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

Winners at FAS Awards Night, para-archer Nur Syahidah Alim wins gold in Bangkok, road closures for StanChart Singapore Marathon

(From left) Lion City Sailors' Maxime Lestienne wins the SPL Player of the Year honours, para-archer Nur Syahidah Alim clinches gold at the Asian Para Archery Championships, and Singapore U-21 women's canoe polo team wins title at the Asian Canoe Polo Championships. (PHOTOS: Lion City Sailors/SNPC/SCF)
(From left) Lion City Sailors' Maxime Lestienne wins the SPL Player of the Year honours, para-archer Nur Syahidah Alim clinches gold at the Asian Para Archery Championships, and Singapore U-21 women's canoe polo team wins title at the Asian Canoe Polo Championships. (PHOTOS: Lion City Sailors/SNPC/SCF)

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

Maxime Lestienne wins top honour at FAS Awards Night

Lion City Sailors winger Maxime Lestienne clinched the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) Player of the Year award at the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Awards Night at Orchard Hotel on Thursday (23 November). The Belgian earned the Golden Boot award for being the top scorer of the 2023 SPL season with 25 goals, and also added 21 assists.

Albirex Niigata (Singapore) forward Seia Kunori was named Young Player of the Year while his head coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga secured his fourth Coach of the Year award, solidifying his position as one of the most successful coaches in this category.

Tanjong Pagar United forward Khairul Amri's stunning strike against Hougang United earned him the SPL Goal of the Season award, while Syazwan Buhari received the SPL Golden Gloves for his outstanding displays in goal for Tampines Rovers.

In the Deloitte Women’s Premier League (WPL) category, Kitahara Kana received the Player of the Year award for her exceptional contribution of 17 crucial goals to Albirex's commendable finish in the league. Tanjong Pagar United’s Dhaniyah Qasimah was named the Young Player of the Year, while Yeong Sheau Shyan clinched the Coach of the Year accolade after guiding the Lion City Sailors to back-to-back league titles.

Award winners - SPL Player of the Year: Maxime Lestienne (Lion City Sailors). Young Player of the Year: Seia Kunori (Albirex Niigata (S)). Coach of the Year: Kazuaki Yoshinaga (Albirex). Goal of the Year: Khairul Amri (Tanjong Pagar, vs Hougang on 6 April). Golden Boot: Lestienne. Golden Glove: Syazwan Buhari (Tampines Rovers). Fair Play Award: Albirex. Team of the Year: Syazwan; Asahi Yokokawa (Albirex), Koki Kawachi (Albirex), Milos Zlatkovic (Tampines); Diego Lopes (Sailors), Ryoya Taniguchi (Balestier Khalsa), Kyoga Nakamura (Tampines), Lestienne; Kunori, Hakeme Yazid (DPMM), Shawal Anuar (Sailors).
WPL Player of the Year: Kitahara Kana (Albirex). Young Player of the Year: Dhaniyah Qasimah (Tanjong Pagar). Coach of the Year: Yeong Sheau Shyan (Sailors).
Referee of the Year: Andrea Verolino. Assistant Referee of the Year: Ronnie Koh. Story of the Year: Kenneth Tan (Sailors). Photo of the Year: Ashok Kumar (Sailors). FAS Special Award, Sporting Excellence in Singapore Football: Shahril Ishak, Noor Kusumawati Rosman.

Tampines Rover get vital point to advance into S'pore Cup s-finals

Tampines Rovers pipped Albirex Niigata (Singapore) to second spot in Group A of the Singapore Cup opening stage, and advanced into the semi-finals after a 1-1 draw with the reigning Singapore Premier League champions at Jurong East Stadium on Sunday (25 November).

Albirex went ahead through a 68th-minute goal from defender Koki Kawachi, but Tampines striker Boris Kopitovic equalised in the 79th minute to lift the Stags over the White Swans in the group table.

Tampines will meet the Lion City Sailors in the Cup semi-finals, with the Sailors topping Group B after a 1-1 draw with defending Singapore Cup champions Hougang United at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday, Dorde Maksimovic's fifth-minute goal for Hougang was cancelled out by Shawal Anuar in the 83rd minute.

The point gained by Hougang was just enough for them to pip Balestier Khalsa to advance into the semi-finals, even though Balestier thrashed Tanjong Pagar United 7-2 at Bishan Stadium on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Young Lions defeated Geylang International 4-2 in an inconsequential Group A match at Our Tampines Hub on Sunday.

Nur Syahidah Alim clinches gold at Asian Para Archery C'ships

Singapore para-archer Nur Syahidah Alim clinched a gold medal in the women's compound open event at the Asian Para Archery Championships in Bangkok on Wednesday (22 November).

The 2019 world champion faced India’s Sheetal Devi in the final - the same opponent who edged her to gold at the recent Hangzhou Asia Para Games - and they were tied at 142-142 after the regulation five ends.

This forced a shoot-off, and even that ended in a 10-all tie, but Syahidah was declared the winner as her arrow was closer to the centre.

The 38-year-old had scored 675 in the qualification stage to progress directly to the second round, where she beat South Korea’s Choi Na-mi 139-136, before overcoming India's Jyoti Balyan 140-138 in the semi-finals to set up a rematch with Devi.

SportSG launches book and sport heritage exhibition

Sport Singapore has launched a new book and the opening of a sport heritage exhibition on Saturday (25 November), as it celebrates 50 years of sporting history in the city-state.

The book, "Sport in Singapore: Visions for Change" by sport historian Dr Nick Aplin, highlights the history of Singapore sport through the lens of former SportSG chairmen and chief executive officers. Meanwhile, the exhibition illustrates Singapore’s sporting journey and the transformation of local sport through preserved print magazine covers and publications collected over the years.

President Tharman Shanmugaratnam was the guest-of-honour at the launch event at the National Library Building. Former champions such as runner P.C. Suppiah, discus thrower James Wong, and badminton father-and-son duo Wong Shoon Keat and Derek Wong, also shared their unique experiences during the launch.

The exhibition will be held at The Plaza, National Library Building until 10 January, and is open to all members of the public.

Road closures for StanChart Singapore Marathon

Organisers of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) have announced road closures, as well as traffic and transport arrangements, for the event from 1 to 3 December. This year, the half-marathon will have a new return route after splitting from the full marathon, allowing for more supporters and spectators to cheer on the participants along the roads of Esplanade and Suntec.

The three-day running event will kick off with the Kids Dash which will flag off from the Formula 1 Pit Building at 7pm on 1 December (Friday). There will be no road closures or diversions during the Kids Dash.

On 2 December, road closures and diversions for the 10km and 5km categories will begin from 2am to 11.45am. Participants will begin their run at the F1 Pit Building before finishing at the National Stadium.

Road closures and diversions along the Marathon and Half Marathon routes will start at 11pm on 2 December and end at 2.30pm on 3 December. To enable the earliest access possible for affected roads, the roads will progressively open from 8am on 3 December.

The public are strongly advised to plan their journeys ahead of time and are encouraged to use public transport during the affected times between 2 and 3 December. They can rely on Google Maps to plan their journey as the road closures will be reflected on the application.

As there will be no train services in the early hours of 2 and 3 December, SCSM has partnered with ShareTransport to provide runners with shuttle bus services from 26 locations to help runners get to the starting line.

Singapore wins U-21 women's title at Asian Canoe Polo C'ships

Singapore's Under-21 women's canoe polo team clinched gold at the 2023 Asian Canoe Polo Championships, which was held at the Marina Bay waterfront from 9 to 12 November. The event was organised by Singapore Canoe Federation, and welcomed 23 teams from seven Asian national federations across four categories.

The Singapore U-21 women's team defeated Malaysia 8-5 in the final, while Chinese Taipei defeated Japan 7-2 in the U-21 men's final.

The senior women's team, however, could not retain their title as they narrowly lost to Chinese Taipei 1-2. The men's final was cancelled amid lightning warnings, with finalists Chinese Taipei and Iran declared joint winners.

Outstanding individual performances were also highlighted, with Mohammad Ali Molaei (Iran), Leow Fang Hui (Singapore), Chen Syu-Jia (Chinese Taipei), and Azlyn Farhana Muhammad Azmi Tan (Malaysia) emerging as top scorers in their respective categories.

The medal-winning teams have secured their spots in the Canoe Polo World Championships to be held in Deqing, China next year.

'Global draft' for WomanGoal at Lion City Sailors Training Centre

WomanGoal, the Spanish platform that contributes to the professionalisation of women's football globally, announced a collaboration with Lion City Sailors on Thursday (23 November), whereby it will hold a "global draft" at the Lion City Sailors Training Centre on 8 and 9 December.

The WomanGoal Global Draft in Singapore is the sixth stop out of 17 that will take place across the five continents, and the first in Asia. Among the most promising women's football players, five will be pre-selected and only one or two will have the opportunity to represent Singapore in the final draft in Madrid, where the leading Spanish clubs will personally interact with the selected players.

Between the Singapore Draft and the Final Draft in Madrid, the 28 finalists from the 17 countries will have the opportunity to develop their physical and mental talents to become "360 players" with the guidance of the WomanGoal professional team, which will prepare them to face the challenges of professional football.

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