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Singapore sports round-up (12-18 Feb): Swim quartet qualify for Paris Olympics, men's paddlers shine in Busan

Netballers sweep Malaysia in three-match test series, while men's shuttlers exit Badminton Asia Team Championships in quarter-finals

Singapore's women's 4x100m medley team of (from left) Quah Ting Wen, Quah Jing Wen, Letitia Sim and Levenia Sim qualified for 2024 Paris Olympics at the World Aquatic Championships in Doha. (PHOTO: Simone Castrovillari/World Aquatics)
Singapore's women's 4x100m medley team of (from left) Quah Ting Wen, Quah Jing Wen, Letitia Sim and Levenia Sim qualified for 2024 Paris Olympics at the World Aquatic Championships in Doha. (PHOTO: Simone Castrovillari/World Aquatics)

SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (12 to 18 February):

Swim quartet make history in qualifying for 2024 Paris Olympics

Singapore women's 4x100m medley relay team of Quah Ting Wen, Quah Jing Wen, Leititia Sim and Levenia Sim have qualified for the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics, after they came in ninth in their event at the World Aquatic Championships in Doha on Sunday (18 February).

The swim quartet clocked a national record 4min 2.88sec - eclipsing their previous mark of 4:06.97 set at the 2023 SEA Games in Cambodia. The top 13 of the 23 competing nations in the event will earn a spot at the upcoming Summer Games, and the quartet thus became the first Singaporean swimmers to qualify for a women’s relay event at the quadrennial Olympics.

Jonathan Tan (men's 50m freestyle) and Letitia (women's 100m breaststroke) have also qualified for the individual events in Paris.

Singapore paddlers beat Malaysia at World Team C'ships

Singapore men's table tennis team stayed on course to advance into the last-16 at the ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals in Busan, after defeating Malaysia 3-0 on Sunday (18 February).

Izaac Quek recovered from a slow start to beat Javen Choong 11-9, 11-9, 11-6 in the opening tie, while Koen Pang extended Singapore's lead to 2-0 by defeating Wong Qi Sheng 12-10, 11-6, 11-9. It was left to Clarence Chew to clinch the tie after beating Leong Chee Feng 15-13, 12-10, 11-9.

The win puts Singapore top of Group 7 with two wins and a loss. They had stunned world No.8 Brazil 3-0 earlier last week, but lost to Slovenia 1-3. They will next play Canada on Tuesday.

The national women's team, on the other hand, lost their opening two ties in Group 7, 2-3 to Sweden and 1-3 to Romania. They will face Canada next on Monday.

Singapore national netball team vice-captain Aqilah Andin tries to block a shot by a Malaysia player during their third test match at Our Tampines Hub. (PHOTO: Netball Singapore)
Singapore national netball team vice-captain Aqilah Andin tries to block a shot by a Malaysia player during their third test match at Our Tampines Hub. (PHOTO: Netball Singapore)

Netballers sweep Singapore v Malaysia test series 3-0

The Singapore national netball team swept the three-match Singapore-Malaysia test series, after winning the final match 70-32 at Our Tampines Hub on Sunday (18 February).

The hosts had defeated their Causeway rivals 65-41 in their first test match at the OCBC Arena on Thursday, before winning the second encounter 68-34 at Our Tampines Hub on Saturday.

The third match marked a special moment for Singapore vice-captain Aqilah Andin, who called time on her international career after playing 101 games across 12 years. The 27-year-old said, "It's been a pretty long, challenging journey, and I'm always very grateful for the opportunities that I am given to live my passion."

The next international netball tournament on Singapore shores will be the Mirxes Nations Cup from 1 to 7 September. The week-long tournament will see the Singapore Opens and A teams take on Botswana, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and Ireland.

Singapore exit at Badminton Asia Team C'ships q-finals

Singapore's men's national badminton team were eliminated by hosts Malaysia in the quarter-finals of the Badminton Asia Team Championships on Friday (16 February), losing 1-3 at the Setia City Convention Center in Shah Alam.

Jason Teh took the opening singles tie after Malaysia's Ng Tze Yong retired with injury with Teh leading 3-1 in the first game. However, Malaysia drew level after 2022 men's doubles world champions Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik defeated Loh Kean Hean and Howin Hong 21-11, 22-24, 21-14.

The hosts seized the lead after Leong Jun Hao thrashed Joel Koh 21-8, 21-12, before Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin wrapped up the team victory by beating Wesley Koh and Junsuke Kubo 21-6, 20-22, 21-8.

Singapore had advanced out of the group stage by beating Thailand 3-2 and Myanmar 5-0, which bookended a 0-5 loss to Japan. Meanwhile, the national women's team did not advance out of their group, losing 0-5 to both Japan and Chinese Taipei.

2019 Open champ Shane Lowry to play in Porsche S'pore Classic

Ireland's Shane Lowry, winner of the 2019 Open Championship, has been unveiled as the first star golfer for the US$2.5 million Porsche Singapore Classic 2024, which will be held from 21 to 24 March at the Laguna National Golf Resort Club.

The 36-year-old made his maiden appearance in Singapore in 2009, and is looking forward to competing at the tournament, which marks the beginning of the Asian swing on the European Tour's 2024 Race to Dubai. “I played in Singapore a few times earlier in my career and loved experiencing everything the city has to offer. I’ve never played at Laguna National before but I’ve heard good things and it looks a great test," he said in a media release on Monday (12 February).

The DP World Tour returned to Singapore last year after an eight-year hiatus with South Africa’s Ockie Strydom triumphing at Laguna National. It first came to Singapore in 1993, with Major champions Nick Faldo and Ian Woosnam winning the first editions of the Johnnie Walker Classic in 1993 and 1996.

Four golfers earn invites for HSBC Women's World C'ship

Four golfers - South Korea's Chun In-gee, China's Muni He, Miranda Wang and Shi Yuting - have received invitations to play at the 2024 HSBC Women’s World Championship at Sentosa Golf Club from 29 February to 3 March.

Chun has won three Major titles including the 2022 Women's PGA Championship, while He won the Prasco Charity Championship during her rookie year on the Epson tour in 2018. Wang clinched the IOA Championship and four top-10 finishes on the Epson Tour last year, while Shi Yuting made her debut at last year’s championship.

These four Asian stars will join 15-year-old Singaporean amateur Chen Xingtong, who clinched victory at the recent national qualifiers at Sentosa Golf Club by four shots, earning her a coveted LPGA debut to compete among the world's top players.

Pro golfers confirm participations at S'pore Women's Open

Singapore professional women's golfers Amanda Tan and Koh Sock Hwee have confirmed their participations at the S$1.1 million Hana Financial Group Singapore Women’s Open, which will be held from 7 to 10 March at the Tanah Merah Country Club.

Elite national amateur players Aloysa Atienza, Jaymie Ng, Chen Xingtong and Jillian Kuk, who are all part of the Singapore Golf Association’s national squad, are also set to feature at the Tampines Course, forming one of the largest local contingents in an international women’s golf event in Singapore this year.

Golf fans can also look forward to seeing at least 108 golfers in action, with top players from countries like Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and South Korea expected to participate in the tournament, which is part of the Ladies Asian Tour Series.

10 paddlers earn doubles wildcards for WTT Singapore Smash

Ten Singapore paddlers have received wildcards into the doubles competitions at the WTT Singapore Smash, which will be held at the Singapore Sports Hub's OCBC Arena from 7 to 17 March.

The men’s doubles will see three Singaporean pairs with Koen Pang partnering Izaac Quek, Clarence Chew teaming up with Ethan Poh and Josh Chua playing together with Lucas Tan. The women’s doubles will see Zeng Jian and Zhou Jingyi in action while Wong Xin Ru and Ser Lin Qian will form the other Singaporean women’s doubles pair.

In the mixed doubles, Quek and Zhou together with Pang and Wong will team up once again as they look for a more improved performance after the pairs were eliminated in the first round last year. Zeng and Pang will also be seeking to better their result after reaching the round of 16 last year.

Quek and Pang have secured main draw berths for the men’s singles event, while Zeng and Zhou will be competing in the women’s singles event.

National cricket team to move to West Coast Ground

The Singapore national cricket team will have a place to call home for the first time since 2016, as they will be moving into a dedicated training facility at West Coast Ground by mid-2024.This allows them to prepare for major competitions such as the SEA Games, Asian Games and International Cricket Council-ranking competitions.

The West Coast Ground will have a cricket pitch, cricket nets, gym and sheltered training area. The space was secured following following discussions which began in July 2023 among Sport Singapore, Singapore Land Authority and People's Association.

The lack of a proper training pitch for Singapore’s cricketers came to the fore during the 2023 SEA Games, as the national players raised concerns after they won men’s Sixes gold. SportSG had earlier negotiated a facility sharing agreement between Singapore Cricket Association, Singapore Indian Association and Ceylon Sport Club for the cricketers to train at Balestier Plain.

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