Singapore sports round-up (13-19 May): Max Maeder wins 2nd world kitefoiling title, Geylang and Tampines in 4-4 SPL thriller

Toh Wei Soong and Yip Pin Xiu earn honours at Citi Para Swimming World Series Singapore, Cold Storage Kids Run to return on 2 June

Singaporean kitefoiler Maximilian Maeder wins his second consecutive world title, while Geylang International players celebrate a come-from-behind 4-4 draw in the Singapore Premier League (PHOTOS: Yahoo News Singapore/SPL)
Singaporean kitefoiler Maximilian Maeder wins his second consecutive world title, while Geylang International players celebrate a come-from-behind 4-4 draw in the Singapore Premier League (PHOTOS: Yahoo News Singapore/SPL)

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

Singaporean kitefoiler Maximilian Maeder geared up for a medal tilt at the 2024 Paris Olympics by winning his second consecutive world championship title on Sunday (19 May). With the Summer Games just two months away, the 17-year-old needed just one race to retain his crown in the first-to-three finals of the Formula Kite World Championships in Hyeres, France.

Maeder had qualified directly for the finals with two race wins, after finishing first in the opening series ahead of Italy's Riccardo Pianosi, Austria's Valentin Bontus and France's Axel Mazella. He then seized the first chance to retain his crown, emerging victorious in the opening race of the finals.

The Singaporean - who also won gold at last year's Asian Games - has been in impressive form this season, winning the Trofeo Princesa Sofia, European championships, KiteFoil International Open Cup and the Qualified Nations Regatta at the French Olympic Week.

Geylang International and BG Tampines Rovers played to a thrilling 4-4 draw in the Singapore Premier League at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday (17 May), a match which saw both sides coming back from two-goal deficits.

Tampines swept into a 2-0 within 11 minutes through goals from Boris Kopitovic (seventh-minute penalty) and Milos Zlatkovic (11th), but Geylang drew level before half-time through an own-goal by Amirul Adli (22nd) and Tomoyuki Doi (34th). The Eagles then swept into a 4-2 lead with goals from Naquiddin Eunos (61st) and Ryoya Taniguchi (75th), before Tampines rescued a point with two quick-fire goals from Taufik Suparno (82nd and 84th).

On Saturday, title favourites Lion City Sailors notched a 3-1 win over the Young Lions at Bishan Stadium. Goals from Maxime Lestienne (19th), Shawal Anuar (24th) and Bart Ramselaar (57th) eased the Sailors to victory, even though defender Bailey Wright was sent off for a second bookable offence just before half-time. Farhan Zulkifli (65th) got the consolation goal for the Young Lions.

Also on Saturday, defending champions Albirex Niigata Singapore got their first win of the season, notching a 1-0 win over Hougang United, courtesy of a seventh-minute tap-in by Shuhei Hoshino. The White Swans were also reduced to 10 men, after goalkeeper Hassan Sunny was given a straight red card for bringing down Stjepan Plazonja outside the penalty box.

On Sunday at Jurong East Stadium, Balestier Khalsa thrashed hosts Tanjong Pagar United 5-0 through goals from Kodai Tanaka (20th, 37th), Riku Fukashiro (45th, 60th) and Amiruldin Asraf (91st).

Singapore para swimmer Toh Wei Soong clinches a gold medal at the Citi Para Swimming World Series Singapore 2024. (PHOTO: Singapore Disability Sports Council)
Singapore para swimmer Toh Wei Soong clinches a gold medal at the Citi Para Swimming World Series Singapore 2024. (PHOTO: Singapore Disability Sports Council)

Singapore para-swimmers clinched four medals - one gold and one bronze by Toh Wei Soong, one silver and one bronze by Yip Pin Xiu - at the three-day Citi Para Swimming World Series Singapore 2024 held at the OCBC Aquatic Centre from 17 to 19 May.

Toh had won the men's 50m butterfly multi-class event on Friday, clocking 31.18sec to finished with 919 points, ahead of Japan's Kaede Hinata (884 points) and Kazakhstan's Siyazbek Daliyev (843). Earlier on Friday, he had claimed bronze in the men's 100m freestyle multi-class race, earning 908 points in 1min 4.28sec to finish behind Japan's Uchu Tomita (933) and South Korea's Lee In-kook (910).

Yip clinched her silver medal in the women's 50m backstroke (S1-S5) event on Saturday, clocking 1:04.89 for 853 points to finish behind the Philippines' Angel Mae Otom (914 points). She also earned a bronze in the women's 100m freestyle multi-class event, clocking 2:20.22 for 853 points to finish behind Japanese swimmers Tomomi Ishiura (897) and Ayano Tsujiuchi (881).

The World Para Swimming Series uses the Multi-Class Point System, where each swimmer’s result is compared to the world record for their specific sport class and awarded points. The closer the performance is to the relevant record, the higher the points.

Singapore added two golds at the South East Asian Youth Table Tennis Championships held in Kuala Lumpur, after winning the Under-19 mixed doubles and U-15 girls' doubles competitions on Tuesday (14 May).

It was an all-Singapore affair in the U-19 mixed doubles final as Loy Xing Yao, 15, and sister Ming Ying, 13, faced off against Nicholas Tan, 17, and Tan Zhao Yun, 19. The Loy siblings proved too strong for their fellow Singaporeans, as they took the game 11-3, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4.

Following that victory, Ming Ying then partnered fellow Singapore Sports School teammate Janelle Chiang in the U-15 girls doubles, as they cruised to a comfortable victory in the final against the Vietnam pair of Nguyen Nhu Quynh and Do Le Van Chi, winning 14-12, 11-6, 13-11.

The Singapore U-15 and U-19 girls' teams had earlier won golds on Monday, beating Thailand in both the team finals. The U-19s' win also secured their place in June's Asian Youth Championships in Chongqing.

Singapore ended the competition with four golds, two silvers and seven bronzes, with Ming Ying leading the team with three gold medals.

Singapore boccia player Nurulasyiqah Mohd Taha has clinched the gold medal in the BC3 female individual event at the 2024 Pajulahti World Boccia Challenger competition, which was held in Finland from 9 to 17 May.

After a 10-1 win against Saudi Arabia’s Lujain Althaqfi and 7-1 win against Denmark’s Tanija Madsen, Nurulasyiqah earned a bye in the third round to enter the semi-finals. She won 5-3 against Italy’s Giulia Marchisio, before defeating Germany’s Nancy Poser 6-2 in the final to seal her win.

This is Nurulasyiqah's first world gold medal after winning at the 2014 Montreal Boccia World Open - a sweet victory marking her 20th year in boccia. She had returned to the international scene in late 2023, after nearly three years away from the international circuit due to COVID-19 measures.

Meanwhile, Toh Sze Ning and Aloysius Gan also won gold for Singapore in the BC3 mixed pairs event. They won 7-1 against Finland, received a bye in Round Two, and triumphed 8-0 against Saudi Arabia. In the semi-finals, they beat Germany 6-2 and clinched the gold with a convincing 9-0 win against Italy.

These achievements followed Jeralyn Tan’s gold in the BC1 female individual event at the 2024 Montreal World Boccia Cup on 6 May.

The Cold Storage Kids Run will return on 2 June at Sentosa's Palawan Beach, with the kids-focused running event promising an exhilarating experience for participants starting from the age of seven.

This year's run will offer four categories across two distances. Boys and girls aged between 10 and 12 years old will compete against one another along a 2km route in the Pineapple Boys' and Apple Girls categories respectively.

Kids between seven and nine years old will compete along a 1.6km in the Blueberry Boys and Strawberry Girls. Parents will also be able to run with their children in the non-competitive yuu-Zu Family Fun category.

The top three runners in each category will walk away with hampers worth from $200 to $400. In addition, all young participants will receive an event T-shirt, medal, cap, and goodie bag, as well as free entry into Sentosa for the day.

The event will also introduce the Woof-berry run, a brand-new run for dog owners and their furry companions. Dogs of all breeds older than 12 months are welcome to join their owners in the 1.6km course.

Registration for the Cold Storage Kids Run closes on 25 May.

Top Spanish league LALIGA and Epsom College Malaysia have partnered to offer the LALIGA Academy Malaysia, which aims to provide a world-class holistic education that blends football and academics in equal measure.

Based in the college's Bandar Enstek campus, participants will train under the LALIGA methodology, reflecting the training, quality and standards of the top professional football division of the Spanish football league system.

The academy will welcome players between the ages of eight and 18 years old on 26 August to train under technical director and head coach Diego Gutierrez Ramos, who will work to ensure that LALIGA’s leading training concepts are appropriately disseminated for the comprehensive development of youth football players at Epsom.

The academy has also announced its scholarship programme for deserving young athletes, providing them with financial aid as well as access to top-tier coaching, a holistic education, state-of-the-art facilities, and a nurturing environment designed to unleash each player's full potential. It will be hosting tryouts to identify the individuals who are deserving of this opportunity.

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