Singapore women's team rise to top of the world rankings in tchoukball

The feat was achieved after Singapore won the Asia Pacific Tchoukball Championships last year, dethroning Taiwan from the top spot

Singapore's Liaw Li Qing about to serve a goal in the air at the 2022 Asia Pacific Tchoukball Championships
Singapore's Liaw Li Qing (holding ball) in action at the 2022 Asia Pacific Tchoukball Championships. Photo: Tchoukball Association of Singapore/Facebook

SINGAPORE — Singapore can now claim to have a women's team ranked No.1 in the world - in the relatively obscure sport of tchoukball.

According to the International Tchoukball Federation, the Singapore team overtook Taiwan in the world rankings to reach the pinnacle on 1 January.

This comes after their historic victory over Taiwan in the 2022 Asia Pacific Tchoukball Championships final, which was held in August in Malaysia.

The Singapore men's team are also among the best in the world, ranking third overall behind Taiwan and Italy in the sport - in which teams try to score by hitting a trampoline target with a ball.

Unaware of their top ranking for nearly a month

Remarkably, none of the Singapore players and officials knew about this ascent to the world No.1 ranking for almost a full month.

According to The Straits Times, the achievement was discovered only when Delane Lim, president of the Tchoukball Association of Singapore, saw a post on the International Tchoukball Federation’s Facebook page last Friday (27 January).

In the latest world ranking update, the Singapore women's team scored 165.65 points to swop places with Taiwan (156.80 points). Switzerland (141.38 points) moved up a spot to take third place.

The team were subsequently informed via group chat, much to their delight.

“I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved," team captain Irene Tan, 32, told The Straits Times.

"Since I joined in 2009, the goal has always been to beat Chinese Taipei. It had seemed unattainable and with our hard work, we put in our best and tweaked what we needed to such that we’re able to achieve today’s result."

She explained that it was not the team’s practice to check the rankings, which are updated annually.

Raising awareness for the sport

The recent No.1 ranking serves as a confidence booster for the Singapore national teams ahead of the World Tchoukball Championships, which will be held in Prague from 31 July to 5 August.

Lim hopes this achievement will help raise awareness of tchoukball in Singapore and encourage more people to pick the sport up. He also hopes the sport can be included in the National School Games and be added as a demonstration sport in the 2027 SEA Games, which will be held in Malaysia.

Singapore will also be hosting the 6th World Youth Tchoukball Championships from 13 to 16 July this year. The city-state received confirmation from the International Tchoukball Federation (FITB) on Saturday (21 January).

The previous edition of the tournament was also hosted in Singapore, at Our Tampines Hub in 2019.

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