Singapore sports round-up (15-21 Jan): GSIC AsiaPac Summit, shuttler Yeo Jia Min's stirring India Open run

Top four golfers confirmed for HSBC Women's World Championship, Nike opens three-storey flagship store at 268 Orchard Road

A panel discussion at the GSIC Asia-Pacific Summit 2024, held at the Singapore Sports Hub. (PHOTO: GSIC)
A panel discussion at the GSIC Asia-Pacific Summit 2024, held at the Singapore Sports Hub. (PHOTO: GSIC)

SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (15 to 21 January):

Sports industry discusses innovation at GSIC Asia-Pacific Summit

The Global Sports Innovation Center (GSIC), whose Asia-Pacific headquarters are based in Singapore, held its second Asia-Pacific Summit at the Singapore Sports Hub on Tuesday and Wednesday (16 and 17 January). The summit saw members of the global sports industry discussing topics from fan engagement to the metaverse and e-sports.

One of the key discussions on the agenda was how technology - particularly artificial intelligence (AI) - can be used to create brand-new fan experiences. Speakers and panellists spoke on how AI can help sports entities create content, customise the sports statistics for each fan, and allow fans to choose which camera angles to watch from the comforts of their living rooms.

Esports is also offering plenty of opportunities for sports innovation, with speakers at the summit providing insights on how to create metaverse fan experiences such as virtual stadiums. Another area of discussion is creating smart stadiums with advanced technologies to provide personalised experiences for fans - something which the Kallang Alive Sport Management is planning to do to enhance the experience for Sports Hub patrons.

"Sports is increasingly becoming a digital business, necessitating the adoption of new content formats, platforms, and methods to engage fans across digital channels and devices," said GSIC president Sebastian Lancestremère.

"Fans are also seeking entertainment experiences, and technology plays a crucial role in meeting their demands. To address the digital challenges, innovative approaches are essential to connect with sports brands, aligning with initiatives like the GSIC to provide these unique experiences."

Singapore's Yeo Jia Min hits a return against Taiwan's Tai Tzu-ying in the 2024 India Open semi-finals.
Singapore's Yeo Jia Min hits a return against Taiwan's Tai Tzu-ying in the 2024 India Open semi-finals. (PHOTO: Arun Sankar/AFP via Getty Images)

Yeo Jia Min's stirring India Open run ends in semi-finals

Shuttler Yeo Jia Min's run at the India Open ended at the hands of women's world No.3 Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan, who defeated the Singaporean world No.20 13-21, 18-21 in the semi-finals at New Delhi on Friday (19 January). It was the Singaporean's first appearance in the semi-finals a BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament - the third-highest tier of BWF World Tour events.

It was an encouraging month for Yeo, who defeated top-10 players at both the Malaysia and India Opens - world No.8 Han Yue of China at the Malaysia Open, and Indonesia's world No.7 Gregoria Mariska Tunjung and injured world No.1 An Se-young of South Korean at the India Open.

Singapore's mixed doubles duo Terry Hee and Jessica Tan, who won two titles in the last two months and reached the Malaysia Open semi-finals, stumbled in their opening round in New Delhi as they lost 20-22, 14-21 to Taiwan's Ye Hong-wei and Lee Chia-hsin on Wednesday.

Top 4 golfers to play at HSBC Women's World Championship

The world’s top four women's golfers - Lilia Vu, Yin Ruoning, Celine Boutier and Minjee Lee - have confirmed their participations in the 2024 HSBC Women’s World Championship, taking place at Sentosa Golf Club from 29 February to 3 March.

Joining defending champion Ko Jin-young, American world No.1 Vu will be looking to build on her breakout 2023 season, which saw her win the first and last Majors of the year. Meanwhile, China’s Yin and France’s Boutier also shot up the world rankings after securing their first Major titles last year.

Lee, a two-time Major winner, finished her year strong, winning two out of the final four events of the LPGA season. Tickets for this year’s tournament are on sale.

Nike's newly-opened Orchard Road store is its largest in Asia outside of China. (PHOTO: Nike)
Nike's newly-opened Orchard Road store is its largest in Asia outside of China. (PHOTO: Nike)

Nike opens flagship store at 268 Orchard Road

Nike, in partnership with global retailer and distributor GMG, has opened its flagship store at 268 Orchard Road on Thursday (18 January). The store is designed to serve athletes of all ages who are passionate about sport and enjoy being active.

The store has three levels and occupies 28,000 square feet of space, which makes it the global sports apparel company’s largest mono-brand Nike store in Asia, outside of China. It features the Swoosh Studio, a sport, wellness and creativity space that will host fitness and wellness programming with Nike Trainers and Coaches.

Nike members can also express their creativity in an immersive customisation experience on the third floor. Select footwear and apparel purchased in-store can be personalised with city-exclusive graphics and accessories.

Table tennis teams learn opponents at World Championships

Singapore men’s and women’s table tennis teams have been drawn into their respective opening groups at the ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals, which will be held in Busan from 15 to 25 February.

The men's team were drawn into Group 7 with Brazil, Slovenia, Canada and Malaysia. Meanwhile, the women's team - who won the 2010 edition by stunning China in the final - were also drawn into Group 7 of their competition, facing Romania, Sweden, Canada and Serbia for a place in the knockout stage.

The top three teams from each of the eight groups will qualify for the knockout stages, and the eight countries that qualify for the quarter-finals will seal their places at this year's Paris Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, tickets are on sale for the WTT Singapore Smash tournament, to be held at the OCBC Arena from 7 to 17 March. The third edition of the WTT Grand Smash tournament is set to feature the top 128 men’s and women’s singles players vying to claim their share of US$1,500,000 prize money and qualify for the Paris Olympics.

FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup returns for 3rd edition in March

The FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup basketball tournament will return for a third straight edition in Singapore this year, with tickets on sale for the event to be held at the Singapore Sports Hub from 27 to 31 March.

This year's edition will be especially important, as teams are vying for places in the 2024 Paris Olympics, where 3x3 basketball will be making its second appearance at the sporting extravaganza.

Over 43 teams representing more than 20 nations from around the world will face off at the tournament. Tickets start from $5 per session (excluding booking fee), with each session promising a minimum of six games. Sessions 1 and 2 on 27 and 28 March are free for all patrons, on a first-come-first-served basis until full capacity is reached.

Netballers to face Malaysia in 3-match test series

The Singapore national netball team will take on Malaysia in a three-match test series on 15, 17 and 18 February. All three matches are open to the public and free to attend - the 15 February match will take place at OCBC Arena Hall 3, while the other two games will be held at Our Tampines Hub.

This series marks the first time since September 2022 that Singapore and Malaysia are playing against one another. The last encounter saw Singapore beat Malaysia 54-41 during at the 2022 Asian Netball Championships semi-finals in Singapore.

The Singapore Opens team to compete in the series remain largely unchanged from the team at the 2023 Mirxes Nations Cup, except for the additions of defender K. Mishalenee and shooter Goh Wei Ping.

Singapore Opens team: Toh Kai Wei (co-captain), Khor Ting Fang (co-captain), Aqilah Andin (vice-captain), Goh Wei Ping, Lee Pei Shan, Amandeep Kaur, Angelina Lim, Tan Yi Jie, Rachel Ling, K. Mishalenee, Jamie Lim, Reena Divya. Reserves: Rebecca Leong, Priscilla Wong, Sherlyn Yip.

SportSG launches Sport Data Exchange Singapore

Sport Singapore (SportSG) launched on Tuesday (16 January) the Sport Data Exchange Singapore (SportDexSG), a new digital platform that facilitates the sharing of data and insights between sport ecosystem players in Singapore and beyond.

The platform aims to support the sport industry in leveraging data and insights to achieve sustainable growth and innovations. SportSG will be putting data from its annual National Sport Participation Survey and selected datasets on ActiveSG swimming pool and gym usage available for industry stakeholders.

The sports governing body also unveiled an enhanced Enterprise Innovation and Capability Development Grant (InnoGrant 2.0), with eligible companies being able to apply for up to $1 million to fund innovation sports projects. The eligibility criteria have been designed to enable sport businesses to continue driving innovation in areas such as Active Virtual Sports and innovation competitions.

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