Singapore Sports Scene

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

  1. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Team Singapore at the Tokyo Olympics: What and who to look out for?
    Team Singapore at the Tokyo Olympics: What and who to look out for? (channelnewsasia.com)

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    (Clockwise from top left) Badminton player Loh Kean Yew, swimmer Joseph Schooling, diver Jonathan Chan, shooter Adele Tan, fencer Amita Berthier and sailors Kimberly Lim and Cecilia Low will be some of the athletes representing Singapore at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.

    By Matthew Mohan@MatthewMohanCNA
    18 Jul 2021 06:01AM(Updated: 18 Jul 2021 05:26PM

    SINGAPORE: The 32nd Olympic Games in Tokyo promises to be an edition unlike any other. Held amid a pandemic, in a city under a state of emergency, more than 11,000 international athletes will be competing in front of empty stands.

    Team Singapore is sending 23 athletes across 12 sports, the highest number that Singapore has contested in at the Olympics. Before Tokyo 2020, the most sports Singapore had competed in at an Olympics was nine at the 2012 London Games.

    Singapore's biggest contingent at the Olympics came in 1956 when 51 athletes represented the nation at the Melbourne Games.

    Tokyo 2020 will also be the first time that a defending Olympic champion will be among Singapore’s ranks, as swimmer Joseph Schooling aims to defend his 100m butterfly title.

    READ: No Olympic medal target set, 12 qualifying sports already a 'breakthrough': Singapore Sports Institute chief

    Here's what we can look ahead to for Team Singapore at the Tokyo Olympics:

    1. JOSEPH SCHOOLING’S TITLE DEFENCE

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    Singapore's Joseph Schooling won the 100m butterfly at the Rio Olympics AFP/GABRIEL BOUYS

    After his jaw-dropping, Olympic record-shattering swim at the last edition, all eyes will be on Schooling as he attempts to defend his 100m butterfly crown.

    However, just like in 2016, Schooling will once again find himself in the position of underdog.

    The hot favourite in the event is American Caeleb Dressel, who currently holds the world record in the event, clocking 49.50s at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. In contrast, Schooling touched home in 52.93s and crashed out in the heats at the same meet.

    Now 26, Schooling's fastest time this year came when he clocked 52.93s at the ISCA International Senior Cup in March, finishing behind Dressel.

    Dressel, who has already gone under the 50s mark five times, also has this year's fastest timing at 50.17s. It is not just Dressel that Schooling needs to keep an eye on - Hungary’s Kristof Milak clocked 50.18s earlier this year.

    At a press conference last week, Singapore Sports Institute chief Toh Boon Yi noted that a medal target had not been set for Schooling or any members of Singapore's contingent competing at the Games.

    "Joseph has already made history and this is something that nobody can take away from him. He will go down in history as that young man that won Singapore's first gold medal," said Mr Toh.
     
    #521 Loh, Jul 18, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2021
  2. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    2. SINGAPORE’S DEBUTANTS TAKE CENTRE STAGE
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    Amita Berthier in action for Singapore at the 2019 SEA Games. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)
    Seventeen athletes will make their Olympic debuts for Singapore, and they are history makers in their own right.

    Take Jonathan Chan and Freida Lim, the first two divers to qualify in the sport for Singapore; the same for Amita Berthier and Kiria Tikanah in fencing; Chantal Liew in open water swimming; and equestrienne Caroline Chew.

    Sailor Ryan Lo is another who will make his first appearance at the Olympics. Lo is currently ranked 10th in the world in the men's laser class and finished seventh in the men’s laser event at the Allianz Regatta World Cup series last month.

    Lo won gold at the 2019 and 2017 editions of the SEA Games in the men's laser. He also has two Asian Games bronzes - one from 2018 and one in the optimist class in 2010.

    He is the second Olympian in his family after his half-sister Man Yi.

    Another rising star is Berthier, who was once the world's top-ranked junior fencer. The 20-year-old will be competing in the women's individual foil event at Tokyo 2020.

    Berthier was the first Singaporean fencer to win a Junior World Cup title, in Havana in 2017. She has since continued that form into her senior career, winning two consecutive golds in the women's individual foil at the 2017 and 2019 SEA Games. The youngster is currently ranked 60th in the world.

    Berthier's fellow fencer Kiria qualified for the Tokyo Olympics by winning the women's epee event at the Asia-Oceania Olympic qualification tournament in Tashkent earlier this year. She is the reigning SEA Games gold medallist in the same event after winning in 2019 in the Philippines.

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    Chantal Liew competes at the 2017 SEA Games. (Photo: Sport Singapore/Stefanus Ian)
    There is also Liew, who had decided that she was going to retire from open water swimming prior to her Olympic qualifier in Setubal, Portugal. But the former pool swimmer made the cut and will get one more race at the Olympics in Japan.

    Liew made history for Singapore at the 2017 SEA Games when she became the first Singaporean to clinch a medal in the sport, taking silver.
     
  3. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    3. CAN QUAH ZHENG WEN TAKE THE NEXT STEP?


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    Zheng Wen Quah competes in men's 200-meter butterfly at the US Open swimming championships Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

    Quah competed in three events at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, and qualified for the semi-finals in two. He finished 15th in the 100m butterfly and narrowly missed the final in the 200m butterfly, finishing 10th.

    In more recent times, Quah has continued to show progress - he won six gold and two silver medals at the 2019 SEA Games and was named as the Most Valuable Male Athlete of the Games.

    More importantly, while in the Philippines, he punched his ticket for Tokyo, clocking a personal best of 51.87s in the 100m butterfly, just 0.03s behind race winner Schooling.

    He also made the cut in the 100m backstroke event with a national and SEA Games record time of 53.79s.

    While Quah has shown that making the semi-finals is within his reach, can he now make the leap and become only the third Singapore swimmer to reach an Olympic final after Tao Li in 2008 and Schooling in 2016?


    4. WILL THE TABLE TENNIS TEAM BOUNCE BACK?


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    Singapore's Feng Tianwei in action. (Photo: AFP)

    Singapore’s table tennis team finished without a medal at the 2016 Olympics - the first time in three editions that Singapore failed to win a medal in the sport.

    Leading the charge in Japan will be Feng Tianwei in the singles event, as she aims to take home a second individual Olympic medal.

    Feng, 34, who is currently ranked ninth in the world, is Singapore’s most bemedalled Olympian with three medals - a team silver (2008) and a team as well as singles bronze (2012).

    In the women’s team event, Feng, Lin Ye and Yu Mengyu will be up against stiff competition with the usual suspects of China, Japan, Taipei and Hong Kong.

    How far Singapore goes could hinge on their draw for the tournament.

    READ: Singapore to go 'over and above' COVID-19 safety measures by Tokyo Olympics organisers: Chef de mission
     
  4. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    5. COVID AND COMPETITION

    COVID-19 cases in Tokyo have continued to rise in recent weeks, with the capital now registering an average of about 900 COVID-19 cases per day.

    To cope with the increase in cases over the last few weeks, the Japanese government declared a state of emergency in the capital city on Jul 12.

    As a result, organisers have been forced to reverse a decision to allow Japanese-based spectators to watch the Games. Foreign spectators had been barred earlier this year from attending events, as authorities in Japan moved to minimise the potential spread of COVID-19.

    However, with more than 11,000 athletes and even more officials and members of the media descending on Tokyo, organisers have a massive task on their hands to ensure that the spread of the virus is limited.

    And despite best efforts, we are likely to see athletes testing positive during the Games, and this could result in disruption to events as well as competition schedules.

    As Singapore’s Olympics Network, Mediacorp will be bringing you the widest coverage of Tokyo 2020. Go to mediacorp.sg/tokyo2020 for more details.
     
  5. FEND.

    FEND. Regular Member

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    Nice to see some postings here.

    Been a while Uncle Loh. How are you?
     
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  6. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Still alive and kicking. Hope you are doing well down under.
     
  7. FEND.

    FEND. Regular Member

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    I'm good. Based out of Singapore now!
     
  8. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Tokyo Olympics: Yu Mengyu powers past 2 rivals in 1 day

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    Chia Han Keong

    ·Editor
    Tue, 27 July 2021, 11:32 am·2-min read
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    Singapore's Yu Mengyu celebrates a point against USA's Liu Juan during her women's singles round of 16 match at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (PHOTO: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP)

    Reporting from Tokyo

    TOKYO — In what is likely to be her final Olympics, Singapore paddler Yu Mengyu seems intent on making sure she leaves with a last hurrah.

    On Tuesday (27 July), the 31-year-old - whose career has been blighted by debilitating injuries - powered past two opponents on the same day to book herself a spot in the women's singles quarter-finals, matching her performance at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

    In the morning, she scored a minor upset in stunning world No. 8 Cheng I-ching of Taiwan 4-0 (11-5, 11-9, 12-10, 11-6) at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

    Then in the evening, the world No.47 was again in imperious form, fending off the United States' Liu Juan 4-2 (11-9, 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 6-11, 11-8) to book a last-eight tie with Japan's fifth seed Kasumi Ishikawa.

    "I've had some injuries while preparing for battle – some days are better, some days are worse," she said after her win over Cheng.

    "Now I'm here, I just want to give everything and not have any regrets."

    Controlled match against higher-ranked opponent
    Against Cheng, Yu showed scant regard for the gulf in rankings as she controlled the entire match, giving Cheng no opportunity to mount a comeback.

    However, when asked about the key to her upset, she preferred to attribute it to Cheng being involved in the mixed doubles bronze-medal match the day before.

    "All of her energy has gone into mixed doubles. I had a rest day yesterday and was able to better prepare for today. I think my preparations – whether in terms of rest or tactics – were more thorough," she told the official Olympic media service.

    Yu had also beaten her second-round opponent, Portugal's Shao Jieni, in straight sets on Sunday.

    Another Singapore paddler, Feng Tianwei, crashed out of the women's singles last-16 as she lost 1-4 (11-13, 7-11, 9-11, 11-8, 8-11) to Germany's Han Ying.
     
  9. Baddie lover

    Baddie lover Regular Member

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    I watched her match against top 10 Taiwanese player, if I'm not wrong the opponent was 4th seeded. And man, I was impressed. Really like the underdog story. Our Indian athletes should learn from this lady on how to give the best at the biggest stage of them all :)
     
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  10. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Table tennis: Singapore's Yu Mengyu misses out on Olympics bronze, losing to Japan's Mima Ito
    Table tennis: Singapore's Yu Mengyu misses out on Olympics bronze, losing to Japan's Mima Ito - TODAY (todayonline.com)


    Published JULY 29, 2021
    Updated JULY 29, 2021


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    AFP
    Singapore's Yu Mengyu reacts as she competes against Japan's Mima Ito during the women's singles table tennis match for the bronze medal at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan on July 29, 2021.

    TOKYO — Yu Mingyu's quest for an Olympic medal in the table tennis women's singles event ended on Thursday (Jul 29) evening, after the Singaporean went down to Japan's Mima Ito in the bronze medal match.

    The two faced off at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Thursday night, having lost their respective semi-final matches earlier in the day to Chinese opponents.

    Yu came out strong, taking the first game. The two traded points in the second but it was the Japanese player who would level it at one game apiece.

    The third-seeded Ito carried that momentum through to the third and fourth games and Yu was staring at a 1-3 deficit.

    In her semi-finals match earlier in the day against Chinese top seed Chen Meng, Yu needed prolonged treatment on her left thigh towards the end of her straight-games defeat.

    Yu showed little sign of any discomfort in the evening match but was simply unable to match the guile of her 20-year-old opponent, who dazzled with her shot-making.

    READ ALSO
    Table tennis: Singapore's Yu Mengyu beaten by China’s world number 1 Chen Meng, will compete for Olympics bronze
    Ito would take the deciding game 11-6 for an overall 4-1 victory.

    Ito's bronze medal adds to the gold she won on Monday when she and partner Jun Mizutani stunned the Chinese pair of Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen in the mixed doubles, an event played for the first time at the Olympics.

    Yu will next compete in the women's team event on Monday, when Singapore plays France in the round of 16. CNA
     
  11. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    'It's hard to swallow': Joseph Schooling disappointed by butterfly performance at Olympics, vows to fight harder
    'It's hard to swallow': Joseph Schooling disappointed by butterfly performance at Olympics, vows to fight harder - TODAY (todayonline.com)


    Published JULY 29, 2021
    Updated JULY 30, 2021




    upload_2021-7-30_11-1-44.jpeg
    Joseph Schooling competes in a heat for the men's 100m butterfly swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on July 29, 2021.

    TOKYO — Olympic champion Joseph Schooling vowed that he will not end his swimming career on a bitter note after failing to qualify for the semi-finals at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday (July 29).

    Schooling finished last in his 100m butterfly heat at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre, clocking a time of 53.12s. The top 16 qualify for the semi-finals of the event. Schooling's time placed him 44th overall out of 55.

    Schooling’s national record stands at 50.39s, which he achieved in the 2016 Rio Olympics. It earned him an Olympic record and a gold medal.

    Speaking to reporters after the race, Schooling said that his timing did not reflect the effort that he and his team had put in.

    "I was excited going out... more excited than the (100m freestyle). It was just go — there wasn't really (anything) negative. The time just didn't reflect everything that we've done this year. And sometimes that's how it is," he said.

    "It's hard to swallow, it's hard to digest, but at the same time... you live to fight another day. And I sure as hell don't want to end it like this, it's just one of those meets."

    Schooling noted that he had much higher expectations for his pet event at the Tokyo Olympics, and had hoped to hit a personal best time.

    "A best time, anything under my record would have been great. But we are definitely way off that," he explained.

    "We've been working our tail off for the last 15 months. So, (I) definitely had bigger expectations for this ... Sometimes it just doesn't work out, sometimes... (you) just have an off week. But that's not an excuse — that's just more fuel for next time."

    Schooling’s compatriot Quah Zheng Wen also missed out on the semi-finals as he timed 52.39s.

    Schooling said: "It's a very disappointing performance overall. But there's always another one, I'm just not going to end it like that." CNA
     
  12. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Despite Covid-19, first-time Singapore Olympians in Tokyo soak up excitement, hold their own, spot celebrities

    By JUSTIN ONG
    Published JULY 29, 2021
    Updated JULY 29, 2021

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    AFP
    Singapore’s Yeo Jia Min in action against Mexico’s Haramara Gaitan in their women’s singles badminton group stage match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza in Tokyo on July 27, 2021.

    Covid-19 changed the way the Games have had to be organised
    Crowds have been banned at the games, and athletes have to stay within the bubble of the Olympic village
    These changes have not fazed the first-time Olympians TODAY spoke to, who have held their own at the Games


    SINGAPORE — Singaporean shuttler Yeo Jia Min had hoped that her family could have shared the excitement as she competed in her maiden Olympic Games in Tokyo.

    “My family and extended relatives were supposed to be at the games,” the 22-year-old said during a phone interview with TODAY from Tokyo. “They bought tickets and everything… I was thinking maybe I could see them at the venue.”

    However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this was not to be as the organisers barred spectators after Japan declared a state of emergency early in July. The Games had already been postponed by one year.

    Yeo arrived in Japan at the start of the month to train at Kochi, 612km south-west of Tokyo. She entered the Olympic village on July 20.

    She said that the village atmosphere was bustling, with athletes allowed to interact with anyone as long as everyone stayed within the village “bubble” and wore a mask except when eating.

    “It’s actually more interaction than I thought would have happened. I thought that maybe we had to stay in the room most of the time.”

    Other first-time Olympians who spoke to TODAY gave a glimpse of life at the Olympic village. Despite crashing out of their events, they vowed to come back stronger.

    STAYING AWAY FROM CROWDS

    Yeo said that a popular meeting point is the 24-hour village dining hall, which serves up a variety of international cuisines. Athletes can take off their masks during meals and talk to each other behind transparent panels dividing each seat.

    However, making friends was not her priority — at least not until her matches were over.

    She opted to eat at a smaller dining hall that served only Japanese cuisine, so that she could stay away from the crowds before the competition to reduce the risk of a coronavirus infection.

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    The 24-hour dining hall at the Olympic village serves up a variety of international cuisines. Photo: Clarence Chew

    Athletes have to take a Covid-19 saliva test every morning. If positive, they will be kicked out of the competition and put in isolation.

    Yeo, who did some extra last-minute training in Tokyo, said that she had grown increasingly “excited and nervous” as she watched matches that had taken place before hers.

    In her first match on Tuesday (July 27), Yeo, ranked 30th in the world, defeated her Mexican opponent Haramara Gaitan in straight sets.

    Then, on Wednesday she was up against South Korea’s Kim Ga-eun. Yeo put up a valiant fight but lost 21-13, 21-14 to the 18th ranked player, thus crashing out of the competition.

    Yeo is using her first Olympics outing to gain valuable lessons. In her second match, she allowed her opponent too many chances to counter-attack, she said.

    Her goal? Two more Olympics, in Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028, where she will be 25 and 29 years old respectively.

    NOTHING TO LOSE

    Singapore fencer Kiria Tikanah Abdul Rahman said that the atmosphere at the Olympic village was “festive” when she arrived on July 18.

    The 21-year-old said that athletes were allowed to mingle, but with masks on at all times and staying 1m apart.

    Like the other Team Singapore athletes, she stayed in apartments that can house up to eight people, all fellow Singaporeans.

    She also debunked the rumours that the athletes sleep on hard, flimsy beds designed to discourage sex.

    “It’s been one of the major talking points, but (the bed) is more comfortable and sturdier than I expected,” she said.

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    Singapore's Kiria Tikanah Abdul Rahman (right) competes against Romania's Ana Maria Popescu in the women's individual epee qualifying bout at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on July 24, 2021. Photo: AFP

    Kiria recounted her experiences over the phone from a hotel in Singapore, where she is serving her 14-day stay-home-notice after returning on Monday.

    For her first match, Kiria, who is ranked 207th in the world, faced Hong Kong’s Coco Lin, who is 90th.

    “The first match I was really very nervous… I was new to the atmosphere and didn’t know how I would adapt,” she said. However, after winning the first few points, Kiria managed to calm her nerves and romped to a 15-11 upset victory.

    She said that she felt calmer for her second match in the round of 32, although she was up against world number one Ana Maria Popescu from Romania.

    “I think the confidence came from knowing I had nothing to lose,” she said. “(Popescu) is the top seed in the competition, so it was more of her match to lose and not mine to win.”

    Her performance wowed viewers at home, who were hungry for an upset, when she went within one point of the clear favourite as the match neared its end.

    Kiria said that the moment got her “excited”, but her adversary’s vast experience, competing in her fifth Olympics, sealed the deal and Kiria eventually lost 15-10. Propescu went on to take the silver medal.

    “Everyone was very supportive. They were telling me they were very proud of me. I was so close to beating the world champion and giving her a lot of stress,” she said.

    “But I felt that I could have done a lot better towards the end, so I am a bit disappointed.”

    Her family had long mused about watching her compete if she qualified.

    “I'm sure they were really looking forward to seeing me compete in Tokyo, but unfortunately, the current situation did not allow for it to happen,” Kiria said.

    ‘POSITIVITY AND CONFIDENCE’ FROM DEFEAT

    Like Kiria, Singapore paddler Clarence Chew entered the Olympics with nothing to lose, being ranked 186th in the world.

    “My opponents are all higher-ranked, so I went into each match having no pressure and tried to just play aggressively,” the 25-year-old said. This approach paid dividends in the first match against Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw, 71st in the world. Chew beat him 4-2.

    In the second round, he was again the heavy underdog, facing world number 44 Daniel Habersohn from Austria. It did not take long for his more experienced opponent to take the first three games of the match.

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    Singapore's Clarence Chew pumps his first during a match against Senegal's Ibrahima Diaw at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on July 24, 2021. Photo: Kong Chong Yew/Singapore

    Although Chew comfortably took the fourth game and led by 6-3 in the fifth, Habersohn came back to take that game and win the match with a scoreline of 4-1.

    Chew said: “I could also see what I was lacking compared to the higher-ranked opponents, and I take a lot of positivity and confidence from this Olympics outing.”

    With his matches completed, Chew may now soak up the atmosphere at the Olympic village and perhaps interact with more of his competitors-turned-friends.

    He has also spotted international sports stars such as 20-time tennis grand slam champion Novak Djokovic and Slovenian basketball star Luka Doncic.

    Chew said that there are facilities such as a merchandise stall, convenience store and even a recreational centre with games such as darts and table tennis.

    He said that the athletes did not receive any free condoms, which had been a common practice at previous Olympics.

    “Maybe the idea will be to distribute it to us when we leave the village to prevent it from being used beforehand,” he said with a chuckle.

    OVER AT THE SAILING VILLAGE

    Competition is still ahead for Singapore’s four sailors, who are staying at the sailing village at Enoshima beside the Sagamai Bay, 70km outside Tokyo.

    They are allowed to mingle with the athletes within the building, but with masks on at all times except when dining.

    For national sailor Kimberly Lim, 25, the atmosphere at the village was just as she expected.

    “Everyone is together, but it is not very hyped-up,” she said.

    The athletes need to take saliva samples every morning and monitor their health status daily, and the regulations are “very strict”, Lim added.

    She has partnered with Cecilia Low, 29, to compete in the Women's 49er FX.

    They are ranked 16th of 21 after six races, and will be heading into their six remaining races over the next few days, with the final race scheduled for Saturday.

    For the duo, the lack of crowds is already a given in their sport, which takes place on the open sea.

    “It's no difference for us, as sailors usually don't get spectators,” Low said. “We are just glad that the Olympic Games are happening.”

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    All athletes at the Olympic Games will receive freebies including a Samsung phone and bluetooth earphones. Photo: Clarence Chew
    Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapo...y 30, 2021 (ACTIVE)_newsletter_30072021_today
     
  13. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Yu Mengyu: Meet Team Singapore’s Table Tennis Star
    Yu Mengyu: Meet Team Singapore’s Table Tennis Star | Tatler Hong Kong (asiatatler.com)

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    Yu Mengyu of Team Singapore reacts during her Women's Singles Quarterfinals table tennis match. (Photo: Getty Images)
    By Camillia DassJuly 29, 2021

    Yu Mengyu may win Singapore's first Olympic medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Here's everything you need to know about her
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    Yu Mengyu's name has been trending after the Team Singapore Tokyo 2020 Olympics star qualified for the semi-finals of the women’s singles table tennis event after beating Kasumi Ishikawa 4-1 on July 28.

    See also: Tokyo Olympics 2020: 23 Singaporean Athletes To Watch

    In fact, the athlete is very close to getting an Olympic medal in the women's singles competition. Yu will be battling it out against China's best paddler, Chen Meng in the semi-finals on July 29.

    However, despite the incredible national pride she is bringing and has brought over the many years that she has been competing for Team Singapore, little is known about Yu.

    Keep reading to find out more about Singapore's latest up and coming Olympic Games star.

    See also: Tokyo Olympics 2020: 15 Female Asian Athletes You Should Know

    1/5She was born in Liaoning, China
    Did you know that Yu was born in Liaoning, China? The table tennis star was born on August 18, 1989; she made the decision to leave China for Singapore at 17 years old back in 2006.

    She then joined the Singapore Table Tennis Association where she has been making Team Singapore proud.

    See also: Tokyo Olympics 2020: 10 Best Moments From The Opening Ceremony

    2/5This is Yu's second Olympics
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    If you watch Yu play, you will easily be able to tell that this is not her first rodeo. True enough, Yu has actually participated in two Olympic Games including the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

    Yu's Olympic debut was in 2016 when she participated in the Rio Games where she performed well. Unfortunately, she ultimately lost to Kim Song-i of North Korea.

    3/5Yu once ranked ninth in the world
    Yu is currently ranked 47th in the world but did you know that at one point, the athlete was ranked ninth in the world?

    She made the ranking in March 2010 and it has been the best ranking in her career so far.

    4/5She is a highly decorated athlete
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    Besides being an Olympian, Yu has also earned bronzes at the 2014 Asian Cup and 2018 Asian Games.

    She also managed to earn a gold medal at the 2013 SEA Games in addition to multiple other smaller scale awards at sporting competitions.

    See also: Tokyo Olympics 2020: Hong Kong Athletes You Should Know

    5/5She consistently battles spinal and shoulder injuries
    Yu is incredible at her sport and consistently impresses the world with her talent. However, probably the most impressive thing about her is her resilience. For many years, Yu has battled debilitating spinal and shoulder injuries.

    It got so bad that she once admitted that she could not get out of bed for a month in 2014. In fact, she only made it through the Rio Olympics with injections and PRP (platelet-rich plasma) treatments. She also had a shoulder injury on a labrum that was completely torn for over a year.

    Yet, despite these challenges, Yu's love for the sport and perseverance keeps her competing and excelling.
     
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  14. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Why can’t Singapore’s sole Olympics Gold medalist be granted further deferment or full exemption of NS?
    by The Online Citizen
    06/08/2021

    [​IMG]


    Earlier on Tuesday (3 Aug), TODAY published a commentary piece penned by former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Eugene Tan Kheng Boon which called into question young Olympian Joseph Schooling’s long-term National Service (NS) deferment.

    In his piece, Mr Tan, an Associate Professor of Law at Singapore Management University and was a team manager of Singapore’s 2004 Athens Olympics national swim team, noted that Schooling has been on long-term NS deferment since 2014.

    He added that Schooling also receives a stipend of at least S$8,400 monthly by being in the top band of SportSG’s spexScholarship programme.

    Long-term NS deferment has only been granted to three sportsmen in the last two decades — Schooling, swimmer Quah Zheng Wen, and sailor Maximilian Soh — on account of their “world-class sporting prowess” and potential to perform well on the world stage, said Mr Tan.

    backlash from many netizens, as they believe that Schooling “has done more national service” than everyone else by serving the nation in the Olympics.

    Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary did not serve NS because he spent 10 years “saving kids”
    It is noteworthy that Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary did not serve NS, which had inevitably sparked criticisms of him not dedicating two years of his life to serving the nation, as most Singapore male citizens are required to do by law.

    This was unveiled in April 2011 when the politician responded to a question posed to him on his Facebook page that compared him with Chen Show Mao, a Taiwan-born new candidate of the Workers’ Party at the time, who volunteered to serve NS before he became a Singapore citizen in 1986.

    He was quoted saying: “I did not do NS, Mr Chen did, those are the facts, yes.”

    As for the criticisms that he did not serve for NS, Dr Puthucheary argued that he has been in the public service as a pediatrician and spent the last 10 years “saving kids’ lives”.

    This led to further outrage as critics saw his answer as equating what he does as a profession to what Singaporeans do as an act of patriotism, besides the fact that as a pediatrician he was paid more than the average national servicemen (NSFs).

    Dr Patrick Tan, son of former President Tony Tan, was granted 12 years of NS deferment to obtain medical degree
    What’s more, former President of Singapore Tony Tan’s son, Dr Patrick Tan Boon Ooi, was even granted a 12-year long deferment to complete his premedical course from 1988 to 1992.

    He was re-enlisted in 2000 and was deployed to the Defense Medical Research Institute (DMRI), having obtained both his medical degree and PhD degrees. Dr Tan had not undergone the conversion course for medical officers because MINDEF believed that there was no need for it as he was deployed to DMRI.

    Responding to parliamentary questions posed by MP Lim Wee Kiak in October 2011, Dr Ng clarified that Dr Tan did not receive “any preferential treatment” and was treated according to prevailing policies.

    He explained that since 1973, MINDEF has allowed NSFs to disrupt from medical studies in Singapore due to the country’s need for military doctors to serve in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

    Dr Ng further said that the disruption policy for medical studies was extended to allow NSFs to study medicine overseas in 1981 because the number of local graduates was insufficient.

    Disruption for overseas medical studies was no longer allowed in 1992 as the number of local medical graduates met SAF’s needs, said the Minister.

    “In summary, for disruption, Dr Patrick Tan was disrupted in accordance with prevailing policy to obtain his medical degree. A longer period was granted to those who were admitted to US medical schools,” he remarked.

    Dr Ng added that disruption for overseas medical studies has been discontinued since 1992, and that disruption or deferment for PhD studies has not been allowed since 1999.

    “I want to assure all Singaporeans that equity of treatment for National Service has been and must remain a cardinal principle,” he noted.

    What about Joseph Schooling, Singapore’s sole Olympic Gold medalist?
    Given these two exceptional cases of Singapore male citizens not serving NS and not being an issue to MINDEF, one question looms large, why can’t Olympian Schooling be granted an extension of his NS deferment, or a full exemption from NS even?

    Mr Tan called into question whether there is a “strong merit” in extending Schooling’s long-term NS deferment, when it is known that the 26-year-old athlete is the sole Olympic Gold medalist since Singapore’s independence.

    Not to mention that Schooling’s journey to the Olympics was mainly funded by his parents, who have spent more than a million to nurture him to be the athlete he is today.

    Schooling’s uncle, who goes by Max Le Blond on Facebook, has known him since he was a toddler and recalled Schooling left to the United States (US) when he was in Secondary 1 or 2.

    He pointed out that his nephew’s travel, school fees, and accommodation were all paid for by his parents, not the state. The school, he noted, was an expensive one that combined “academics and sporting excellence in swimming”.

    Beyond that, Schooling’s parents also footed the bill for specialist coaches, trips to various competitions, and more, according to his uncle.

    Mr Le Blond explained, “Because of the taxation regime in the US, his parents had to give up their normal lives so that one of them at a time could be with him when needed in his early years in the US.”

    “Those very expensive necessities were not paid for by ‘state money’ but by his parents,” he added, noting the sacrifices the young athlete’s parents made, both in business and financially, as there was little to no state money “for many many years”.

    It was when young Schooling started to make his presence felt at US swimming circuits, receiving a scholarship from the University of Texas, and beating other great US swimmers that the Singapore state began to notice him, Mr Le Blond explained.

    When Schooling started to make headway at the international level, the “Ebenezer Scrooge-like grip on the ‘state moneybag’ started to loosen just a little”, he added.

    In fact, it is noteworthy that back in 2017, Schooling’s mother, May Yin, had already dismissed the possibility of the Government fully funding her son’s education and training.

    In an interview with The Straits Times executive editor Sumiko Tan at the time, May said:

    “I was told, ‘Why you so stupid? If Singapore wants your son to swim for them, they should pay.’ I said, ‘Tan ku ku‘ (a Hokkien phrase for “it won’t happen”).

    “That’s why I keep telling everybody, if you feel your son or daughter has it, it’s up to you whether you want to support them. If you’re going to wait for people, don’t do it, okay?”
     
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    Tokyo 2020 Games: Get To Know Our Para-Athletes And Their Coaches (wonderwall.sg)
    Tokyo 2020 Games: Get To Know Our Para-Athletes And Their Coaches

    STORY: Nicholas Yong
    25 August 2021

    [​IMG]
    Our 10 Team SG hopefuls representing our Little Red Dot in archery, athletics, cycling, equestrian, power lifting and swimming. | PHOTOS: SPORT SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE DISABILITY SPORTS COUNCIL, SINGAPORE NATIONAL PARALYMPIC COUNCIL AND ATHLETES' OWN

    The Paralympic Games represent the pinnacle of sporting events for athletes with physical and intellectual disabilities, and usually happen immediately after the Olympics.

    This year’s affair kicked off yesterday (24 Aug) and will see 4,403 athletes from around the world competing in 22 sports and 23 disciplines until 5 Sep 2021.

    Here, our 10 Team SG representatives and their coaches who've been with them through blood, sweat and tears:

    [​IMG]
    Archer Nur Syahidah Binte Alim (left) and coach Pang Qing Liang. | PHOTOS: SPORT SINGAPORE (SYAHIDAH) AND SINGAPORE DISABILITY SPORTS COUNCIL
    [​IMG]
    Aiming for gold, always. | PHOTO: ATHLETE'S OWN
    ARCHERY
    Nur Syahidah Binte Alim
    Women's Individual Compound Open

    Syahidah is the first female archer to represent Singapore, winning two gold medals at her first event – the 8th ASEAN Para Games. The 36-year-old who was born with diplegia (a type of cerebral palsy which affects the lower limbs) is also Singapore’s first-ever world champion archer, winning the World Archery Para Championships in the Netherlands.

    Personal best:
    • Current World No. 2 Para Archer
    • 2020 Fazza Para Archery World Ranking Tournament, Gold
    • 2019 Asian Para Archery Championships, Gold
    • 2019 World Para World Archery Championships, Gold
    • 2018 Asian Para Games, 5th
    • 2017 ASEAN Para Games, Gold
    • 2016 Paralympic Games, 7th
    Coach:
    • Pang Qing Liang: Started coaching Syahidah in February 2019 and led her to a first championship in two years. The former national archer coached her to a National Record score during a world ranking competition.
    [​IMG]
    Shot-putter and flag-bearer Muhammad Diroy Bin Noordin (left) and coach Muhamad Hosni Bin Muhamad. | PHOTOS: SINGAPORE NATIONAL PARALYMPIC COUNCIL (DIROY) AND SINGAPORE DISABILITY SPORTS COUNCIL
    ATHLETICS
    Muhammad Diroy Bin Noordin
    Men's Shot Put - F40

    Taking up shot put and field javelin in 2013, Muhammad Diroy won gold when he made his international debut at the 2016 China Open Athletics Championships. The 29-year-old who was born with a condition called short stature has represented Singapore at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships, and 2017 ASEAN Para Games.

    Diroy is Team Singapore's flag bearer at the Tokyo Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony.

    Personal best
    • 2019 World Para Athletics Grand Prix Tunisia, Silver
    • 2018 China Open Athletics Championships, Gold
    • 2018 Asian Para Games, 4th
    • 2017 ASEAN Para Games, Silver
    • 2017 World Para Athletics Championships London, 6th
    • 2016 Paralympic Games, 9th
    Coach:
    • Muhamad Hosni Bin Muhamad: Hosni began coaching para-athletes in 2014, leading Suhairi Suhani to 8th for the long jump at the 2016 Paralympics. From 2017, he took Diroy under his wing, leading him to a 6th place finish at the World Para Athletics Championship 2019.
    [​IMG]
    (From left) Cyclists Ang Kee Meng (pilot) and Steve Tee, and coach Athena Han. | PHOTOS: SINGAPORE DISABILITY SPORTS COUNCIL
    [​IMG]
    The duo in competition mode. | PHOTO: SPORT SINGAPORE
    CYCLING
    Steve Tee Wee Leong
    Competition Partner: Ang Kee Meng
    Road event: Men's B Time Trial
    Track events: Men's B 1000m Time Trial and Men’s B 4000m Individual Pursuit


    Steve Tee together with former national cyclist Ang Kee Meng will be the first male tandem cycling pair to represent Singapore at the Paralympics. It's incredible to think that Steve, who was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa in 2004, only picked up cycling in January 2017.

    In 2015, Steve captained Singapore's five-a-side football team for the visually impaired at the ASEAN Para Games.

    Personal best:
    • 9th Para Asian Track Championships 2020, Bronze (IP)
    • 8th Para Asian Track Championships 2019, Bronze (IP)
    • 2018 Asian Games, 7th (IP)
    • 2017 ASEAN Para Games, Bronze (TT)
    Coach:
    • Athena Han I-Chia: She oversees training needs for vision-impaired athletes and physically impaired bicyclists, combining the training programme with her sport science expertise. She has led Steve and Kee Meng to multiple medals.
    [​IMG]
    (From left) Equestrians Gemma Foo (with Gambler), Maximillian Tan, and Laurentia Tan with Fuerst Sherlock. | PHOTOS: ATHLETES’ OWN
     
  16. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    EQUESTRIAN
    Gemma Rose Foo Jen
    Competing with: Gambler (aged 10). Typically competes with Cassis Royal.

    Individual Test - Grade I
    Individual Freestyle Test - Grade I
    Team Test to Music


    Gemma Foo first represented Singapore at the Taiwan 2010 Hope Cup. She started riding at the age of 8 as hippotherapy for cerebral palsy at Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) Singapore.

    Gemma was part of the first Asian ParaEquestrian team to compete at the 2012 London Paralympics.

    Personal best:
    • 2021 CPEDI3* München-Riem: Freestyle to Music Test Grade I, 3rd
    • 2021 CPEDI3* Grote-Brogel: Freestyle to Music Test Grade I, 4th
    • 2016 Paralympic Games: Team Test Grade 1a, 9th


    Tan Chern Maximillian
    Competing with: Don’s Day Dream (aged 20)

    Individual Test - Grade II
    Individual Freestyle Test - Grade II
    Team Test to Music


    Max Tan represented Singapore at international sailing competitions before moving to competitive riding at age 18. He started therapeutic riding at RDA Singapore for cerebral palsy from the age of 7.

    Max competed at the 2012 London Paralympics and 2016 Rio Paralympics.

    Personal best:
    • 2021 CPEDI3* Grote-Brogel: Freestyle to Music Test Grade II, 3rd
    • 2016 Paralympic Games: Team Test Grade 2, 10th


    Laurentia Tan Yen-Yi
    In Tokyo, competing with: Banestro (aged 10). Typically competes with Fuerst Sherlock and Banestro.

    Individual Test - Grade I
    Individual Freestyle Test - Grade I
    Team Test to Music


    Laurentia Tan is the first Asian woman to win a medal in equestrian sport at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, and the only medallist at the London 2012 Paralympics. One of the best in the sport, Laurentia was born with cerebral palsy and profound deafness, which led her to take up horse riding as a form of physiotherapy.

    She was conferred the Pingat Bakti Masyarakat in 2008 and the Bintang Bakti Masyarakat in 2012 for her achievements.

    Personal best:
    • 2021 CPEDI3* Grote-Brogel: Individual Championship Test Grade I, 1st
    • 2021 CPEDI3* Grote-Brogel: Freestyle to Music Test Grade I, 1st
    • 2018 World Equestrian Games: Individual Championship Test Grade I, Silver
    • 2014 World Equestrian Games: Individual Championship Test Grade 1a, Bronze
    • 2012 Paralympic Games: Individual Freestyle Test Grade 1a, Silver
    • 2012 Paralympic Games: Individual Championship Test Grade 1a, Bronze
    • 2010 World Equestrian Games (Kentucky, USA) – 5th
    • 2008 Paralympic Games: Individual Freestyle Test Grade 1a, Bronze

    [​IMG]
    Equestrian coach Jörg Alexander Volker Roger Eubel. | PHOTO: EQUESTRIAN FEDERATION


    Coach:
    • Jorg Alexander Volker Roger Eubel: The “horse whisperer”, according to Laurentia, Volker has been working with her since 2008. His aim is to find the best combination of horse and rider. He owns a dressage training stable and is a judge up to Grand Prix level.



    [​IMG]
    Nur Aini (left) and coach Muhammad Abdul Razak Bin Mansor. | PHOTOS: SINGAPORE NATIONAL PARALYMPIC COUNCIL (AINI) AND SINGAPORE DISABILITY SPORTS COUNCIL



    POWERLIFTING
    Nur ’Aini Binte Mohamad Yasli
    Women's - 45 kg

    Nur ’Aini was approached by Team Singapore Powerlifter Kalai Vanen to take part in the sport, and she competed at the 9th ASEAN Para Games 2017. Diagnosed with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, the 29-year-old para-powerlifter won the bronze medal at 11th Fazza Dubai Para Powerlifting World Cup, lifting 81kg.

    Personal best:
    • 11th Fazza Dubai 2021 World Para Powerlifting World Cup, Women's U45Kg, Bronze
    • 10th Fazza Dubai 2019 World Para Powerlifting World Cup, Women's U45Kg, 5th
    • 2018 Asian Para Games, Women's U45Kg, 4th
    Coach:
    • Muhammad Abdul Razak Bin Mansor: In 2018, he guided Kalai Vanen and Nur 'Aini to qualify for the Asian Para Games 2018 and the World Para Powerlifting Championships 2019. He was key to helping Aini improve her personal best by 16kg to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics.



    [​IMG]
    (From left) Swimmers Yip Pin Xiu, Toh Wei Soong and Sophie Soon. | PHOTOS: SPORT SINGAPORE (PIN XIU) AND ATHLETES’ OWN


    SWIMMING
    Yip Pin Xiu
    Women’s 50m Backstroke - S2
    Women’s 100m Backstroke - S2


    Yip Pin Xiu is one of the best Paralympic swimmers in the world, Singapore's first Paralympic gold medallist, and current world record holder of the Women's 50m and 100m Backstroke S2 events. The champion swimmer born with Charcot-Marie Tooth (an inherited neuromuscular condition) is looking to defend her gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

    Personal best:
    • Current World Record Holder for 50m Backstroke S2 and 100m Backstroke S2
    • 2019 World Para Swimming Championships, Gold (Women’s 50m Backstroke S2)
    • 2019 World Para Swimming Championships, Gold (Women’s 100m Backstroke S2)
    • 2016 Paralympic Games, Gold (Women’s 50m Backstroke S2)
    • 2016 Paralympic Games, Gold (Women’s 100m Backstroke S2)
    • 2008 Paralympic Games, Gold (Women’s 50m Backstroke S3)
    • 2008 Paralympic Games, Silver (Women's 50m Freestyle S3)


    Toh Wei Soong
    Men's 50m Freestyle - S7
    Men's 50m Butterfly - S7
    Men's 400m Freestyle - S7


    Toh Wei Soong picked up swimming at 6 as a form of therapy, and later fell in love with being in water. Diagnosed with transverse myelitis (a disorder caused by the inflammation of the spinal cord), Wei Soong was the first para-athlete to win a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and won gold at the Singapore 2019 World Para Swimming World Series in the 100m Freestyle.

    Personal best:
    • 2019 World Para Swimming Championships, Top 8 (Men’s 50m Butterfly S7)
    • 2019 World Para Swimming Championships, Top 8 (Men’s 50m Freestyle S7)
    • 2019 World Para Swimming Championships, Top 8 (Men’s 50m Butterfly S7)
    • 2018 Commonwealth Games, BRONZE (Men’s 50m Freestyle S7)
    • 2018 Asian Para Games, Gold (Men’s 50m Freestyle S7)
    • 2018 Asian Para Games, Gold (Men’s 100m Freestyle S7)
    • 2017 ASEAN Para Games, Gold (Men’s 50m Freestyle S7)
    • 2017 ASEAN Para Games, Gold (Men’s 100m Freestyle S7)


    Sophie Soon Jin Wen
    Women's 100m Breaststroke - SB12
    Women's 100m Butterfly - S13


    Sophie Soon won three gold medals at 2015 SPH National Para-Swimming Championships and represented Singapore at the 2015 ASEAN Para Games. This is her first Paralympics for Sophie, who was diagnosed with cone-rod dystrophy (a rare eye disorder).

    She is also a Grade 8 violinist and performed with The Sam Willows at the 2014 President’s Star Charity Show.

    Personal best:
    • 2018 Asian Para Games, Top 8 (Women 100m Breaststroke SB12)
    • 2019 World Para Swimming Championships, Top 8 (Women 100m Breaststroke SB12)

    [​IMG]
    (From left) Coaches Ang Peng Siong, Mark Chay (with Pin Xiu) and Roland Tan. | PHOTOS: SINGAPORE DISABILITY SPORTS COUNCIL (ANG PENG SIONG AND ROLAND TAN) AND SPORTS NEWS AGENCY (MARK CHAY)


    Coaches:
    • Ang Peng Siong: One of Singapore’s greatest athletes, the two-time Olympian was once the world number 1 in the 50m freestyle and has eight SEA Games golds from 1983 to 1993.
    • Michael Massey: Many see this coach as the reason for Singapore’s three medals at the Rio Paralympics won by Yip Pin Xiu and Theresa Goh, ending the latter’s 17-year wait for a medal.
    • Mark Chay Jung Jun: He has competed in five SEA Games, two Asian Games, two Commonwealth Games, and two Olympics. The former national swimmer led Yip Pin Xiu to victory at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships.
    • Tan Joo Seng Roland: One of Singapore’s key para swimming coaches, Roland has helped to develop multiple para-athletes to qualify for major events.
     
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    Singapore sports must learn lessons from Schooling's decline

    By IAN DE COTTA
    Published JULY 31, 2021
    Updated AUGUST 01, 2021


    [​IMG]
    AFP
    It is evident that a good part of Schooling’s paltry performance in Tokyo was self-inflicted, says the author.

    Just after 9.10 am on Aug 12, 2016, Singapore erupted in jubilation as Joseph Schooling touched the pool wall first in record time in the 100m butterfly race at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

    It was a spectacular and unprecedented gold medal for the Lion City, made sweeter as he finished ahead of multiple world and Olympic champion Michael Phelps, as well as South Africa’s Chad Le Clos and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, who all tied for second.

    On Thursday (July 29), in Tokyo, Schooling’s defence of his Olympic title failed. It was just as spectacular as he was bundled out in the heat.

    No Olympic swim gold medallist in recent memory has not managed to get past the preliminaries.

    To add salt to injury, he finished the race last.

    Even Anthony Nesty, who won Suriname’s first gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympiad in the same fly event, reached the final of the next Games in Barcelona and bagged a bronze medal.

    His defeat however did not really come as a surprise.

    Chatting with fellow veteran journalists more than a year ago, we didn’t think he could win again.

    That assessment came after he showed up at the 2019 SEA Games overweight. It also came as swimmers such as Caeleb Dressel were posting better times in the 100m fly.

    Without a doubt, Schooling did Singapore proud at Rio de Janeiro. It was historic for a Singaporean, native or naturalised.

    He opened the door to possibilities for Singapore sportsmen and women. But the way forward now is to learn from Schooling how he achieved his Brazilian feat.

    READ ALSO
    'It's hard to swallow': Joseph Schooling disappointed by butterfly performance at Olympics, vows to fight harder

    More crucially, Singapore sports must also learn why he was unable to repeat it in Tokyo or at other competitions on the world stage.

    Money to train doesn’t seem to be the issue. As an Olympic Champion, he is in the top band of Sport Singapore’s (SportSG) spexScholarship programme that pays him a stipend of at least S$8,400 a month. Since Brazil he has also snagged a slew of sponsorship backings.

    But is this enough? While such figures are never made public, news reports have offered estimates.

    An ABC news report in 2012 suggested that Missy Franklin, then 17, would spend upward of US$100,000 on swimming-related expenses for that year alone.

    She won five gold medals at the London Olympics that year.

    Schooling’s parents have already spent upwards of S$1 million to prepare for Brazil, and it would be too much to ask more of them as it had drained their resources substantially.

    So, what led to the Tokyo debacle?

    He admitted to the Sunday Times in February 2020 that he felt out of love with swimming after Brazil, and “did not want to get into the pool and just wanted to have fun”.

    It led to his leaving University of Texas in Austin after completing his undergraduate degree, when his student visa also expired.

    Schooling returned to Singapore in June 2018.

    He trained in Singapore, but his decline was already well under way. It showed when he failed to qualify for the 100m fly semi-finals at the World Championships in South Korea the following month.

    By the time of the 2019 SEA Games, Schooling was carrying at least 5kg extra weight. With help from the Singapore Sport Institute, he managed to shed some kilograms off, but it was too late.

    There may have been other factors that may have affected his preparations for Tokyo. It was recently reported that his father, Colin, is getting treatment for liver cancer.

    Although Schooling told The Straits Times after his Tokyo loss that his father’s illness had no bearing on his performance, he described the cancer experience of his father as “like a movie…so surreal”.

    Still, it is evident that a good part of Schooling’s paltry performance in Tokyo was self-inflicted.

    When he made the decision to head back to the United States in early 2020 and trained under long-time coach Sergio Lopez at Virginia Tech, the work to get back to fitness was already a mountain too high to climb.

    While he had slowed down, Dressel was swimming faster, so did other potential rivals. The gap was just too big to bridge.

    While in Singapore, Schooling was also no longer in an ecosystem that had moulded and honed him for Brazil. It was what Dressel has, and Phelps had.

    It keeps them on their toes, with regular competition at the very top level. It is what makes sure they are battle-ready constantly.

    What was also missing in Schooling’s regime is the fabled village that raises world champions. He lost that when he made the decision to return to Singapore on the expiry of his student visa instead of applying for a professional visa to remain and train in the US.

    If there is a trained mentor to motivate him and even crack the whip to remind him of his commitment to swim in Tokyo, his defence of the 100m fly title may have turned out differently. Singapore just doesn’t have this at the moment for world champions.

    This and an efficient ecosystem need massive funding. Perhaps going forward, these are what SportSG and Singapore Inc ought to put more thought into if we are to raise another Joseph Schooling.

    The 2016 Olympic champion’s failure in Tokyo is not a total loss. It offers lessons and none other than Schooling can offer insights into his achievements and shortcomings.

    Learning from failures, after all, beats a path to success.



    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Ian De Cotta, a former senior sports correspondent with TODAY, is a media consultant.
    Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/comment...-sports-must-learn-lessons-schoolings-decline
     

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