WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Sports happenings in Singapore (15 Apr - 1 May)

Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew at the Badminton Asia Championships in Manila.
Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew at the Badminton Asia Championships in Manila. (PHOTO: Rouelle Umali/Xinhua via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (25 April to 1 May):

Loh Kean Yew in narrow loss at Badminton Asia Championships

Reigning badminton world champion Loh Kean Yew narrowly lost to Indonesia's world No. 8 Jonatan Christie at the Badminton Asia Championships in Manila on Friday (29 April), succumbing 20-22, 21-23 in the men's singles quarter-final clash.

The Singaporean shuttler, ranked world No.10, has not beaten Christie in any of their five encounters. The Indonesian also beat Loh at last year's Tokyo Olympics group stage, stopping him from reaching the knockout round.

Despite the quarter-final loss, it was Loh's best-ever performance at the Badminton Asia Championships, as he was knocked out in the opening round in his previous two appearances in 2016 and 2019.

He will next focus on the Thomas Cup finals in Bangkok from 8 to 15 May, before heading over to Hanoi for the SEA Games.

Lion City Sailors exit AFC Champions League after Daegu loss

Reigning Singapore Premier League champions Lion City Sailors exited the AFC Champions League after a 1-2 defeat by Daegu FC on Saturday (30 April) in Group F of the elite Asian football club competition held in Buriram, Thailand.

The Sailors finished third in the group after garnering seven points with two wins (3-0 against Daegu and 3-2 against Shandong Taishan), one draw (0-0 against Shandong) and three defeats (1-2 against Daegu, 1-4 and 0-6 against Urawa Red Diamonds).

The points tally is the best showing by a Singapore side at the AFC Champions League. SAFFC claimed one and four points in 2009 and 2010 respectively, while Tampines Rovers finished their campaign last year with six straight defeats.

SEA Games men's and women's football squads finalised

The final 20-man squad for the Singapore men's football team heading for the SEA Games will not have any of the Fandi brothers, as Irfan and Ikhsan Fandi have not been released by their Thai club BG Pathum United as the Games falls outside of the official FIFA window.

The squad had been hit with key injuries, with Ilhan Fandi being ruled out of the Games with an ankle injury, and Jacob Mahler suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the Young Lions' Singapore Premier League match against Tampines Rovers on 20 April.

Head coach Nazri Nasir has called up senior players Zaiful Nizam, Syahrul Sazali and Zulfahmi Arifin to fill the three overaged slots.

Meanwhile, the women's team has also been finalised with 20 players selected, with overseas-based players Siti Rosnani Azman, Putri Nur Syaliza Sazali, Danelle Tan and Nicole Lim picked for the Hanoi Games.

Singapore skateboarder Tina Wan. (PHOTO: United Skates)
Singapore skateboarder Tina Wan. (PHOTO: United Skates)

Skateboarder Tina Wan signs for United Skates

Singapore skateboarder Tina Wan has signed a sponsorship deal with United Skates, a Singapore-based skateboarding company.

United Skates said in a media release on Monday (25 April) that the sponsorship towards her training and development as a competitive skateboarder, and will work towards helping her progress through training and participating in competitions throughout the region to prepare for major Games.

The company also unveiled a specially-designed skateboard "Tina's Treats", which was created with Tina's input and captures her bubbly optimism and individualistic style. The design is the brainchild of renowned Singaporean artist and graphic designer Little Ong.

Singapore Turf Club reopens doors after two years

The Singapore Turf Club (STC) announced on Monday (25 April) that it will reopen its doors to the public after almost two years of racing behind closed doors. Spectators were on its stands on Saturday to watch live horse-racing action.

All visitors and spectators to STC are required to be fully vaccinated to enter the premises. Validation of vaccination status and SafeEntry check-in are required and via TraceTogether token or app only. In addition, mask-wearing remains mandatory indoors and at areas deemed indoors.

Live-streaming of races remains available for Singapore Pools account holders online or via StarHub Ch288 and Ch289.

Bouts added to UFC 275 pay-per-view

Ultimate Fight Championships (UFC) announced on Friday (29 April) additional bouts for the "UFC 275: Teixeira vs Prochazka" pay-per-view at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 12 June.

The additional bouts include former UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili against fellow former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in a highly anticipated rematch of their 2020 Fight of the Year.

Other bouts include: South Korea's Kang Kyung-ho Kang vs Mongolia's Danaa Batgerel, South Korea's Choi Seung-woo vs the Philippines' Josh Culibao, China's Liang Na vs Argentina's Silvana Gomez Juarez, and Hong Kong's Ramona Pascual vs Panama's Joselyn Edwards.

NBA opens office in Singapore

The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced on Tuesday (26 April) that it is opening an office in Singapore.

The Singapore office joins the league’s Manila and Mumbai offices in expanding NBA’s existing efforts in the region, which include live game distribution, youth development programming, interactive fan events, merchandise sales and social responsibility efforts.

The NBA has staged 17 preseason and regular-season games in the region, most recently in 2019 when the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors played two preseason games in Tokyo, and the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings played two preseason games in Mumbai.

With the opening of the Singapore office, the NBA now has offices in 15 markets worldwide: Beijing, Dakar, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Lagos, London, Madrid, Manila, Mexico City, Mumbai, New York/New Jersey, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, Singapore and Toronto.

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