Singapore Sports Scene

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

  1. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Dear Joe: An open letter to Joseph Schooling
    [​IMG]
    Rohit Brijnath
    Assistant Sports Editor
    [​IMG]
    Singaporeans have been fair and supportive since Joseph Schooling admitted to consuming cannabis overseas. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

    PUBLISHED
    SEP 3, 2022, 7:59 PM SGT


    Hey Joe,

    Been a hell of a week, hasn't it?

    We're all suffering from post-cannabis fatigue, but bear with me for a few minutes.

    I have spent 36 years of my life watching athletes and how societies react to them. My favourite is the phone call from the late King Hassan II of Morocco to the legendary 1,500m runner, Hicham El Guerrouj. At the 1996 Olympics, El Guerrouj tripped, fell and wept and then was told on the phone by his king: "Don't cry my son. One day you will win the Olympic title. You are a champion in the eyes of the Moroccan people."

    This week I was struck by the reaction of Singaporeans to your misstep. Most have been fair and supportive. They may have shaken their heads but they haven't abandoned their champion.

    I thought for a while about reputation and character, how one is earned and the other forged. Both are valuable and at the end, often, it's all we have left. You have fine qualities, we know that, because some of them took you to Olympic gold. You built something meaningful and lasting and no one will forget. But that was at 21 and now you're 27 and all of us are constantly being measured in life, in our own individual arenas and outside, in what we do and who we are.

    We can't walk in your shoes but this much we know: No one is untouchable, however adored they might be. You can see it in what's happening with Phil Mickelson. One thoughtless statement about the Saudis - "They're scary ****** to get involved with" - and the US PGA Tour and everything began to unravel. Momentum in such things is hard to stop.

    Most blemishes, like yours, recede with time. Even Tiger Woods' cracked pedestal is under re-construction. As a species we're paradoxical, unendingly cruel on social media and yet ready to grant amnesty. People pardon mistakes but they're, rightly, impatient with repeat offenders. They want people to be better and you, a great swimmer, know about that.

    You are not everyone else, you need to remember that. You are loved differently and paid differently and judged differently. Ministers shake your hand, people interrupt your lunch for wefies, schools want you to speak to kids. When it gets annoying, just ask yourself if you would prefer anonymity?

    The smartest athletes, I've always found, surround themselves with honest people. Not bandwagon-climbers but reliable advisers. People who aren't interested in being your echo chamber but in candid conversation. Who can bring you down to earth when your conceit inflates.

    Rafael Nadal put it perfectly in 2009 when he told the Guardian: "It's important to have people around you with enough confidence to say if you are not acting in a good way. Normally, when you are at the top, people say everything is fantastic. Probably in that moment it is what you want to hear, but it's best to be reminded how to act properly."

    People around you might be well-meaning but still some might say, "Do this, it's OK, nobody will find out, it's no big deal" but, first, it is a big deal. Second, they are not you and will never face the same repercussions you will.

    Third, people do find out. A photo leaked of Michael Phelps and his bong. A private video surfaced of the Finnish prime minister merely dancing. There's no hiding in this intrusive world, you should know that.

    MORE ON THIS TOPIC
    Inside story: The smoking gun that triggered Joseph Schooling's drug confession
    Schooling admits to taking cannabis: A look back at his journey from kid to swim king

    Fourth, I feel for Amanda Lim who was found with the weed grinder because everyone is equally responsible. There's no blame here to be handed out except to the person in the mirror. We all have to live by our choices.

    Readers have written to me with great empathy about you and I think it's partly because almost all of us understand the nature of setbacks. We've lost jobs, made mistakes, chosen badly, let people down. It's called growing up.

    The setback has a use, for it often propels us in a fresh direction. You know this well because in your line of work setback often translates to defeat. When you lose, you work harder, train smarter, change your coach, alter your diet. You would do then what you need to do now: Reflect.

    Who can make you better as a man? Which direction do you want to go? Do you want to swim competitively or not? Would you like a job and if yes, in which line? This time, when talent frustratingly starts to dry and a strange, new, boring world - for which you have no real skill-set - beckons, can be confronting. And yet you're lucky, you really are.

    These days I find myself looking at news reports on TV of the flooding in Pakistan. I heard an agonising story of a man who couldn't bury a family member because there was no land to dig. There was only water. No one could help that man, but you have a nation ready to assist you. Just ask.

    You've made us think about a lot of things this week. About champions and sainthood, drugs and humanness, errors and preachiness. About why societies elevate athletes and who's there to guide them. We're all trying to learn and so, hopefully, will you.

    Rohit

    MORE ON THIS TOPIC
    SSA to support Schooling and Lim so they 'won't repeat their misstep'
    Schooling, Lim determined to make amends after drug consumption cases: Edwin Tong
     
  2. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    POV: Be realistic in expecting Singapore’s top athletes to be serial world-beaters
    POV: Be realistic in expecting Singapore’s top athletes to be serial world-beaters - TODAY (todayonline.com)
    [​IMG]TODAY file photo
    National shuttler Loh Kean Yew, seen here with the gold medal he won at the Badminton World Championship in December last year, and Joseph Schooling with his gold medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

    [​IMG]
    BY
    JUSTIN ONG
    @JustinOngTODAY
    Published September 16, 2022
    Updated September 16, 2022

    Among Singapore’s sporting successes, two feats stand out.

    One was when national swimmer Joseph Schooling clinched Singapore’s first-ever Olympic gold medal in 2016, and another when national shuttler Loh Kean Yew won Singapore’s first Badminton World Championship gold last year.

    Naturally, with such historic achievements comes expectations from the public that these athletes can replicate their success, and win multiple world titles.

    But the reality so far is that both Schooling and Loh have yet to match their career-defining achievements or even come close since then.

    The latest blow to a Schooling comeback came when he confessed to having consumed cannabis, and had all his sporting privileges revoked by the Singapore Armed Forces.

    READ ALSO
    The Big Read: Pressures and temptations aplenty in sporting world, only a rare few can scale the peak and stay there


    This saga casts a spotlight on the pressures and temptations that elite sportspeople face once they attain success and the harsh reality that these can often lead to a dip in form.

    Veteran athletes that I have spoken to say that having one major world title is already a phenomenal achievement in itself, and staying at the top is far more difficult than reaching there.

    In fact, athletes that manage to stay at the top — examples include Michael Phelps in swimming and Roger Federer in tennis — are rare. The vast majority of sportspeople do not succeed on such a regular basis, if at all.

    So while it is not wrong to hope for our top athletes to continue dominating on the world stage, we have to be realistic and understand the gravity of the task we are asking of them.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think that all sportspeople should train hard and desire to win as many medals as possible.

    However, sports psychologists and athletes themselves have said Singapore’s sports culture falls short of giving our athletes the best shot at achieving replicable success.

    READ ALSO
    Schooling's drug use: Swimming great Ang Peng Siong says it shows 'how vulnerable an athlete can be', as fans express shock


    For one, there simply aren’t enough “world class” athletes here.

    This means the likes of Schooling and Loh often find themselves being the only medal hopes for Singapore at every competition, and the busy competition schedules can tire them out.

    In contrast, more established sporting nations are able to rotate a handful of medal hopefuls, allowing their star athletes to peak at major games.

    Why aren’t there enough world-class athletes here?

    Schooling’s former coach Sergio Lopez said few parents here would dare to pour all their resources into their child’s sporting dreams, as they do not believe sports is a pragmatic career.

    In a nutshell, if we want to see our elite athletes repeat their global successes, we should first think of how to groom more of them, to raise our chances.

    How do we get parents and young athletes to put their resources into sporting excellence? How do we create a competitive sporting ecosystem that can produce multiple world-class talents?

    We must first answer these questions, before we heap untenable pressures on our top athletes by expecting them to be serial world-beaters.
     
  3. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    7 world records in 7 years: Powerlifting fraternity hopes to ride on stellar showings to grow sport further
    [​IMG]Powerlifting Singapore
    Part of the Singapore powerlifting team who competed at the Southeast Asian Cup, sporting the medals they won.

    • Powerlifting athletes in Singapore clinched 26 gold medals at last week's Southeast Asian Cup, its best international showing, despite not getting any funding
    • Powerlifting Singapore, the sport's association in Singapore, said the body has plans to grow the sport's presence locally
    • This includes holding "six to seven" additional meets next year, up from just organising two annual nationals
    • Athletes and referee told TODAY that the sport's achievements are fuelled by the community's passion and willpower
    BY
    LORAINE LEE
    Published September 26, 2022
    Updated September 27, 2022

    SINGAPORE — The local powerlifting scene aims to go from strength to strength after Singapore's best international showing in the sport at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Cup last week, when 48 local competitors bagged 26 gold, seven silver and nine gold medals. They achieved the impressive haul without any outside funding.

    The powerlifting community here hopes the success at the event, where Singapore was named best overall team, will lead to funding from sponsors. They aim to further expand the sport's presence here, just a decade after it first appeared in Singapore, with a busy schedule of domestic competitions.

    Powerlifting Singapore, the sport’s association, which has been recognised by the International Powerlifting Federation since 2012, told TODAY it has big plans next year, including holding six to seven local meets leading up to its annual two nationals.

    The body also hopes to grow a pool of talent involved in its technical team, and is seeking volunteers to be referees.

    Powerlifting athletes and referees told TODAY that they are proud of how the sport has grown since 2012 in numbers and strength — having broken world records seven times since 2015.And for most, the growing number of women lifting weights is a source of pride.

    READ ALSO
    S'pore powerlifter Farhanna Farid breaks own U-52kg world record at Southeast Asian Cup


    Ms Saudi Tan, 42, a strength and fitness coach, recalled how she started powerlifting in 2015, which helped her to reignite her competitive spirit. She was one of the seven women representing Singapore at the SEA Cup last week.

    The former national rugby athlete had to retire from sports when she was unable to commit to rugby training after a career switch. Craving the adrenaline rush of competing in a sport, a friend introduced her to powerlifting.

    “Powerlifting is a sport where you have a lot of flexibility in deciding when you want to train. It’s also a sport where you could do it forever if you wanted to, since there are masters one to masters four to compete in,” she said.

    The International Powerlifting Federation has multiple age categories for competition. Masters one is for those aged 40 to 49, while masters four is for those above 70.

    “I could even compete when I’m 80,” Ms Tan said, laughing.

    Powerlifting is a sport where you have a lot of flexibility in deciding when you want to train. It’s also a sport where you could do it forever if you wanted to...I could even compete when I’m 80.
    Ms Saudi Tan, 42

    When Ms Tan competed in her first competition in 2015, she recalled there were fewer than 20 women participating. Despite the small numbers, Ms Tan said the experience hooked her to the sport.

    READ ALSO
    National powerlifter overcomes fatigue from F&B work, calluses and illness to eye a 7th gold medal in the sport


    “It was intriguing watching these small-sized ladies carrying these heavy weights,” she said.

    “I’m an advocate for women in sports. But not just that, seeing those who are in their 40s being able to excel in a sport is also amazing.” Twelve of the 48 athletes at the SEA Cup representing Singapore were aged 40 and above, including Ms Tan.

    Mr Dylan Soh also joined the sport in 2015, after watching social media posts of feats by powerlifters around the world. While he wanted to be both a lifter and a referee, he found refereeing for powerlifting meets to be an interesting experience.

    “It allows me to live vicariously through our lifters and athletes, and I am a strength and conditioning coach and sport science nerd by profession,” said the 34-year-old, who is the founder and head coach of Peak Training Lab. He is also a strength and conditioning coach at the Singapore Sport Institute.

    Powerlifting may look like the Olympic sport of weightlifting, but it has its own very specific set of rules.

    For example, athletes must bend their knees at a certain angle for it to be counted as a back squat, and referees will give lifters the command to press during a benchpress only when the bar is motionless while lowered to the lifter’s chest. The rules are set in a 37-page handbook used by referees such as Mr Soh.

    READ ALSO
    Getting the private sector to play a bigger role in funding sporting success
     
  4. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Mr Soh, who was the former technical director of Powerlifting Singapore, said that having organised invitationals in Singapore, holding competitions here is motivation for both lifters and organisers in knowing they have the capability to achieve much, and improve more.

    “The number of lifters involved in the sport has grown massively, and so did the weights on the bar increase with the bigger talent pool that we are now seeing,” he said.

    “The passion from old-timers in the sport is contagious, and when you have a bigger pool of passionate people, things can happen.”

    Powerlifting Singapore general secretary Daphne Loo said demand for local competition slots has grown tremendously since the group’s founding in 2012.

    At the first competition in 2012, only 12 athletes signed up. Today, we register 160 competition slots within approximately 40 minutes for our national championships.
    Powerlifting Singapore general secretary Daphne Loo

    “At the first competition in 2012, only 12 athletes signed up. Today, we register 160 competition slots within approximately 40 minutes for our national championships,” she said.

    SEA CUP SUCCESS TESTAMENT TO SPORT'S GROWTH: POWERLIFTING SINGAPORE
    The number of athletes heading for competitions overseas has also increased. Singapore has typically sent between one and three athletes, but boasted 48 competitors at the SEA Cup.

    However, one factor is that the SEA Cup was held in Johor Bahru, Malaysia — this meant costs were much lower than flying to other international games. And as there is no funding, athletes, the technical team and other volunteers have to cover their own costs.

    Ms Tan said that while she spent about S$1,000 to compete at the SEA Cup, including accommodation and transport, this would not cover the cost to take a plane to North America, Europe, Australia or New Zealand, where past competitions have been held.

    Powerlifting Singapore president Clinton Lee said that the SEA Cup was a testament to the sport’s growth, which he hopes will spell increased recognition locally.

    “It wasn’t just the athletes. We had coaches, the technical team, media crew and even medical staff who volunteered to help our athletes during the competition… It was so organised like we are a legitimate national team,” he said.

    “Back when I had first competed overseas, it felt very lonely competing on my own. But now, we have achieved Best Nation, everyone was there to support each other in the community and this is a big breakthrough, proving a point that powerlifting is a sport worthy of support.”

    But what is the secret to Singapore's powerlifting athletes’ international acclaim? They say it's the growing passion and willpower of everyone in the community.

    “Sometimes I wonder what the younger (athletes) are eating because they break junior records left and right,” joked Mr Lee.

    “But really, there is no secret. It’s willpower and just the community’s growth, where standards are constantly rising, you have a growing pool of coaches who are very competitive against each other and access to more information about how to improve yourself in the sport.”

    Mr Lee added that being able to compete overseas and watch international athletes in their element also sparks his competitive spirit to constantly improve.

    WHAT'S NEXT FOR POWERLIFTING?
    Powerlifting Singapore said it hopes increased recognition would mean getting funding from sponsors, allowing them to hold more competitions and send athletes overseas to compete more often on the world stage.

    There has been some confusion over the National Sports Association (NSA) status of Powerlifting Singapore, with the group being unclear of its status.

    In response to TODAY’s queries, national sports governing body Sport Singapore (SportSG) clarified that Powerlifting Singapore is an NSA, because it has been recognised by the sport’s international federation.

    It added, however, that Powerlifting Singapore has not met requirements to receive support from SportSG.

    “Only NSAs that are registered charities and (that) demonstrate the required governance threshold to receive public funding are considered for the various Sport Singapore support schemes and grants,” said SportSG.

    “This includes having a sound multi-year sport plan that is geared towards achieving goals that are aligned to the sporting objectives of Singapore.”

    NSAs that meet SportSG's requirements are able to benefit from the One Team Singapore Fund, which matches funds that NSAs raise themselves.

    This “encourages NSAs to be more resourceful in raising funds and to become more self-reliant in developing their high performance capabilities”.

    While Powerlifting Singapore is not aware of its status and funding requirements, Ms Loo said: “We are also happy to oblige with the paperwork to get that done if it means that we can finally start becoming funded.

    “That being said, we are happy to reopen discussions with Sport Singapore on how we can proceed to cement our NSA status, if they are open to granting it.”

    She said that the association’s priorities lie in “developing the sport and helping our athletes, coaches, and referees grow”.

    Its plan includes organising six or seven competitions that lead up to two national competitions next year, which will meet demand for competitions while allowing its technical team to gain more experience.

    Mr Lee added: “It’s expensive to host these competitions, and our participants' competition fees simply cover overheads. Most of our volunteers help for the love of the sport.“

    We hope to get sponsors and maybe gyms to host the competitions before holding our nationals in a more public setting.
    Powerlifting Singapore president Clinton Lee

    “We hope to get sponsors and maybe gyms to host the competitions before holding our nationals in a more public setting.”

    He also plans to further improve the sport’s structure here, such as developing more ground rules and a code of conduct so that when athletes and coaches head overseas, they will reflect well on Singapore.
     
  5. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore GP: Red Bull's Sergio Perez wins at Marina Bay, Max Verstappen finishes seventh
    Singapore GP: Red Bull's Sergio Perez wins at Marina Bay, Max Verstappen finishes seventh (news9live.com)


    [​IMG]

    Agence France-Presse Updated On: 3 Oct 2022 12:21 AM

    Sergio Perez won a rain-affected Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday meaning his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, who finished seventh, must wait at least another week to retain his Formula One world championship. (Photo: AP)

    The Mexican took the chequered flag 7.5sec ahead of the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, whose teammate Carlos Sainz was third in the night race that started more than an hour late because of a storm
    .

    * Verstappen had a mathematical chance to clinch a second world title in Singapore, but needed to win and have other results go his way

    * The Dutchman was always going to struggle after starting eighth on the grid at the Marina Bay Street Circuit but he battled back from a slow start where he dropped to 13th to finish seventh

    * It means his world championship lead over Leclerc has been cut to 104 points ahead of next week's Japanese Grand Prix. Perez is two points behind Leclerc

    Sergio Perez won a rain-affected Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday meaning his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, who finished seventh, must wait at least another week to retain his Formula One world championship. The Mexican took the chequered flag 7.5sec ahead of the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, whose teammate Carlos Sainz was third in the night race that started more than an hour late because of a storm. Verstappen had a mathematical chance to clinch a second world title in Singapore, but needed to win and have other results go his way.

    Max Verstappen disappointed over seventh-place finish at Singapore Grand Prix
    The Dutchman was always going to struggle after starting eighth on the grid at the Marina Bay Street Circuit but he battled back from a slow start where he dropped to 13th to finish seventh.

    It means his world championship lead over Leclerc has been cut to 104 points ahead of next week's Japanese Grand Prix. Perez is two points behind Leclerc.

    Verstappen will need to be 112 points ahead at the end of next Sunday's race in Suzuka to retain his title.

    Also Read - Rain delays start of F1 Singapore Grand Prix
    https://www.news9live.com/sports/mo...s-race-max-verstappen-finishes-seventh-199718

    It means a win will be enough for Verstappen if Leclerc fails to finish second.

    "It was certainly my best performance," Perez said. "I controlled the race. The last three laps were so intense. When I got out of the car, I felt it. I gave everything today."

    Perez was under investigation for an infringement under one of numerous safety car periods during the race, and potentially faces a time penalty that could hand the victory to Ferrari.

    Also Read - Thai MotoGP delayed by heavy rain
    https://www.news9live.com/sports/mo...s-race-max-verstappen-finishes-seventh-199718

    "I have no idea what's going on, they just told me I was under investigation and to increase the gap," Perez said.

    Leclerc started on pole but had a sluggish getaway on intermediate tyres in the slippery conditions allowing Perez to reach the first corner in the lead. "I pushed all the way," said Leclerc. "The bad start put us on the back foot and it was a really difficult race after that.

    "I need a good night's sleep and to get ready for Japan."

    Also Read - Lewis Hamilton allowed to wear piercing, but Mercedes cop $24,500 fine
    https://www.news9live.com/sports/mo...s-race-max-verstappen-finishes-seventh-199718

    Sainz said he felt he could never threaten the front two after he crossed the line 7.7sec behind his teammate.
    "It was very tough out there," Sainz said.

    "I never really got into a rhythm in the wet and then couldn't challenge the top two guys.

    "I had to settle for P3, but the good thing is I didn't do any mistakes and could bring the car home and be quick towards the end of the race."

    Lewis Hamilton started third in his Mercedes and lost a place at the start before later slithering into a barrier and finishing ninth.
     
  6. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore F1 night race 2022: Wet weather brings thrills and spills, fails to dampen fans' spirits
    Singapore F1 night race 2022: Wet weather brings thrills and spills, fails to dampen fans' spirits - TODAY (todayonline.com)

    [​IMG]Raj Nadarajan/TODAY
    Formula One drivers had to race on the wet track at the Marina Bay street circuit in Singapore, which took a long while to dry because of the humidity.

    [​IMG]Raj Nadarajan/TODAY
    Heavy rain before the start of the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix on Oct 2, 2022.

    [​IMG]Ooi Boon Keong/TODAY
    A race-goer caught in the rain at the Marina Bay circuit park of the Singapore Grand Prix on Oct 2, 2022.

    [​IMG]Ooi Boon Keong/TODAY
    People walking in the rain that delayed the start of the Singapore Grand Prix by an hour on Oct 2, 2022.

    [​IMG]Raj Nadarajan/TODAY
    Race-track marshals sweeping away water puddles on the track for the Singapore Grand Prix after a heavy downpour on Oct 2, 2022.

    Follow us on Instagram and Tiktok, and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.
    • Formula One fans were treated to an eventful race in Singapore on Oct 2 evening
    • A torrential downpour delayed it by an hour and led to dramatic incidents on the track
    • Fans said they were not disheartened by the rain, though some said organisers could have been better prepared for it
    • Some also had to tune in to an Premier League match that was happening at the same time
    [​IMG]
    BY
    LOUISA TANG
    [​IMG]
    BY
    JANARTHANAN KRISHNASAMY
    Published October 3, 2022
    Updated October 3, 2022

    SINGAPORE — A heavy downpour on Sunday (Oct 2) threatened to wreak havoc on the highly anticipated 13th edition of Singapore's Formula One (F1) race, delaying it by an hour and causing several accidents on the wet track that included Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton crashing into a wall.

    However, the drivers came through relatively unscathed, with Red Bull’s Mexican driver Sergio Perez eventually claiming the chequered flag at around 11pm after leading the race from the start. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who started in pole position, had to settle for second — just as he did in 2019 here.

    Singapore, though, may have emerged as the biggest winner after a record-breaking 302,000 fans attended the three-day event, with millions more around the world witnessing an eventful race full of thrills and spills.

    [​IMG]Raj Nadarajan/TODAY
    Mexican driver Sergio Perez (pictured) from Red Bull racing team is the first driver to win the street races of Monaco and Singapore in the same year (2022) since German driver Sebastian Vettel did so in 2011, also with Red Bull.

    The spirits of fans who turned up in droves were not dampened as well, despite what was believed to be the first time a Singapore Grand Prix was delayed due to rain.

    This year’s race was the first held here since 2019. The 2020 and 2021 races were cancelled after the Covid-19 pandemic brought global travel to a halt.

    READ ALSO
    Singapore F1 night race 2022 sets record attendance of 302,000 fans


    F1's return to Singapore has led to hotel occupancy rates exceeding those of 2018 and 2019, with the average daily room rates expected to exceed historical rates of S$440 a night.

    Since its debut in 2008, the night race has also generated more than S$1.5 billion in incremental tourism receipts.

    Most of the race organisation is sub-contracted to Singapore-based companies, including food-and-beverage firms, event companies, and logistics and transport providers.

    About 25 meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions were held during this period, with about 90,000 delegates attending. This included the Milken Institute Asia Summit held from Sept 28 to 30, billed as a gathering of "influential individuals with the financial resources" to advance and transform institutions and communities.

    The Ministry of Trade and Industry said that many of the event organisers leveraged the F1 race as an attractive occasion for corporate networking and meetings.

    [​IMG]Ooi Boon Keong/TODAY
    Performers for a roving act called Flower Men (far left and far right) posing for photos with Singapore Grand Prix attendees at the Marina Bay circuit park on Oct 2, 2022.

    [​IMG]Ooi Boon Keong/TODAY
    A performer for a roving act called Kaguzuchi entertaining a crowd at the Marina Bay circuit park of the Singapore Grand Prix on Oct 2, 2022.
     
    #766 Loh, Oct 2, 2022
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2022
  7. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Beyond economic benefits, fans who spoke to TODAY described this year’s F1 race as one of the most exciting Singapore Grands Prix they have experienced.

    READ ALSO
    'Most difficult race of the year': F1 drivers relish return to 'warm and sweaty' Singapore


    However, some said that more could have been done to prepare for the wet weather, especially after many fans’ shoes got caked in mud after a similar downpour before Saturday’s qualifying session and concert.

    F1 fan Clarissa Sih, a 29-year-old communications professional who has gone to “around half” the races held here since the inaugural one in 2008, said that this year’s race was even more exciting than 2017’s, which also began in wet conditions.

    Kimi Raikkonen, the driver she supported at the time, crashed out during the opening lap then. The sheer number of drivers dropping out of the race (six) and safety car deployment both real and virtual this year was, to Ms Sih, the most dramatic Singapore Grand Prix she had attended.

    Accountant Zachary Ang, 33, said that more could have been done to prepare for the wet weather. He was present on all three days of the event with his girlfriend, including Friday’s practice session.

    "We were instructed not to open our umbrellas at the pit area and to collect our ponchos at the information counter instead. Over there, we were told that there weren't enough ponchos. With Singapore's experience in planning, we expected better," he added.

    [​IMG]Ooi Boon Keong/TODAY
    A person's shoes wrapped in plastic bags (left) were spotted after a heavy downpour at the Marina Bay circuit park on Oct 2, 2022.

    Mr Tobi M, 51, could not fully watch the concert on Sunday. TODAY spotted him huddled in a tented area with several other attendees.

    READ ALSO
    F1 in Singapore: Fans feel it's ‘almost normal again’ after event's 2-year absence, but some businesses less enthused


    However, the regional manager appeared in high spirits and said that nothing much could be done about the weather, adding that he thought the organisers planned the event well and that he enjoyed the atmosphere.

    Business consultant Roger Guzman, 31, a Costa Rican who has worked here for more than six years, was among the music fans who was not into racing.

    Unprepared for the rain, Mr Guzman had to return home — a few stops away from the Marina Bay street circuit — to change into fresh clothes, but said that the hassle was worth it.

    "I came here to see (American rock band) Green Day but I am enjoying seeing the side performances, too, who are honestly very talented,” he added.

    [​IMG]Raj Nadarajan/TODAY
    Spectators waiting for the Singapore Grand Prix to start on Oct 2, 2022, after it was delayed by an hour due to a storm

    [​IMG]Ooi Boon Keong/TODAY
    Race-goers standing at a spectator stand despite the rain during the Singapore Grand Prix on Oct 2, 2022.

    A Mercedes fan, Mr Nicholas Werner, took it upon himself to wait outside the F1 paddock where he could see the drivers enter. The Briton last went to the race here in 2019 when he began working in Singapore in the technology industry.

    TODAY spoke to the 29-year-old just before it began raining. He pulled a poncho from his bag and quipped: “Worth it for that selfie with George Russell.”

    F1 VERSUS PREMIER LEAGUE

    READ ALSO
    #trending: What F1 drivers are up to in Singapore — from taking taxi to drinking bubble tea and meeting fans


    On Sunday night, the race ended up starting at the same time as another important sporting event — the Premier League clash between English football clubs Manchester City and Manchester United. The race delay meant that both events began at 9pm Singapore time.

    Mr Parvin Rajadren, the chief executive officer of a securities and IT firm, said he that livestreamed the football match on his mobile phone.

    The Ferrari fan arrived at the race with his friends in a Manchester United jersey, having last been to the Singapore Grand Prix in 2018. He had splurged for a paddock pass, saying that the “hype was real” after two years without the race being held here.

    [​IMG]Louisa Tang/TODAY
    Mr Parvin Rajedran (right) with his friends at the Formula One paddock of the Singapore Grand Prix on Oct 2, 2022. He is also a fan of the Manchester United football club, which lost 6-3 to Manchester City in a match on the same night.

    Human resource manager Tracy Goh, 34, said that she was following the live score of the football match while watching the F1 race.

    Having last attended the Singapore Grand Prix in 2012, she said that she was happy to watch it a decade later. She added that in spite of rising ticket costs, it was "definitely worth celebrating”.

    After the race ended, fans rushed to walk on the track, head home or watch the Green Day concert, which began immediately after the race.

    READ ALSO
    F1 road closures: Marina Bay businesses see sales drop by up to half, some motorists left confused


    Mr Hee Chung Wye, 33, a Red Bull fan, expressed happiness over Perez's win but said that he felt disappointed for Perez's teammate Max Verstappen.

    "Overall, I felt that the drivers did well and it was an exciting race to watch," he added.

    [​IMG]Ooi Boon Keong/TODAY
    Spectators cheering at the Singapore Grand Prix on Oct 2, 2022.

    All eyes were on Verstappen who had a shot at clinching his second world title. However, the Dutchman started Sunday's race in eighth position after being forced to abort his final fastest effort in qualifying due to a lack of fuel. He ultimately finished seventh.

    Hamilton, seven-time world champion and four-time winner of the Singapore Grand Prix, ended up taking ninth place. He collided with the barriers and had to return to the pit lane to get a new front wing.

    Sebastian Vettel, four-time world champion who holds a record five wins at the Singapore Grand Prix, finished in eighth place for Aston Martin. He last won here in 2019 while racing for Ferrari.

    Carlos Sainz completed the podium for Ferrari on Sunday, while McLaren's Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo came in fourth and fifth respectively.

    [​IMG]Ooi Boon Keong/TODAY
    Spectators watching a Red Bull car whizz by at the Singapore Grand Prix on Oct 2, 2022. It was Red Bull’s first win in Singapore in 2022 since Sebastian Vettel did so for the racing team in 2013.

    READ ALSO
    S'pore to host F1 race till 2028; longest contract extension to date allows 'longer runway to capture pent-up travel demand'


    Due to the delayed start, the Land Transport Authority said in a Facebook post that train services would be "correspondingly extended by half an hour".

    The Traffic Police said that road closures along Coleman Street and North Bridge Road were extended to 3am on Monday.

    READ ALSO
    SIA extends title sponsorship for Singapore F1 race for 3 more years
     
  8. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Formula 1: Red Bull's Sergio Perez wins 2022 Singapore Grand Prix
    1 of 9
    [​IMG]
    Red Bull's Sergio Perez celebrates his win at the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix, on Oct 2, 2022. ST PHOTO: FELINE LIM
    [​IMG]
    Laura Chia

    PUBLISHED

    OCT 2, 2022, 11:12 PM SGT

    SINGAPORE - Fireworks lit up the sky at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on Sunday as the cool blue, yellow and red livery of the Red Bull RB18 zoomed past the finish line at the Formula One Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix.

    The team’s welcome return to the top of the podium in Singapore after nine years was applauded by fans around the circuit, even if it was not the Red Bull winner that everyone had expected.

    Instead it was Sergio Perez who claimed the Singapore chequered flag for the first time after a rain-hit chaotic race in what he deemed as the best race of his life.

    The Mexican celebrated his second race win this season by pumping his fist in the air before hugging his teammates. But he was made to wait for over an hour before the victory was confirmed after an investigation was launched for a safety car infringement. He was eventually cleared by the race stewards.

    Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished second and third respectively to complete the podium. Red Bull’s championship leader Max Verstappen, who started the race eighth, finished seventh.

    Perez, who now has four F1 wins, said: “It was certainly my best performance, I controlled the race. The last few laps were so intense. I gave it everything for the win today.”

    Starting on the front row behind pole sitter Leclerc, Perez overtook the Monegasque soon after lights out and led from start to finish, taking the chequered flag ahead of the Ferrari driver by 7.5 seconds.

    It was the Mexican’s first victory in Singapore, making him the fifth F1 winner here after Nico Rosberg (2016), Fernando Alonso (2008, 2010), Lewis Hamilton (2009, 2014, 2017, 2018) and Sebastian Vettel (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2019). His last race win was in Monaco in May.

    The result also means that Perez has won in all three street circuits on the calendar – Baku (2021), Monaco (2022) and Singapore.

    Calling it the “best drive of his career”, Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports: “Tricky conditions, he converted the start, he got himself settled into the race, he looked after the intermediate tyres. He was always in control, super cool.

    “That’s world class, it’s right up there, for sure his best victory, it surpasses his Monaco victory. He’s gone out, he’s delivered and I’m just super proud of him.”

    While there was joy for Perez on Sunday, there was only disappointment for Leclerc.

    It was the seventh time this season that the Monegasque has failed to convert pole position into a win, and the second time he was the bridesmaid in Singapore.

    He said: “I pushed all the way, but the bad start put us on the back foot.
    “It was a difficult race – a good night’s sleep now, and we’ll get ready for Japan (next weekend).”

    For points leader Verstappen, Suzuka is also where the Dutchman will revive his hunt for his second world title.

    He can count on the backing of teammate Perez, who said it would be a special result for the team and their engine partner Honda.

    But on Sunday, it was Perez who partied the night away after emerging victorious in an incident-filled race which saw a number of safety car periods as six drivers – Alonso, who made a record 350th race start, Esteban Ocon (both Alpine), Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo), Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi (both Williams) – retired during the race.

    Spectators were left waiting for over an hour after the start of the night race was delayed owing to heavy rain. It was originally due to start at 8pm but eventually flagged off after 9.05pm.

    The race did not run to its full 61 laps on Sunday as the maximum duration for an F1 race is two hours and a completed full race would have crossed that threshold.

    Despite the inclement weather, Briton Erik Orrgarde still enjoyed his first time at a grand prix.

    The 35-year-old, who has been living in Singapore since April 2021, said: “The sound of the engines was the most interesting bit because it’s so different in person.

    [​IMG]
    This is the second day of bad weather at the Singapore Grand Prix. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
    “It was a bit of a walk but that’s to be expected and it was a good experience.”

    Orrgarde was among the record 302,000 fans who turned out for the three-day event, with the previous high of 300,000 recorded in the inaugural race in 2008.

    The Singapore Grand Prix made its return to Marina Bay for the first time since 2019 - it was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 owing to the pandemic - when Sebastian Vettel won the race with Ferrari. Vettel, who is retiring after his final season with Aston Martin, was also the last Red Bull driver to win here in 2013.

    Besides the race, spectators were also treated to an entertainment line-up that included American rock band Green Day, Irish boy band Westlife and American electronic dance music star Marshmello.

    More than 75 performances took place across eight stages at the Circuit Park in Marina Bay.

    Singapore Grand Prix
    Results
    1 Sergio Perez (Mex) Red Bull 2hr 2min 15.238sec
    2 Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari +7.595sec
    3 Carlos Sainz (Esp) Ferrari +15.305
    4 Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren +26.133
    5 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) McLaren +58.282
    6 Lance Stroll (Can) Aston Martin +1:01.330
    7 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull +1:03.825
    8 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Aston Martin +1:05.032
    9 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes +1:06.515
    10 Pierre Gasly (Fra) AlphaTauri +1:14.576

    Selected
    14 George Russell (Gbr) Mercedes – Fastest lap

    Drivers’ standings
    Verstappen 341pts
    Leclerc 237
    Perez 235

    Constructors’ standings
    Red Bull 576pts
    Ferrari 439
    Mercedes 373

    MORE ON THIS TOPIC
    Rain delays start of Singapore Grand Prix; train services extended by 30 minutes
    In Pictures: Rain or shine, F1 night race brings the buzz back to S'pore
     
  9. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    #769 Loh, Oct 5, 2022
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2022
  10. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Table tennis: Singapore knocked out of world team c'ships q-finals by Chinese Taipei
    [​IMG]
    Singapore's Zeng Jian claimed two upset wins, but it wasn't enough for the team to defeat Chinese Taipei. PHOTO: AFP
    [​IMG]
    Laura Chia

    PUBLISHED
    OCT 6, 2022, 5:05 PM SGT

    SINGAPORE - Two stunning wins from Zeng Jian against higher-ranked opponents were not enough for the Republic to clinch a medal at the World Team Table Tennis Championships for the first time since 2014.

    Singapore took Chinese Taipei to the wire but the young team of Zeng (25), Wong Xin Ru (20) and Zhou Jingyi (17) eventually fell 3-2 in Chengdu, China, on Thursday.

    National women’s head coach Jing Junhong said it was a pity but she was not disappointed as the team, who are competing in the tournament for the first time, have exceeded expectations by reaching the quarter-finals.

    She said: “The fighting spirit that our players displayed deserves commendation. Our team’s skills are not the best now but our players are young and have prospect.

    “I will give them 80 marks. Everyone dared to try and challenge better opponents, that’s very good.”

    Chinese Taipei drew first blood through their highest ranked player, world No. 22 Chen Szu-Yu, who beat 130th-ranked Zhou 3-0 (11-9, 11-4, 11-7).

    World No. 54 Zeng, Singapore’s top player in the absence of 18th-ranked Feng Tianwei, then levelled the tie with her first upset of the day, prevailing 3-1 (11-8, 12-10, 9-11, 11-8) over world No. 35 Cheng I-Ching .

    World No. 195 Wong nearly gave Singapore the lead when she led 88th-ranked Li Yu-Jhun by two games but the Taiwanese displayed nerves of steel to take the next three games, eventually winning 3-2 (9-11, 9-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-2).

    Zeng then returned to the table to claim another upset victory over Chen, winning 3-1 (11-4, 9-11, 15-13, 11-5) to force a rubber set.

    It was then down to the youngest player Zhou to clinch a semi-final spot for the Republic. But the teenager was no match for two-time Olympian Cheng, who convincingly won 3-0 (11-8, 11-2, 11-3).

    Jing highlighted Zeng’s streak of eight wins in seven days.

    “Together with Xin Ru and Jingyi, from May’s SEA Games to July’s Commonwealth Games to now, everyone has matured and their improvement is evident,” Jing said, adding that they will be setting bigger goals.

    Zeng said she gained valuable lessons, but added that they need to improve further as “people will start to notice us” after this.

    While Singapore will return from China without any medals, the team have improved on their 2018 performance when the likes of Feng, Yu Mengyu and Lin Ye lost 3-2 to Ukraine in the round of 16.

    They last claimed a medal in 2014, when they reached the semi-finals to claim the shared bronze.

    Zeng and Zhou will be next in action at the Asian Cup (November) and World Youth Championships (December) respectively.

    Jing added: “We’ll make individualised plans for each player to prepare well for next year. Everything starts from zero again.”
     
  11. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Fencing: Top athletes to compete in S'pore, which will host one leg of new pro league
    [​IMG]
    Singapore will host one leg of the Fencing Professionals Assembly, a three-stop private league, with the other two legs in Doha and Milan. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
    [​IMG]
    Kimberly Kwek

    PUBLISHED
    OCT 17, 2022, 12:03 AM SGT

    SINGAPORE - Fencing is a niche sport in Singapore and its athletes are hardly household names, but the Fencing Professionals Assembly (FPA) is aiming to change that with its debut here in 2023.

    Singapore will host one leg of the FPA, a three-stop private league that is the brainchild of Italian fencing equipment company Carmimari, in the first quarter of 2023.

    The other two legs will be held in Doha and Milan, with plans for a fourth in the mix.

    Its chief executive Francesco Rossi has ambitious plans for the first-ever professional series in the sport, touting it as a game changer like the professional International Swimming League (ISL) and golf's PGA Tour.

    Launched to much fanfare in 2019, the ISL featured an innovative concept such as a team-based competition format and fast-paced sessions.

    Like what ISL has done to professionalise swimming, Rossi's vision is for the league to raise the profile of the sport by giving athletes a chance to shine beyond major Games like the Olympics and events that are sanctioned by world governing body International Fencing Federation (FIE).

    He said: "It's not a competition against something that's already existing. If you see fencers at the Olympics, there is a great movement and that movement has a structure.

    "But it's like looking at a pyramid and you're looking at just the tip of the pyramid, but you need to create a strong base to let people know the pyramid exists - like how tennis goes to the Olympics but has Wimbledon."

    While he declined to reveal the fencers who will compete in the league, Rossi said that Olympic medallists and world champions are part of the line-up. There will also be a prize pool at the FPA tournaments.

    A pilot event will be held in Singapore in end-2022 before the FPA officially kicks off in 2023.

    With Singapore seeing the return of marquee sports events like the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix after a hiatus brought about by the pandemic, Fencing Singapore secretary general David Chen hopes that more fencing events can be added to the country's sporting calendar.

    Over the weekend, Singapore staged the FIE Satellite Tournament - Women's Foil, the first FIE-sanctioned event to be held in the country.

    Chen said: "Recently we've seen some really successful events like the Singapore Tennis Open and it's quite clear that Singapore is becoming a hub for sports development and for alternative forms of competition like the F1 night race.

    "Singapore has a reputation for that and we want to be one of the pioneers (for fencing). National sports associations are looking to be more independent - we've got good support from the Government but we want to take the opportunity to be innovative."

    On Sunday, Fencing Singapore also hosted a dinner to honour the SEA Games fencers, who won a record six gold, four silver and five bronze medals at the regional competition in May.

    After this best-ever haul, the association is turning its sights to next year's Asian Games in Hangzhou, where technical director Marko Milic feels they have a decent chance to achieve two bronze medals.

    [​IMG]
    Hong Kong fencer Daphne Chan (left) and Singapore's Cheung Kemei take part in the final of the Women's Foil Satellite Tournament, an international fencing tournament in Singapore, at the OCBC Arena on Oct 16, 2022. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

    At the 2018 Asian Games, the women's foil team comprising Amita Berthier, Maxine Wong, Tatiana Wong and Melanie Huang clinched bronze to bag the Republic's first-ever team medal at the competition.

    Milic believes they can repeat the feat, also highlighting the women's epee and sabre teams as potential medallists.

    He said: "We believe we have a stronger team this time in the women's foil and we're also looking at the open possibility of the other weapon teams to get medals. I think we're on track - we've got a strong generation of talented athletes."

    Foil fencer Cheung Kemei believes that their performances at recent competitions also bodes well for them.

    Cheung, Berthier, Maxine and Denyse Chan clinched a joint-bronze medal in the women's team foil at the Asian Fencing Championships in Seoul in June - the nation's first medal in the event since 2010.

    She said: "Apart from SEA Games, we've been fencing at the Asian Championships and World Championships against teams from other Asian countries and that has helped us gain more confidence."

    MORE ON THIS TOPIC
    Fencing: Singapore women's foil team clinch joint-bronze at Asian championships
    Fencing: Singapore's Amita Berthier named Women's Foil Athlete of the Year in America
     
  12. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Silat: Youthful Singapore squad ace Asian Championships test
    [​IMG]
    Singapore's Dhani Andika Razali (back, second from left) won the gold medal in the men's under-45kg match category at the Asian Pencak Silat Championships in Kashmir. PHOTO: PERSISI
    [​IMG]
    Sazali Abdul Aziz
    Correspondent

    PUBLISHED
    OCT 17, 2022, 8:50 PM SGT

    SINGAPORE - Despite having to cope with a school examination last week, pencak silat exponent Dhani Andika Razali also fought his way to an Asian title on Sunday.

    The Commonwealth Secondary School student, who turned 17 last month, won the match category gold medal in the men’s under-45kg weight class at the Asian Pencak Silat Championship in Kashmir.

    His victory contributed to a total of nine gold medals a youthful Singapore squad won at the competition. This haul, along with four silver and six bronze medals, placed them second overall, behind Vietnam who claimed 11 golds.

    Dhani bested home exponent Prasanna Narendra Bendre in the final to claim the gold medal.

    On juggling books and preparing for the Asian meet, the teen said: “It was quite draining having to wake up early to go to school and then having to train later.

    “But all of that, and the time with friends and family that I sacrificed, ended up paying off.”

    The continental milestone is the latest for Dhani, who also won a silver medal at the World Championships in Melaka in July.

    He added: “I’m slowly getting more and more comfortable competing against opponents with more experience... In the next two or three years, I would definitely like to win a gold medal at the World Championships and SEA Games. And just generally be better.”

    The Singapore group that travelled to Kashmir was green, with 22 out of the 24-strong squad under the age of 23. Nineteen of them were making their Asian Championship debut.

    The team were without established names like world champions Sheik Farhan, Sheik Ferdous, Hazim Yusli and Nurul Suhaila.
    Another 17-year-old, Nurshahfareeq Shahrudin, claimed the gold medal in the men’s 85-90kg after beating Indonesia’s Rangga Andika.

    The ITE College East student said it felt “awesome” to win and paid tribute to his seniors in the national squad for their guidance.

    He said: “It’s quite nerve-racking to come up against older opponents, but I overcame (the nerves) by listening to my coaches and thanks to the support of my family and friends.

    “In training, the seniors have given me a lot of advice about technique and also support me on the (mental) side of things. They want us younger ones to be champions too.”

    Singapore Silat Federation chief executive officer Sheik Alau’ddin said blooding new talent was crucial for the association’s long-term aims.

    He said: “If we send the same people all the time, when will the rest get a chance at the bigger stages?

    “This is an opportunity for the younger ones to experience the atmosphere at (bigger meets) and how difficult the level is.

    “It can also help motivate even younger athletes. When they see that 17-year-olds like Dhani and Fareeq can win gold, they will think: ‘Maybe I can too’.”

    MORE ON THIS TOPIC
    Silat: Singapore end World Championship campaign with four-gold haul
    Silat: Singapore top SEA Championships with 11 golds

    Singapore’s gold medallists:
    Artistic: Sharifah Shazza Samsuri (female solo creative), Iqbal Abdul Rahman (male single), Siti Nazura Yusoff (female single) Nazrul Kamal, Affiz Zakri, Mustafar Isa (male team), Iffah Batrisyia Noh, Amirah Sahrin and Nur Asikin Zulkifli (female team)

    Match: Dhani Andika Razali (male under 45kg), Nurshahfareeq Shahrudin (85-90kg), Rizuan Razak (90-95kg), Nur Tuhfah Izzah Roslan (female under 45kg).
     
  13. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore’s young silat exponents surpassed expectations at the 6th Asian Pencak Silat Championship
    Singapore's young silat exponents surpassed expectations at the 6th Asian Pencak Silat Championship - (theindependent.sg)

    [​IMG]
    Photo: Singapore Silat Federation

    "[Growing from strength to strength] ... our Team Singapore silat athletes have shown that they are a force to be reckon with this year." — Edwin Tong

    October 19, 2022
    By Khalis Rifhan
    Follow us on Instagram and Telegram

    Team Singapore finished second in the standings, behind overall champions Vietnam, as they bagged a total of 19 medals; nine gold, four silver and six bronze medals, at the 6th Asian Pencak Silat Championship held from 13 to 16 Oct 2022, at the Sher Kashmir Indoor Sports Complex in India.

    Singapore sent a 24-strong contingent, with 19 of them making their debut in international competition, competing in 22 events in both the ‘tanding’ (match) and ‘seni’ (artistic) categories.

    Their performance won the praise of Edwin Tong, minister for culture, community, and youth who posted on Facebook, “From Hanoi SEA Games to Pencak Silat World Championship to now 6th Asian Pencak Silat Championship, our Team Singapore silat athletes have shown that they are a force to be reckon with this year.”

    “It is also evident that their dedication in honing their skills and learning from every competition have helped them grow from strength to strength.”

    The national team coach Noh Mohd Sharif was definitely pleased with his silat exponents and had special mentions for the two 17-year-olds in the team who won the gold medals, Nurshahfareeq Shahrudin, and Dhani Andika.

    “The performances of the athletes exceeded my expectation as most of them were debutants and followed our game plan. Fareeq and Dhani Andika performed beyond my expectations as they faced powerhouse Indonesia and Vietnam respectively, and came out on top. They were confident with their techniques and shaken the confidence of their opponents,” said coach Noh Mohd Sharif.

    Dhani, despite a young age and facing a more experienced opponent, gathered strength from those around him. He did not once let any negative thoughts distract him from all the preparations that he had done prior to the competition.

    “To mentally prepare myself, I had to find confidence. That was fairly easy because all I had to do was have faith in myself and those who believed in me such as my coaches, friends and family, especially my father,” said Dhani, who defeated India’s Prasanna Bendre in the men’s under 45kg category.

    “I honestly did not expect the gold medal because I was still new to the senior category. Going against Vietnam was a big hurdle for me, but nonetheless to win it. I never aimed for anything less.”

    [​IMG]
    Photo: Singapore Silat Federation

    For Nurshahfareeq, he has been getting pointers from fellow national team silat athlete Sheik Farhan in preparations for this tournament, and it certainly helps him when he goes up against a familiar opponent.

    “My coaches, sparring partners and sports trainers have been helping me. It’s a team effort to be physically prepared for a competition. No matter how physically prepared I am, there are bound to be ups and downs. Just like having to compete hours after I just landed in Kashmir. Having to adapt to different weather temperatures during the match,” said Nurshahfareeq.

    “I have to be mentally prepared in order to execute my best abilities and skills. My mental coaches have been the best of help in ensuring I am focused. Having to cancel and block out all the negativity and unwanted thoughts in my mind.”

    “Farhan has been helping me and advising me on how to tackle and prepare myself for this competition. Wanting that gold medal was never an option. But I didn’t expect to get it. Having to face Vietnam and especially Rangga Andika from Indonesia who was Farhan’s opponent during the 17th World Championship in Malacca.”

    Another athlete that surpassed the coaches expectations is Muhammad Naufal Abdullah from the Singapore Sports School. Despite his tender age of 16-year-old, he had set a target of coming out top in his event.

    “It is my first overseas competition and I am playing in the senior category despite my age.. I physically prepare myself by training hard and always asking my coaches if they could help me polish my techniques in order for me to perform better in the competition,” shared Naufal.

    “Mentally, I tell myself that I will and can do my best despite fighting more experienced athletes from other countries. I had expected myself to get the gold medal even if I am one of the youngest in the category. But I managed to clinch the silver medal and I am proud to be able to represent Singapore in this competition.”

    Commenting on the performance of the young athletes, many of whom are taking part in international tournaments for the first time, Dr Sheik Alau’ddin Yacoob Marican chief executive officer of Singapore Silat Federation expressed his delight but reminded his charges to remain focused and prepare for their next competition.

    “The team has achieved and surpassed the target I set; however, we need to stay on guard where the athletes should not think that their mission has been completed. We need to be always prepared with unexpected changes, with new challenges from all aspects, including fighting techniques or their opponents, and many more.”

    “This is not the end for our athletes, as we have more events and competitions to look forward to. And one of it is the upcoming 2nd World Beach Pencak Silat Championship which will be held in Mactan, Cebu Province, Philippines, from 6 to 12 December 2022.”

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Shanti Pereira, Terry Hee & Jessica Tan among 7 new S'pore athletes awarded with spexScholarship
    Shanti Pereira, Terry Hee & Jessica Tan among 7 new S'pore athletes awarded with spexScholarship - Mothership.SG - News from Singapore, Asia and around the world

    This is the first time SportSG has conducted a second round of assessment of spexScholars within the same year.

    Syahindah Ishak | [​IMG] November 04, 2022, 01:09 AM

    [​IMG]

    Seven new athletes in Singapore have been added to the Sport Excellence Scholarship (spexScholarship) programme, Sport Singapore (SportSG) announced on Thursday (Nov. 3).

    They are:

    Shanti Pereira (Athletics)
    [​IMG]Image via Edwin Tong's Facebook.

    26-year-old Singaporean track and field athlete Shanti Pereira set a new national record in the 100m and 200m heats at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

    On top of this, she represented Singapore in the 2022 World Athletics Championship.

    She had also attained a gold medal and a silver medal at the 2021 SEA Games in Hanoi.

    Terry Hee and Jessica Tan Wei Han (Badminton - Mixed Doubles)

    [​IMG]Image via Hee and Tan's Facebook.

    Husband and wife Terry Hee, 27, and Tan Wei Han, 29, won a gold medal for Singapore in the Badminton - Mixed Doubles at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

    The pair also started off the year with their first Super 500 title in the 2022 India Open.

    Jin Yu Jia and Crystal Wong (Badminton - Women Doubles)

    [​IMG]Image via Edwin Tong's Facebook.

    Shuttlers Jin Yu Jia, 25, and Crystal Wong, 23, made it to the Badminton - Women Doubles quarter finals of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

    They also represented Singapore at the 2022 BWF World Championship.

    Cheung Kemei (Fencing)
    [​IMG]Image via Edwin Tong's Facebook.

    At only 17 years old, Team Singapore's foil fencer Cheung Kemei is one of the youngest spexScholars in the 2022 cohort.

    She has represented Singapore at the 2022 Asian Fencing Championships, earning a spot in the top 15 under the Women's Individual category.

    Fernel Tan (Shooting)
    [​IMG]Image via SportSG.

    Fernel Tan, 19, has attained a bronze and silver medal for Singapore at the 2021 SEA Games.

    She also bagged gold and silver at the 2022 ISSF Grand Prix in Jakarta.

    What is spexScholarship?

    The spexScholarship identifies, nurtures and optimises the performance of Singaporean athletes within the high performance sport pathway, SportSG said.

    It also supports the athletes' sporting aspirations.

    The scholarship includes both financial and programmatic support to prepare the athletes to excel at the major Games.

    Existing spexScholars include badminton ace Loh Kean Yew and national swimmer Quah Ting Wen.

    First time they did a second round of assessment

    Earlier this year, 17 athletes were already selected to join the scholarship programme.

    According to SportSG, this is the first time it has conducted a second round of assessment of spexScholars within the same year.

    "This assessment considered the dynamic international competition calendars such as major sport championships, with fresh data arising from recent competitions that allow the organisation to update an athlete’s performance trajectory," SportSG said.

    In addition to the newly announced seven athletes, there are now 77 spexScholars across 23 sports in Singapore.

    Among the spexScholars who joined prior to 2022, four athletes including— Contessa Loh (Archery), Reuben Rainer Lee (Athletics), Marc Brian Louis (Athletics) and Quah Ting Wen (Swimming)— had their contracts renewed from the previous cycle.

    The remaining 49 athletes' contracts are not yet due for renewal.
     
  15. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore aims for good showing at Asian Water Polo Championship
    Singapore aims for good showing at Asian Water Polo Championship - (theindependent.sg)

    By Khalis Rifhan

    [​IMG]
    Photo: Singapore Swimming Association

    Singapore national water polo team will be facing their biggest test since the start of the pandemic as they will take on tougher opponents in the Asian Water Polo Championship 2020 from 7-13 November at the Assumption University Aquatic Center, Samut Prakarn District in Thailand.

    The men’s team are in Group B alongside Japan, China, Kuwait and Hong Kong. The hosts Thailand are in Group A with India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Korea. The women’s team will face off the challenges from China, Kazakhstan, Japan, Thailand, Uzbekistan and South Korea.

    While they may be one of the top teams in the Southeast Asian region, it is a different level at the Asian stage. But for the men’s team head coach Kan Aoyagi, he believes that they are able to improve on their 2018 Asian Games performance.

    “We are aiming to at least go one better than we did at the Asian Games and shoot for a top-five finish. This will be the first time in over two years that we have participated in such a large international competition, as many events have been cancelled due to the COVID,” said coach Aoyagi.

    Our main target is to see how the rest of Asia teams are doing and where our current level stands in Asia. Singapore was ranked sixth in the last Asian Games, so we are looking at Iran (3rd), China (4th), and Korea (5th),”

    “We had good preparation since September. We were fortunate not to have any injuries or anyone down with illness, and we’re all eager to participate.”

    With an average age of 23 years old in the men’s team, captain Loh Zhi Zhi (32-year-old) is the most senior in the squad and he is tasked with guiding his younger teammates. Apart from routine physical preparations, they are blessed to receive other forms of training and guidance before they head for such championship.

    “We have received great support from the SportSG’s Singapore Sports Institute to prepare holistically for the tournament, covering aspects such as sport psychology and nutrition so that we are not only physically prepared but in all those different areas as well,” said the multiple SEA Games gold medalist Loh.

    “Together with our coaching staff, they continue to iterate and improve the different aspects of our training, complementing it with
    “Every player on the team has their own struggles ranging from managing a relapse of an injury, juggling with work, studies. Most important of all (especially during this pandemic) is being responsible and accountable to the team not to let any external factors stop us from training regularly and consistently but also putting the extra training or self-monitored program all because of the team’s goal in mind,” explained Koh.

    Loh also shared that there had been an increased number of competitive matches played during the year, in organised league matches and in sparring matches with overseas teams. These contribute to the physical and tactical components that prepare the team and give them the best practical experience in developing their routine and preparing them for their tournaments.

    For the women’s team captain Koh Ting Ting, it is also a mix of seniors and young players in her team with nine out of the 13 players being below the age of 25. But for Koh it will be a good experience for them as they look forward to more tournaments next year.

    “We’re all very excited about the upcoming Asian level competition given the pandemic which pretty much limited the team from opportunities. Even though our opponents could be stronger, faster, more experienced, it would be a good exposure for our team leading up to bigger competitions in 2023 that have been lined up,” said 31-year-old Koh.

    This sentiment was echoed by her coach Luo Nan who said, “We mainly hope to improve our team’s game experience and examine some young players through this tournament. We also hope to improve ourselves by playing against other strong teams.”

    Luo who was previously the assistant coach, took over the women’s team earlier this year in April and achieved their target of defeating Thailand and winning the inaugural National Cup in May. In the recent training, their main focus was on tactics and individual skills, and she feels that the players have worked hard and improved in that area.

    As in any team sport, it is important for every player to keep a lookout for each other and not let any obstacle hinder their progress. As a captain Luo has an added responsibility to ensure every player is able to manage themselves well.

    “Every player on the team has their own struggles ranging from managing a relapse of an injury, juggling with work, studies. Most important of all (especially during this pandemic) is being responsible and accountable to the team not to let any external factors stop us from training regularly and consistently but also putting the extra training or self-monitored program all because of the team’s goal in mind,” explained Koh.

    The men’s team will start the Asian Water Polo Championship against Kuwait on 7 Nov, before taking on Hong Kong the next day. The women’s team will open their campaign against China on 8 Nov and will face Korea the following day. You can find the full fixture for Team Singapore below.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Loh Kean Yew caps memorable week with Sportsman of the Year honour
    Chia Han Keong - 36m ago

    upload_2022-11-10_23-33-29.png
    SINGAPORE — What a week it has been for Loh Kean Yew.

    [​IMG]
    Loh Kean Yew caps memorable week with Sportsman of the Year honour

    On Monday, the former badminton world champion put himself in prime position to qualify for the season-ending World Tour Finals for the first time in his career. On Tuesday, he rose to a career-high No.3 in the world rankings - the highest position attained by a Singapore male shuttler.

    To cap it all off, Loh was named the Sportsman of the Year at the annual Singapore Sports Awards ceremony held at Marina Bay Sands on Thursday night (10 November), pipping former world No.1 pool player Aloysius Yapp to the honour.

    "Definitely one of the most special weeks of my career," he said after landing the award.

    "It has not always been smooth-sailing, and there were definitely times when I felt very low last year. It's satisfying that after persevering through the lows, I could win this award. But yeah, it's back to work after this week."

    The award caps a monumental year for the 25-year-old Loh. Besides winning the prestigious BWF World Championships men's singles title in Huelva last December, he also reached the finals of the India Open in New Delhi in January and the SEA Games competition in Hanoi in May.

    Along the way, he helped Singapore national men's team qualify for the Thomas Cup Finals for just the third time in history, and defeated current world No.1, Viktor Axelsen, twice at the World Tour tournaments. His world rankings steadily climbed from No.15 in January to No.9 in February, then to No.5 in October and finally to the lofty No.3 earlier this week.

    Yu Mengyu finally clinches award upon retirement

    In the Sportswoman of the Year category, paddler Yu Mengyu earned the accolades for her memorable swansong at last year's Tokyo Olympics, where she powered her way to fourth place in the women's singles competition despite suffering a thigh injury midway through the competition.

    The 33-year-old - who retired earlier this year - edged out bowler Shayna Ng and fencer Amita Berthier for the award, and said, "I guess this is my final award as a table tennis player.

    "But now that I'm starting out as a coach, I hope to one day win at this Singapore Sports Awards as a coach."

    Kite-foiler Maximilian Maeder - the Formula Kite champion at the World Sailing Youth Championships - won the Sportsboy of the Year award over paddler Izaac Quek, while the Sportsgirl of the Year went to paddler Ser Lin Qian for coming in third in the U-15 girls' singles event at the World Youth Championships.

    Bowling national head coach Jason Yeong-Nathan won Coach of the Year, while the men’s bowling team of Cheah Ray Han, Darren Ong, Jonovan Neo and Jomond Chia were awarded team of the year.
     
  17. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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  18. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Football: Singapore’s Danelle Tan, 18, gets place at top US college
    https://www.straitstimes.com/sport/...s-danelle-tan-18-gets-place-at-top-us-college

    National women’s attacking midfielder Danelle Tan, 18, has become the first Singaporean footballer accepted into a US National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I soccer programme.
    [​IMG]
    Deepanraj Ganesan

    PUBLISHED
    NOV 18, 2022, 1:26 PM SGT

    SINGAPORE – National women’s footballer Danelle Tan is no fortune teller. But when she was 14, she scrawled two targets she set for herself on a piece of paper that she stuck on a memo board in her bedroom.

    One read: “Represent Singapore for SEA Games” – an achievement she crossed off her bucket list when she was part of the Lionesses’ squad who competed at the May 12-23 Hanoi Games.

    The other was more vague: “Get into a US (United States) university.”

    Last week, the attacking midfielder hit her second target when she was granted a part athletic scholarship by the College of William and Mary (W&M) in the US.

    The 18-year-old will join the school in Williamsburg, Virginia, in January 2024 with the scholarship covering a portion of the tuition fees, which cost about US$40,000 (S$55,000) a year.

    With that, she will become the first Singaporean player to be accepted into a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I football programme.

    NCAA Division I represents the highest level of college sports in the US, with many of the athletes going on to play professionally. W&M is a top academic college and its football team play in the Colonial Athletic Association. Notable alumni include Jill Ellis, who coached the US women’s team to win two World Cups, and former US national team defender Megan McCarthy. The school also counts four US Presidents among its alumni – Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, John Tyler and George Washington.

    Tan told The Straits Times in a Zoom interview from London, where she is studying at Mill Hill School, that she had also received offers from two other NCAA-level colleges before opting for W&M.

    The holder of 15 caps said: “After speaking to all the players and coaches, I recognised that the school met my needs of both being very strong academically and football-wise. It’s a programme where I can really see myself thriving when I go to university.”

    The road to the US has been an arduous one for Tan, who first attended trials there as early as 2018. But while she is US-bound, it is her stint in England that has shaped her on and off the pitch. She was the first female player to represent Mill Hill’s first XI football team as the school does not have a women’s side.

    Tan said: “The speed and the physicality (in the men’s Under-18 league) have been a lot higher than I am used to. So it forces me to think quicker and forces me to be a lot more aggressive.

    “Day in, day out, when you go to training, when you go to matches every single day, you’re forced to play at a high level and compete at your best. It just makes you a better player.”

    When she first competed alongside the men, she was often shoved around and thrown off the ball. But time in the gym working on her strength and conditioning meant that she is now able to get stuck in and win 50-50 challenges.

    Off the pitch, her perspective has widened.

    She said: “Coming to England, living alone, staying in a boarding school with people from all over the world such as Italy, Russia, India, China and even Iran, you get to see so many different perspectives and so many different views.”

    Tan, who counts Arsenal’s Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema as her idol, is aware that the latest news would make her a trailblazer for younger athletes in Singapore who are chasing their sporting dreams.

    To that end, she had a message for aspiring pro footballers: “An overseas opportunity is not going to fall right into your lap.

    “You have to be proactive, cut up highlight reels, do up a CV and send it out to make people be aware about you.

    “Even though people might see that I have got a place in the US, they don’t see all the work over the years that I have put in, in e-mailing coaches and setting up a chance to play in front of these coaches.

    “A lot of times, people just expect it to all come to them, rather than reaching out and grabbing it for themselves.”

    Tan is not resting on her laurels. She has already set her sights on her next mission.

    She said: “My next goal is to play professionally. It is my ultimate goal. And to do that, I need to perform well in college and make a real impact.”

    Judging by her track record, it will be sooner rather than later before Tan hits her third target.

    MORE ON THIS TOPIC
    Football: Lionesses Putri and Danelle step out of comfort zone in pursuit of dream
    Football: Danelle Tan bags another brace to send Sailors to top of Women's Premier League

    A day in Tan’s life:
    7am: Wake up and check the weather forecast
    7.20am: Call parents and tell them about my day before
    7.50am: Breakfast in school dining hall (usually eggs, toast and cereal)
    8.50am: School - economics, chemistry and further math (my favourite!) classes
    1pm: Lunch (changes every day but I get excited every time I see fried rice on the menu)
    2pm: Leave school early for training with strength and conditioning coach
    4pm: Training with Mill Hill First XI (boys) at school pitches
    7pm: Friends bring back dinner from school for me to heat up and eat (chicken katsu curry is usually served on Tuesdays)
    8pm: Shower and do laundry
    9pm: Finish up school work
    10pm: Reading before bed (currently reading How To Win by The Secret Footballer)

    [​IMG]
    Tan’s tips for aspiring athletes
    1. Work so hard you don’t give others the chance to say no.

    2. Be proactive and reach out to as many people!

    3. Stay consistent.
     
    #778 Loh, Nov 21, 2022 at 9:39 PM
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022 at 9:58 PM

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