WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Sports happenings in Singapore (20-26 Mar)

Soh Rui Yong in SEA Games, Shanti Pereira smashes national record, Izaac Quek wins 3 titles in Turkey

Marathoner Soh Rui Yong (left) has been approved to represent Team Singapore at the 2023 SEA Games, while sprinter Shanti Pereira broke the national women's 200m record. (PHOTOS: Reuters/Sport Singapore)
Marathoner Soh Rui Yong (left) has been approved to represent Team Singapore at the 2023 SEA Games, while sprinter Shanti Pereira broke the national women's 200m record. (PHOTOS: Reuters/Sport Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (20 to 26 March):

Soh Rui Yong approve to race for Singapore at SEA Games

Singapore's top marathoner Soh Rui Yong has been approved by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) to represent the city-state at the 2023 SEA Games in Cambodia in May.

This comes after the 31-year-old had twice posted apologies on his social media for clashes with the SNOC in the past, which has meant that the council has not selected him for major Games since the 2019 SEA Games. This nearly led to legal action by both parties.

Following his successful appeal after facing a special appeals committee on Monday (20 March), Soh told The Straits Times, "I would like to thank SNOC for giving me this opportunity and I am glad to put our past differences behind us. I accept that I can be more professional in my behaviour. We all make mistakes and I am glad we can now move forward.”

Soh has met the SEA Games qualifying mark for the 5,000m and 10,000m events, but will not race in the marathon as he has not raced in one in the past year.

Shanti Pereira smashes national women's 200m record

Sprinter Shanti Pereira smashed the national women's 200m record while racing at the Brisbane Track Classic on Saturday (25 March), clocking 23.16 seconds to smash her own mark of 23.46sec set at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year.

The 26-year-old, who had recently broken the national women's 100m mark as well, finished third in her race behind Australia’s Ella Connolly (23.12sec) and New Zealand’s Georgia Hulls (23.16sec).

"I knew based on training that I had a personal best in me, but I didn’t expect it to be that much of a personal best. That was really just insane," she told The Straits Times after her race.

Pereira's run at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre would have placed her second at the 2018 Asian Games, behind Bahrain’s Edidiong Odiong (22.96).

Izaac Quek clinches 3 titles in WTT event in Turkey

Singapore's national paddlers netted four gold medals at the WTT Youth Contender tournament at Antalya, Turkey in the past week, with in-form Izaac Quek clinching three of them.

Zhou Jingyi, 18, emerged as the Under-19 girls' singles champion on Tuesday (21 March) after defeating India's Risha Mirchandabi 13-11, 11-6, 11-4 in the final. During her tournament, Zhou upset by defeating world No.40 Egyptian Hana Goda 3-2 in the quarter-finals, and then defeated India's Sayali Rajesh Wani 3-0 in the semi-finals.

On Wednesday, Zhou teamed up with Quek to clinch the U-19 mixed doubles gold, after beating Turkey's Zeynep Karaca and Ugurcan Dursun 11-6, 11-2, 11-7 in the final. The pair did not lose a set en route to the final, beating two Turkish pairs in the quarter- and semi-finals.

Quek, 16 followed his mixed doubles gold with another triumph in the U-17 boys' singles competition, beating Dursun 11-6, 11-4, 11-3 in the final on Friday. Two days later, he won the U-19 boys' singles title, this time defeating Iran's Navid Shams 13-11, 11-5, 11-8 in the final to maintain his good form which he had displayed at the WTT Singapore Smash two weeks ago.

Lions beat Macau 1-0 after drawing 1-1 with Hong Kong

The Singapore national men's football team defeated Macau 1-0 at the Macau Olympic Stadium on Sunday (26 March) to end their second international friendly of the week on a winning note.

Lion City Sailors defender Lionel Tan scored the winner against Macau, as well as the Lions' goal against Hong Kong in their 1-1 draw at the Mongkok Stadium on Friday - on his debut international appearance. He is one of five players who were handed their first international caps by head coach Takayuki Nishigaya, with the others being Irfan Najeeb, Daniel Goh, Joel Chew and Syazwan Buhari.

Meanwhile at the Merlion Cup Under-22 invitational tournament held at the Jalan Besar Stadium, Singapore finished last out of four teams after losing 1-2 to Cambodia in the third/fourth placing match on Sunday. The Young Lions had lost 0-1 to Hong Kong in their first match on Friday. Malaysia won the Cup after beating Hong Kong 2-1 in the final.

Tchoukball Association of Singapore announces NSA ambitions

The Tchoukball Association of Singapore (TBAS) has set its sights on being recognised as a national sports association (NSA), thereby allowing the sport to apply for government funding and maintain its position as one of the top tchoukball nations in the world.

TBAS president Delane Lim announced the push for NSA status at the association’s inaugural celebratory dinner at Siglap South Community Centre on Monday (20 March), saying that the association has submitted its application to become a charity - putting itself on the road to becoming an NSA.

Until its NSA status is approved, TBAS can at least look forward to increased support from the Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth as well as Sport Singapore (SportSG), as they prepare for August's World Championships in Prague.

The Singapore Sports Institute will support the athletes in providing gym facilities, and access to sport science. SportSG will also be facilitating TBAS’ application for the Temasek Inspired Fund.

TBAS also hopes to contribute to its coffers by manufacturing the balls for its sport. It will work with local sport and outdoor brand Next Factor to be its official distributor and provide equipment for tchoukball enthusiasts in Singapore and the region.

SEA Sevens to be held in HSBC Singapore Sevens week

The Southeast Asia Rugby Sevens tournament, which was last held in 2018, is set to make its return during the week of the HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens event on 8 and 9 April.

The participating nations for the men's and women's tournament are Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Laos, and specially-invited team Taiwan.

The group matches and semi-finals will be held on 7 April (a day before the HSBC Singapore 7s) at Jurong West Stadium (free admission), while the men's and women's finals will be played on 8 April at the National Stadium.

Rugby Sevens saw its return to the SEA Games in 2015 when Singapore was the host, followed by Malaysia in 2017. It was last held at the 2019 Games in the Philippines.

StarHub offering free EPL access on 1 and 2 April

StarHub will be offering free access to the English Premier League on its dedicated streaming service Premier+ on 1 and 2 April.

Fans who signs up for the complimentary access will receive a dedicated pass which can be used to access Premier+ on their smart devices across any network. These passes are available on a first come, first served basis, and will last over the weekend.

Customers who sign up for complimentary Premier+ access will be able to view Hub Premier content from 31 March, and catch the following Premier League matches between top-flight clubs:

  • Manchester City vs Liverpool (1 April, 7:30pm)

  • Newcastle United vs Manchester United (2 April, 11:30pm)

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