WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Sports happenings in Singapore (1-7 May)

OCBC Cycle draws nearly 7,300 cyclists, SBA in million-dollar partnership, UA Combine to return to Singapore in October

Close to 7,300 cyclists participated in the Sportive Ride and The Straits Times City Ride of OCBC Cycle 2023. (PHOTO: OCBC Cycle)
Close to 7,300 cyclists participated in the Sportive Ride and The Straits Times City Ride of OCBC Cycle 2023. (PHOTO: OCBC Cycle)

SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (1 to 7 May):

Nearly 7,300 cyclists take part in OCBC Cycle 2023

Close to 7,300 cyclists took part in the OCBC Cycle 2023 event at the Singapore Sports Hub on Saturday and Sunday (6 and 7 May), marking the first full-scale OCBC Cycle event since 2019, when the pandemic disrupted large-scale sports events and the 2022 edition was limited to 2,000 cyclists joining in person.

The Straits Times 20km City Ride was flagged off at 6.30am on Sunday by Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth; Helen Wong, group chief executive officer of OCBC Bank; Alan Goh, Sport Singapore CEO; Quek Swee Kuan, Singapore Sports Hub CEO; and Jaime Ho, editor of The Straits Times.

Participants of The Sportive 40km Ride started as early as 5.30am, with the event shortened to 20km due to bad weather. Riders were still able to complete a scenic route on roads specifically closed for the event, taking them past stunning views of the city, before finishing inside the National Stadium.

The semi-finals and grand final of the OCBC Cycle Indoor Ride by Shimano was held on Saturday, with participants racing one another in an indoor cycling environment using virtual riding platform Zwift. Clement Tan emerged as the final winner after completing a virtual 10km course at Shimano Cycling World.

Young cyclists also took part in the Mighty Savers Family Ride on Saturday, which returns as an in-person event after being held virtually for the past three years. OCBC Cycle continues with the virtual rides until 5 June, with the following categories – 100km Virtual Ride, 500km Virtual Ride and the Spin Ride by CRU.

The OCBC Bank cycle team (red jersey) en route to winning the Corporate Championship at the OCBC Cycle 2023 event. (PHOTO: OCBC Cycle)
The OCBC Bank cycle team (red jersey) en route to winning the Corporate Championship at the OCBC Cycle 2023 event. (PHOTO: OCBC Cycle)

Thrilling finishes at OCBC Cycle Speedway Championships

Allied World Quantum Racing A team won the OCBC Cycle Speedway Championships club competition at the Singapore Sports Hub on Saturday (6 May), emerging tops in the elite cycling event among 14 participating teams.

The competition reached a thrilling conclusion as Allied World Quantum Racing A defeated Specialized Dynasty Mavericks A by a razor-thin margin, clocking a mean timing of 17min 56.1sec to win by 0.4sec.

In the Corporate Championship competition, the OCBC Bank team clinched victory with a mean time of 19min 36.3sec. SCDF finished second in 19min 44.7sec, while Advanced Micro Devices took third place with a finishing time of 20min 0.4sec.

The OCBC Cycle Speedway Championships’ race format features teams of four riders, split into two pairs, riding a total of 10 laps around the one-kilometre Stadium Drive circuit. Two cyclists ride the first five laps before handing over to their teammates for the remaining five laps. Teams were ranked based on the finishing time of the second pair of riders.

SBA in $1.1m partnership with KFF, JK Technology

The Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) announced on Tuesday (2 May) a $1.1 million sponsorship from the Karim Family Foundation (KFF) and JK Technology, the sponsors of next month's Singapore Badminton Open.

The KFF will be sponsoring $600,000 over the next three years, with the funding dedicated to supporting players in the performance pathway in training and competitions.

Meanwhile, JK Technology will commit $500,000 towards supporting the SBA’s newly introduced post-career gratuity program. The program aims to provide financial security to national shuttlers who have dedicated their time and effort toward achieving sporting excellence.

"The sponsorships will play a vital role in supporting the development of our national badminton players and aiding their financial future through the post-career gratuity program. This is a significant step towards achieving our goals of building a sustainable and thriving badminton ecosystem in Singapore," said SBA chief executive officer Alan Ow.

Queenstown Sports Centre to close for rejuvenation works

ActiveSG Queenstown Sport Centre - Singapore's first neighbourhood sports complex - will be closing on 15 May for rejuvenation works.

Over 500 residents took part in the closing "pool party" on Saturday (6 May), with Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth, as the guest-of-honour.

The event celebrated the sport centre’s heritage, with many Queenstown residents learning to swim at the complex and participating in the 1975 and 1983 National Day Parade decentralised activities. A video showcasing some of the residents’ fond memories of the centre was also shown.

Residents can look forward to upgraded sporting facilities at the same location when the rejuvenation works are completed in 2025.

A visitor at the roving Olympic Esports Week trailer trying out virtual reality games. (PHOTO: Olympic Esports Week)
A visitor at the roving Olympic Esports Week trailer trying out virtual reality games. (PHOTO: Olympic Esports Week)

Community activation begins for Olympic Esports Week

Visitors in the Bugis area over the weekend caught the first glimpse of the exciting offerings that will be on show at the inaugural Olympic Esports Week, via its community activations to mark the 50-day countdown to the 22 to 25 June event.

A roving trailer showcasing the world of esports and virtual sports made its debut at Bugis+ from Friday to Sunday (5 to 7 May), as the public tried racing simulation game Gran Turismo and showed off their moves in JustDance – both titles to be contested in the live finals of the Olympic Esports Series.

The trailer will be moving to its next location, Temasek Polytechnic, from Monday to Thursday (8 to 11 May). Between now till June, it will make its way to 13 locations across the island and the public is welcome to visit the truck to try out some esports titles.

Full schedule: Temasek Polytechnic (8-11 May), Toa Payoh Sports Centre (12-14 May), Republic Polytechnic (15-18 May), Our Tampines Hub (19-21 May), ITE College Central (22-25 May), Singapore Sports Hub (27-28 May), Galaxis@one-north (29 May-1 June), Somerset Youth Park (2 and 4 June), Capital Tower (5 - 8 June), Bugis Junction (9-11 June), Plaza Singapura (12-18 June), Raffles City Shopping Centre (19-22 June), Singapore Sports Hub and Raffles City Shopping Centre (23-25 June)

Tickets to the Olympic Esports Week is available now with tickets starting from $10 per day and three-day passes are available from $20. Day passes for families (two adults and two students) are also available from $25.

Freediving national records broken at Ultimate Freediving Challenge-V

National freediver Fu Xingqiang set a new national record of 226m dive using bifins during the Ultimate Freediving Challenge-V competition at the Bukit Merah Swimming Complex on Saturday (6 May).

The objective of the competition was for divers to swim the furthest distance in the pool on a single breath, and resulted in four records being broken by Singapore-based freedivers.

Besides Fu, Estonia's Dmitri Melnikov set his country's national record with a 267m dive using a mono fin; Peter Sturgeon set a new British national record with a 202m dive using bifins; and Myanmar's May Thiri Nang made a national-record-breaking dive of 39m using a mono fin.

The athletes will be representing their countries at the Freediving Pool World Championships in Jeju in June. Four Singaporeans - team captain Fu, Daniel Kwok, Patricia Paige Ong and Chai Hui Mian - will be representing Singapore, marking the first time the city-state has a full team competing at the championships.

UA Combine Singapore to be held in October

This year's UA Combine fitness competition will be held at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre on 21 October, and registration will begin from Monday (8 May).

The event will see competitors testing their limits in a total of eight physical and mental tests devised by Under Armour‘s global head of athlete performance, Michael Watts. Each test will challenge the athlete's agility, stamina, vertical, power, endurance, strength, speed, and cognition.

Points will be earned for each completed test and athletes will be ranked according to their final result, with medals and cash prizes of $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000 awarded to the top three athletes in both the men’s and women’s divisions.

Additionally, Under Armour is lowering the entry age to inspire younger athletes aged 16 to 18 to compete and win a one-year product sponsorship worth $1,500 for the top male and female youths respectively.

Participants are encouraged to form a group of four and compete as an individual and as a team. The scores of each individual on the team will be totalled to a team score. The highest team score will bring home $2,000 worth of Under Armour gear.

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