WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Sports happenings in Singapore (12-18 Dec)

Freediver Patricia Ong en route to setting her national record. (PHOTO: AAS)
Freediver Patricia Ong en route to setting her national record. (PHOTO: AAS)

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

National freediving records for Patricia Ong, Fu Xingqiang

Singapore freedivers Patricia Ong and Fu Xingqiang broke the national distance records at the Sports Lifestyle Centre on 5 December.

Ong, 33, became the first woman in Southeast Asia to reach 200 metres on a single breath in the dynamic (DYN) discipline, while Fu, 38, achieved 229 metres and then continued with a 175-metre unassisted dive and record in the dynamic no-fins (DNF) category.

Ong extended Elys Lai’s previous record of 190m, and leads the rankings for ASEAN women in this discipline. She is also fourth overall in Asia for 2022.

Fu beat his own DYN and DNF national records over the course of the competition. His new DYN national record of 229m places him fourth overall in Asia, while his DNF result places him 11th in the world.

Defending champ Ko to return for HSBC Women's World C'ship

Reigning HSBC Women's World Championship winner Ko Jin-young has confirmed her title defence for next year's tournament at Sentosa Golf Club from 2 to 5 March.

The South Korean world No.5 and two-time Major winner won this year's competition by a two-shot margin over Minjee Lee and Chun In-gee, clinching the title on the final hole.

“I am excited to return to Singapore to defend my title, but I am even more excited to hear that we will have fans back with us in 2023," Ko said in a media release on Thursday (15 December).

Tickets for the 2023 tournament are on sale at a special early-bird price ($24 to $94) to celebrate the news that the tournament will be able to welcome back fans next year. In addition, the first 100 tickets to be purchased will be entitled to a limited-edition goodie bag to be redeemed on site.

The 72-hole stroke play tournament will again be played on the Tanjong Course at Sentosa Golf Club, which hosts its 10th edition of the tournament.

Philippe Aw to return as Young Lions coach

The Young Lions will kick off their next Singapore Premier League (SPL) season under the stewardship of Philippe Aw.

The 45-year-old will be taking on the reins at the Young Lions for a second stint, and replaces Nazri Nasir, who has stepped down to focus on his duties as assistant coach of the Singapore men’s national team.

Aw has over 15 years of coaching experience, beginning at Home United’s centre of excellence before taking charge of their Prime League team and leading them to the title. He was appointed as Home United’s head coach in 2014 before becoming the head coach of Hougang United three years later.

On top of his duties as Young Lions head coach, Aw will also remain as the Football Association of Singapore’s head of methodology, ensuring the alignment of the adopted playing philosophy across the age-group teams.

SailGP introduces 'Beach Club' ticketing category

Singapore Sail Grand Prix organisers have announced a new ticketing category for the event on 14 and 15 January. The SailGP Beach Club category will allow spectators to enjoy an unobstructed view of the competition right on the beachfront in Parkland Green at East Coast Park.

Tickets are priced at $350, and spectators can also enjoy gazebo shading, dedicated screens, an all-inclusive food and drinks package and a live DJ during the SailGP event.

Fans who want to get even closer to the race action can also purchase the "Bring Your Own Boat" package ($388), which includes access to both race days, front row views near the finishing line, live race commentary over VHF, a souvenir flag, and beverage coupons to use after the race.

The race weekend will see nine international teams battle it out on identical high tech, hydrofoiling F50 catamarans at speeds of over 100 kmh. Singapore will be the eighth leg of SailGP’s 11-stop global championship that includes destinations such as Bermuda, Chicago, Copenhagen, Dubai, Sydney and San Francisco.

Westlite Integration Cup cricket tournament for migrant workers

In conjunction with the International Migrants Day, the Westlite Integration Cup cricket tournament was held on Sunday (18 December) at the Indian Association and Ceylon Sports Club.

The annual event is organised by workers accommodation company Westlite Accommodation. This year marks the seventh edition of its annual inter-dormitory cricket tournaments, as well as the Westlite Integration Cup.

The inter-dormitory tournament consisted of 130 Westlite migrant worker residents in 12 teams from nine purpose-built workers accommodation, while the Westlite Integration Cup featured 60 players in six corporate sponsors’ teams, each comprising of migrant workers, national-level players and under-19 talents.

A total of $11,000 in prize monies and trophies was given away across the two parallel tournaments.

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