WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Sports happenings in Singapore (13-19 Mar)

Loh Kean Yew exits early at All England C'ships, five new faces in Lions squad for friendlies

Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew returns a shot against China's Zhao Junpeng at the All England Badminton Championships.
Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew returns a shot against China's Zhao Junpeng at the All England Badminton Championships. (PHOTO: by Shi Tang/Getty Images)

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

Loh Kean Yew crashes out in 1st round of All England Championships

Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew was eliminated from the opening round of the All England Championships for the second consecutive year on Tuesday (14 March), as he fell to China's world No.13 Zhao Junpeng 16-21, 21-16, 7-21 in 58 minutes at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham.

The world No.8 has struggled in recent competitions in Europe, as he was also knocked out of the German Open by Japan's Kenta Nishimoto in the round of 16 two weeks ago.

Singapore's top female shuttler Yeo Jia Min also crashed out of the All England Championships in the opening round, losing 10-21, 7-21 to China's world No.10 Han Yue.

Five players get first Lions call-up for friendlies

Five players have been handed their debut call-up to the Singapore men’s national team by head coach Takayuki Nishigaya, who announced a squad of 22 players for the FIFA international window later this month.

Amirul Haikal, Daniel Goh, Irfan Najeeb, Joel Chew, and Lionel Tan will have the opportunity to earn their first cap when the Lions take on Hong Kong and Macau in two international ‘A’ friendly matches on 23 and 26 March respectively.

Captain Hariss Harun will be a notable absentee from the squad as he has been given permission by Nishigaya to sit out this call up as he is preparing to sit for an examination.

Singapore squad - Goalkeepers: Hassan Sunny, Syazwan Buhari, Zaiful Nizam. Defenders: Amirul Adli, Amirul Haikal, M Anumanthan, Irfan Fandi, Irfan Najeeb, Ryhan Stewart, Lionel Tan. Midfielders: Joel Chew, Hafiz Nor, Hami Syahin, Ho Wai Loon, Huzaifah Aziz, Glenn Kweh, Joshua Pereira, Zulfahmi Arifin. Forwards: Faris Ramli, Daniel Goh, Sahil Suhaimi, Taufik Suparno.

Philippe Aw picks 28 players for U-22 Merlion Cup squad

Singapore Under-22 men’s national team head coach Philippe Aw has named a squad of 28 players for the upcoming Merlion Cup. The players will undergo centralised training from Monday (20 March) in preparation for the tournament.

A notable absentee from the squad is Lion City Sailors defender Nur Adam Abdullah - the 2021 Singapore Premier League Young Player of the Year. He is forced to sit out for this tournament due to a shoulder injury sustained during an SPL fixture earlier this month.

Back after a three-year hiatus, the Merlion Cup will serve as preparations for the upcoming 2023 SEA Games in May. First introduced in 1982, the invitational tournament become an age-group tournament, specifically for the U-22 national teams, as of the 2019 edition.

Singapore U-22 squad - Goalkeepers: Aizil Yazid, Wayne Chew, Danial Iliya. Defenders: Adam Reefdy, Aqil Yazid, Danial Crichton, Ilhan Noor, Bill Mamadou, Raoul Suhaimi, Ryaan Sanizal, Kieran Teo. Midfielders: Ajay Robson, Amir Syafiz, Andrew Aw, Danish Qayyum, Fairuz Fazli, Fathullah Rahmat, Jared Gallagher, Iman Hakim, Elijah Lim, Ong Yu En, Ryan Praveen. Nicky Singh, Harhys Stewart, Zamani Zamri. Forwards: Abdul Rasaq, Jordan Emaviwe.

JSSL 7s football tournament to feature record 5,600 players

The ninth edition of the JSSL Singapore Professional Academy 7s youth football tournament will be held from 7 to 9 April, and is set to feature a record 5,600 players in 400 teams from 15 nations. The event will be held at three venues: Our Tampines Hub, The Arena at Woodleigh and The Cage at Turf City.

Footballers aged six to 16 from around the world will take part in the tournament, which comprises three girls’ and 11 boys’ age groups. Group stage matches are 22 minutes each with no half-time, while matches in the knock-out rounds are 25 minutes each (no half-time). All finals will be played at Our Tampines Hub on 9 April.

Overseas participation comes in the form of the 250 international clubs and 14 professional teams including last year’s winner, Tottenham Hotspur. Valencia also make a repeat visit, as do 2018 champions Urawa Red Diamonds. Melbourne City FC, Bangkok United, Johor Darul Ta'zim and JSSL FC make up the seven-team lineup for the professional boys’ category.

This year’s pro competition will also extend to the girls, with Valencia, Sporting Portugal, Espanyol, Omiya Ardija Ventus, Melaka FC, Chonburi FC and JSSL FC contesting for the girls’ title. The JSSL 7s Coaching Convention will also take place on 6 April with former Manchester United star Dwight Yorke being the keynote speaker.

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