WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Sports happenings in Singapore (13-19 Nov)

Para swimmers honoured at awards night, table tennis gets interim home at OCBC Arena, silat athletes in rich medal harvest in Dubai

(From left) Para swimmer Yip Pin Xiu receives the Sportswoman of the Year award at the Singapore Disability Sports Awards, paddlers Zhou Jingyi and Izaac Quek win the U-19 mixed doubles title at WTT Youth Star Contender Vila Nova de Gaia tournament, and golfer Aloysa Atienza wins the female golfer of the year award at the SGA Annual Gala and Awards Dinner. (PHOTOS: SDSC/STTA/SGA)

SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (13 to 19 November):

Yip Pin Xiu, Toh Wei Soong earn top honours at awards night

Para-swimmers Yip Pin Xiu and Toh Wei Soong continued to dominate the top awards at the annual Singapore Disability Sports Awards, with Yip winning a fourth consecutive Sportswoman of the Year award and Toh clinching his second straight Sportsman of the Year honour.

The award ceremony at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre on Wednesday (15 November) also saw 2022 ASEAN Para Games boccia gold medalists Aloysius Gan and Toh Sze Ning earning the Team of the Year award together with their competition partners Kagan Gan and Chew Zi Qun.

Wong Zhi Wei, a Year 1 student at National University of Singapore who claimed two golds at the 2022 ASEAN Para Games in the 50m and 100m freestyle (S13) events, earned the Sportsboy of the Year nod. Bowler Adelia Naomi Yokoyama, who amassed eight medals at the Deaflympics and SEA Deaf Games last year, was named Sportsgirl of the Year.

Former national bowler William Woo claimed the Coach of the Year (High Performance) award, while para table tennis coach Goh Chyuan was honoured as Coach of the Year (Development).

Nominations for the awards surged from 30 to 80 this year, representing a diverse age range spanning from 12 to 76 years old. This year’s awards also coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Singapore Disability Sports Council, with about 300 contributors and supporters within the disability sports sector in attendance at the award ceremony to commemorate the golden jubilee.

PHOTOS: Citibank
PHOTOS: Citibank

Citibank launches campaign to bring customers to Champions League final

Citibank is launching its first football promotional campaign in Singapore, giving its customers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the prestigious UEFA Champions League final live in London.

Together with Mastercard, Citibank Singapore will send 11 individuals on an exclusive journey to the 2024 Champions League final at the Wembley Stadium in London. In addition, one lucky child will accompany a player onto the field as a player mascot – the only one from Singapore to do so.

The Citibank’s UEFA Champions League Mastercard Priceless Experience campaign will run from now until 31 January, offering Citi Credit or Debit Mastercard cardholders the chance to win a four-day-three-night trip for two to watch the final. Every $1,000 of qualifying spend on any Citi Credit or Debit Mastercard will provide cardholders with one chance in the draw.

Separately, the Player Mascot Mastercard Priceless Experience runs from 1 December to 31 January, and is exclusively for qualifying Citigold Private Client customers. This package features a four-day-three-night all-inclusive paid trip for three people, including a nominated child getting the unique opportunity to be a player mascot.

A minimum qualifying spend of $6,000 spent on their Citi Credit or Debit Mastercard will provide them with a chance to enter the draw.

Singapore wushu athlete Zeanne Law at the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games.
Singapore wushu athlete Zeanne Law at the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games. (PHOTO: Song Yanhua/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Zeanne Law wins women's taijiquan wushu world title

Singapore wushu athlete Zeanne Law clinched the city-state's fifth-ever gold at the World Wushu Championships, winning the women’s taijiquan title in Fort Worth, Texas, on Saturday (18 November).

The 18-year-old Singapore Sports School student came out tops in a 17-strong field, after finishing tie on 9.776 points with Filipino runner-up Agatha Wong. She was awarded the gold as she completed a move with a higher difficulty – a 450-degree turn compared with Wong’s 360-degree turn. Brunei’s Basmar Lachkar was third with 9.770, while Singapore’s Vera Tan was placed eighth with 9.643.

Law thus follows the achievements of previous Singapore world champions Vincent Ng (men's daoshu in 1995), Emily Sin, Tan Yu Juan and Tao Yi Jun (women's duilian trio in 2011), Ho Lin Ying (women's taijiquan in 2013) and Tan Xiang Tian (men's xinyingquan in 2015).

Her teammate Tay Yu Xuan, however, narrowly lost out on gold, coming in second in the men’s taijijian event by just 0.04 to Chinese Taipei’s Chen Yu-wei. The other Singaporean medallists at the world championships are Jowen Lim (men's daoshu silver), Kimberly Ong (women's changquan bronze) and Vera Tan (women’s taijijian bronze).

STTA opens interim home as Izaac Quek, Zhou Jingyi triumph

The Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) officially opened its new training facilities at OCBC Arena Hall 6 on Friday (17 November), moving from its long-time Toa Payoh premises which will make way for the construction of a new regional sport centre. The new premises will serve as the interim home for the association for the next six years.

The association unveiled plans to identify and train junior talents at a younger age, with the initiation of the selection trials for eight-year-olds into the junior development squad. Previously, only nine-year-olds and above were invited for such trials.

During the opening ceremony - which was graced by Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth - STTA also received a $250,000 donation from Indonesia billionaire Dr Tahir, which will go to its pathway development and high performance sports system.

Meanwhile, national paddlers Izaac Quek and Zhou Jingyi clinched the Under-19 mixed doubles title at the WTT Youth Star Contender tournament in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, on Friday. The duo defeated Romania's Andrei Istrate and Italy's Nicole Arlia 11-9, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8 in the final.

Zhou also teamed up with Ser Lin Qian to clinch the U-19 girls' doubles title, as they defeated Annett Kaufmann from Germany and Enisa Sadikovic from Luxembourg 11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9 in the final on Sunday.

Silat athletes emerge tops in major events in Dubai

The Singapore pencak silat national athletes emerged tops at two recent championships hosted by the United Arab Emirates Pencak Silat Federation, concluding both events as overall champions.

They won 11 golds, 5 silvers and 5 bronzes at the 7th Asian Pencak Silat Championships, as well as 31 golds, 7 silvers and three bronzes at the inaugural Middle East Open Pencak Silat Championships. Both were held concurrently from 9 to 12 November at the Al-Nasr Club in Dubai.

A total of 11 countries competed in this year’s Asian Pencak Silat Championships, and Singapore’s Sheik Ferdous Sheik Alau’ddin, who won the Male Class I category (85-90kg), was named the event’s Best Athlete. Meanwhile, Aura Aydria Putri Soffian was the Best Athlete for the Middle East Open Pencak Silat Championship, with her victory in the Junior Female Under-39kg category.

Singapore has increased its gold medal tally at each edition of the Asian Pencak Silat Championships. At the previous edition of the event last year, the national team clinched nine gold medals.

Christian Ho finishes 2nd in second Spanish F4 season

Singapore’s teenage race driver Christian Ho wrapped up his second season in the Spanish F4 championship in style, finishing second in the drivers’ championship after securing all three pole positions, fastest laps and wins on offer at the final race weekend in Barcelona.

Becoming the first driver to have secured pole position for all three F4 races in the same weekend, the 17-year-old Campos Racing driver made strong starts in each race and kept his cool to secure all three wins, taking his total tally to five wins, 13 podium finishes and seven poles out of 21 races this year.

This season is another successful step in what has been a promising career for Ho, since he moved to Europe to pursue his dreams of becoming a Formula One driver. In 2018, he moved to Milan to train and 18 months later, he became the first Asian to win a race in the Deutsche Kart Meisterschaft (DKM) German Karting Championship series.

Following a successful karting journey, during which he came in second in the FIA Karting Academy Trophy and the German Junior championship in OK-Junior karts in 2019, Ho made the step up to F4 racing last year, where he finished 13th in his first season. Ho will return to Singapore before gearing up for his Eurocup-3 debut with Campos Racing next season.

Singapore former national basketball player and coach Chong Yew Seng. (PHOTO: Basketball Association of Singapore)
Singapore former national basketball player and coach Chong Yew Seng died on 12 November at age 65. (PHOTO: Basketball Association of Singapore)

Special basketball game to commemorate Chong Yew Seng

The Basketball Association of Singapore (BAS), together with the Jurong Secondary School Basketball Alumni Community, will host a special exhibition game to celebrate the legacy of the late national player and coach Chong Yew Seng and raise funds for the family.

The game will be held at the BAS premises at 3pm on Sunday (26 November), just before the National Basketball League Division 1 grand final.

Chong died on 12 November at age 65, after being diagnosed with advanced peritoneal mesothelioma, a form of cancer affecting the lining of the abdomen, in September. He had represented the national team for over a decade, and was in the team that stunned Iran 68-63 at the 1981 Asian Basketball Confederation Championship.

After his playing days, he began coaching at Jurong Secondary School, where he continued to inspire and nurture young talents.

Winners galore at SGA Annual Gala and Awards dinner

James Leow was named as the male golfer of the year, while Aloysa Atienza was the female golfer of the year at the Singapore Golf Association (SGA) Annual Gala and Awards dinner at Orchid Country Club on Wednesday (15 November).

The male junior golfer of the year award went to Daryl Low, while Chen Xingtong earned the female junior golfer of the year honours. The Hana Financial Group Singapore Women’s Open, which made its debut at the Tanah Merah Country Club in December last year, was honoured as the best new golf event of the year.

During the event, SGA also unveiled Liang Wenchong, the first mainland Chinese golfer to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit title in 2007, as its newest golf ambassador. With 21 professional wins worldwide, the 45-year-old will help develop and enhance Singapore’s golf ecosystem.

As part of the inaugural SGA Golf Week, a community engagement program with the Singapore Disability Sports Council was organised and held at the Keppel Club on Thursday, as national coach Murray Smit and several national golfers introduced the sport to participants.

Singapore squad unveiled for World Floorball Championships

Singapore national women's floorball team unveiled a squad of 20 players for the Women’s World Floorball Championships (WFC), which will take place from 2 to 10 December at the OCBC Arena and the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The team will be led by captain Michelle Lok, who will be competing in her fourth WFC, and feature eight debutantes: forwards Lim En Jia, Jeffri Nasha and Adlyn Heng, defenders Foo Wen Xin, Hoo Mei Hui, Lim Jie Ying and Daphne Tan, and goalkeeper Shazana Noor.

The reigning SEA Games champions will start their tournament on 2 December against France, who are competing in the WFC for the first time. The other teams competing are world No. 1 and defending champions Sweden, 2021 runner-up Finland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Norway, Latvia, Germany, Denmark, Australia, Japan, Estonia, the United States and France.

Tickets are available at Sistic, and prices start from $15 for youth aged six to 17, and $20 for those above 18.

Singapore WFC squad - Goalkeepers: Shermaine Goh, Shazana Noor. Defenders: Yeo Xuan, Tan Hui Zhi, Lim Jie Ying, Daphne Tan, Foo Wen Xin, Hoo Mei Hui. Forwards: Mindy Lim, Nasha Jeffri, Siti Nurhaliza K. Anuar, Jerelee Ong, Yee Yun Shawn, Heng Ying Ying, Amanda Yeap, Adlyn Heng, Ong Swee Ling, Shannon Yeoh, Michelle Lok, Lim En Jia.

Chris Jenkins elected Commonwealth Games Federation president

Former Wales rower Chris Jenkins has been elected as the president of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) during its General Assembly at Swissotel The Stamford on Wednesday (15 November).

Jenkins represented Wales as a rower at the 1986 Commonwealth Games before serving as chief executive officer of Commonwealth Games Wales, vice-president of CGF and chairman of CGF’s development committee.

He secured 64 votes from the 74 member nations and territories, to the 10 votes of opponent Kereyn Smith, the former CEO of the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

In his campaign, Jenkins pledged to transform the Games, reducing the costs of hosting and exploring innovative solutions which allow more countries to host. He also pledged to develop and strengthen the Commonwealth Games Associations.

Singapore National Olympic Council secretary-general Chris Chan was elected to join the CGF board during the assembly.

Rebranded My Golf Kaki offers greater access, affordability

Golfers in Singapore can now enjoy greater access and affordability with the newly-rebranded My Golf Kaki (MGK), which is owned and managed by NTUC Club.

Leveraging NTUC Club’s current golf assets such as Orchid Country Club and Marina Bay Golf Course, MGK members can look forward to new partnerships with local and overseas golf courses, affiliated academy partners including Star Golf Academy, and golf-related lifestyle merchants.

MGK’s new Telegram channel keeps members up to date on the latest golfing activities. Golf enthusiasts can also look forward to a new Golf Hub at OCC, which is a one-stop service centre with a lounge as well as a retail section.

Annual MGK membership is priced between $80 and $200 (with golf insurance and maintenance of handicap index) – the lowest in the market. Golf lessons at MGK Academy costs $390, which includes lessons, a Proficiency Certificate test and a one-year MGK membership.

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