WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Sports happenings in Singapore (16-22 Jan)

(From left) Women's golf world No.1 Lydia Ko, world No.2 Nelly Korda and defending champion Ko Jin-young have confirmed their participation in the 2023 HSBC Women's World Championship. (PHOTOS: Getty Images)
(From left) Women's golf world No.1 Lydia Ko, world No.2 Nelly Korda and defending champion Ko Jin-young have confirmed their participation in the 2023 HSBC Women's World Championship. (PHOTOS: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (16 to 22 January):

Singapore wins hosting rights for World Youth Tchoukball C'ships

Singapore has been selected to host the 6th World Youth Tchoukball Championships from 13 to 16 July this year, after receiving the confirmation from the International Tchoukball Federation (FITB) on Saturday (21 January).

The city-state had also hosted the last edition of the tournament at Our Tampines Hub in 2019. Then, its Under-18 girls’ team won the gold medal by beating Taiwan 38-30 in the final, capping a total haul of one gold, four silvers and one bronze for Singapore.

Tchoukball Association of Singapore president Delane Lim said organisers are expecting 12 teams to participate. Participation numbers will be confirmed by the end of next month.

The senior Singapore national teams will also be competing at the World Tchoukball Championship in Prague from 31 July to 5 August.

Top 2 women's golfers, defending champ confirm participation

Women's gold world No.1 Lydia Ko and No.2 Nelly Korda will head the line-up along with defending champion Ko Jin-young at the 2023 HSBC Women’s World Championship at Sentosa Golf Club from 2 to 5 March.

All three players have held the No.1 position last year, and will be looking for a strong start this year at the top of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.

Ko returned to the world No.1 spot for the first time since 2017, after a season that saw her winning three times on the Tour. She also won LPGA Player of the Year and the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average of 68.99.

Korda captured her first title in 12 months after health issues, and her win at the Pelican Women’s Championship briefly returned her to world No. 1 in November.

Local paddlers given wildcard entries to Singapore Smash

Spectators at WTT Singapore Smash 2023 will enjoy an exclusive preview of the future of Singapore table tennis, with several young stars unveiled as local wildcards for the 11 to 19 March.

Zhou Jingyi and Wong Xin Ru, both part of the gold-winning women’s team at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, will compete in the women’s singles main draw, while Ser Lin Qian and Zhang Wanling have been awarded wildcards into the qualifying draw of the event.

Leading the contingent of local wild cards in the men’s singles are Clarence Chew and Koen Pang, who will feature in the main draw. Ethan Poh and Josh Chua are the local wildcards for the men’s singles qualifying draw.

Singapore Smash 2023 will feature 64 player men’s and women’s singles and 24-pair doubles and mixed competitions. Tickets to the qualifying rounds, which take place from 7 to 9 March, start at S$18 while ticket prices for main draw from 11 to19 March start from $28.

Beach volleyball exhibition match at S'pore Classic

Visitors to the Singapore Classic at the Laguna National Golf Resort Club from 9 to 12 February will also get to watch national volleyballers Eliza Chong, Alicia Tan, Trevis Tan and Nicholas Kiu in a beach volleyball exhibition match on Hole 9 of the Masters Course.

Those new to golf can pick up some tips from the professionals at the Leadbetter Golf Academy, who will be on hand to guide. They can then challenge themselves and put their putting to the test on the Singapore Classic’s 9-hole putting course at the Spectator Village.

They can also take part in the Oakley Closest to the Pin shootout contest over water to a peninsular green. Prizes will be awarded to the top three closest shots from Friday to Sunday of the tournament.

Meanwhile, China’s Li Haotong has confirmed his participation in the Singapore Classic, after he ended a four-year wait to win his third DP World Tour title at last year's BMW International Open in Germany.

Li became the first male golfer from China to break into the top 50 of the world ranking in 2018, when he edged out current world No.1 Rory McIlroy to win the Dubai Desert Classic.

Single session tickets for the Singapore Classic are available from $25, while a four-day event pass is priced at $80.

PHOTO: Pedalfest Singapore 2023
PHOTO: Pedalfest Singapore 2023

Pedalfest Singapore at Sports Hub

The Pedalfest Singapore cycling lifestyle festival will be held on 11 and 12 February at the Singapore Sports Hub, and will be host to events such as cycling films, health and wellness talks, upcycling workshops and spin challenges.

Headlining the packed programme is Azmi Hussin, more popularly known as ME, a famous cartoonist, caricaturist, illustrator and muralist hailing from Penang. Known online for his inspirational TED talk, Azmi will be using his BMX flatland skills to create a new abstract art piece.

Festive-goers can also sign up for CycleFightClub – a daily eCycling tournament - where riders compete one-on-one using smart trainers. Each day, 32 shortlisted riders will compete in a single-elimination tournament, with the last person standing winning $500 cash and an expenses-paid trip to an overseas cycling event.

There will be a screening of "MAMIL (Middle Age Men in Lycra)", a documentary about why white-collar professionals transform into lycra-clad road warriors every weekend. Narrated by cycling commentator Phil Liggett, the film tries to uncover why middle-aged men are so passionate about riding expensive carbon bikes.

A day-pass to Pedalfest Singapore costs $38 and comes with a complimentary pack worth over $50 including a limited edition T-shirt.

Sailors welcome 3 players as they say goodbye to Song

The Lion City Sailors said goodbye to long-serving midfielder Song Ui-young, and welcomed three new signings: Danish Qayyum, Lionel Tan and Christopher van Huizen.

Singapore national midfielder Song, 29, has sealed a move to Thai League 1 side Nongbua Pitchaya after being with the Sailors' since its inauguration in 2020, and signs off as the club's all-time leading scorer with 32 goals in all competitions, including three in the AFC Champions League.

Coming into the Sailors squad are Qayyum, a left-footed fullback or winger joining from the Young Lions; Tan, a central defender from Hougang United; and van Huizen, also a fullback and winger from Tampines Rovers.

CNY festive runs at Sports Hub

The Singapore Sports Hub will be organising its annual #HUATRUN from Sunday (22 January) to 5 February.

Participants will be running on the Hub's 888-metre red track at the 100PLUS Promenade. They can snap a photo at the booths along the route, and then post the photos with the Sports Hub's social tags and follow the Sports Hub on Instagram and Facebook. The participant with the post that has the most “likes” stands to win a pair of tickets to a concert or event of their choice.

Alternatively, pair up with friends or loved ones and take up the Prosperity Race challenge on 5 February. After solving missions at selected landmarks, participants can also look forward to rewards for completing the race.

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