72 today.

    Having served in the role at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, Pennefather made history when she was Singapore's Chef de Mission at the Athens 2004 Olympics.

    In an interview with the Singapore National Olympic Committee (SNOC) in 2018, she recalled how it felt to lead the team.

    Pennefather said: "When I walked into the stadium at the Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games to the deafening roar of the welcoming spectators, so many thoughts rushed through my mind that it just brought tears to my eyes.

    "The Olympics were also in my family's sporting heritage as my late father had led Singapore's men's hockey team at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956.

    "When I accompanied him to the airport for the team's send-off at the age of eight, I just wanted to be on that plane with them, and now I was at the Olympics."

    Pennefather was a lawyer and sports administrator who regularly advocated for more inclusion of women in sport.

    She was praised for her closeness with the athletes and shared a room with swimmers in Athens, despite being entitled to five-star accommodation.

    Pennefather later became the first woman to lead the Singapore Hockey Federation in 2004, having previously joined the SNOC Executive Committee in 1999 and served as vice-president in 2002.

    In 2005, Pennefather was awarded the Asian Women and Sport Trophy by the International Olympic Committee in recognition of her work in encouraging more women to take part in sports.

    SNOC President Tan Chuan-Jin paid tribute to Pennefather's work on an international stage.

    "Her contribution was not limited to Singapore," Tan said.

    "She was also invited and elected to positions at the Commonwealth Games Federation, Badminton World Federation, International Cricket Council, International Hockey Federation and World Athletics."

    Always a fierce supporter of women, Pennefather said in an interview with Her World Magazine that it was her duty to develop opportunities in sport for half of the world's population.

    "Whatever gifts or talents we're blessed with, we've got to give something back," Pennefather said.

    "I did what came along, what I was interested in, and what I could do and whatever I did, I gave everything I could to be the best I could."

    Pennefather came from a sporting family.

    Her grandfather, Lancelot, won four Malaya Cups with Singapore's football team between 1922 and 1926, while her grandmother Alice was a hockey, badminton and tennis champion.

    Pennefather's mother also represented the national hockey team, as Pennefather did herself in the 1970s.
     

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