WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Sports happenings in Singapore (29 May-4 Jun)

Lion City Sailors in thrilling win, Tour de France S'pore Criterium to return, Lions to play two friendlies

Lion City Sailors stalwarts Diego Lopes (left) and Maxime Lestienne celebrate during their Singapore Premier League victory over Balestier Khalsa. (PHOTO: SPL/Facebook)
Lion City Sailors stalwarts Diego Lopes (left) and Maxime Lestienne celebrate during their Singapore Premier League victory over Balestier Khalsa. (PHOTO: SPL/Facebook)

SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (29 May to 4 June):

Lion City Sailors keep pace with thrilling 5-4 win

The Lion City Sailors moved to within three points of leaders Tampines Rovers in the Singapore Premier League (SPL), after a rip-roaring 5-4 win over Balestier Khalsa at Bishan Stadium on Thursday (1 June).

Shawal Anuar put the 2021 champions ahead in the 19th minute with a stunning 40-metre lob over the stranded Balestier goalkeeper Hairul Syirhan, but the Tigers equalised two minutes later with a far-post header by Fabian Kwok.

The Sailors hit back as goals from Maxime Lestienne (38th and 76th minutes), Diego Lopes (40th) and Shawal (55th) seemingly put them en route to a big win. However, late efforts from Ryoya Taniguchi (66th, 86th pen) and Shuhei Hoshino (82nd) put Balestier within range of pulling off a remarkable comeback.

The win kept the Sailors in third place on 26 points, behind Tampines (29 points) and defending champions Albirex Niigata (Singapore), who have 27 points with a game in hand.

On Saturday, Hougang United continued their revival after a dreadful start to the season, notching their third straight win with a 3-0 victory over bottom-placed Young Lions. Goals from Sahil Suhaimi (7th), Nazrul Nazari (12th) and Gabriel Quak (45th) allowed the Cheetah to move up from eighth to sixth spot in the table.

Tour de France to hold 2nd edition of Singapore Criterium

The Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium will return for its second edition on 28 and 29 October, and will again see some of the world’s best cyclists take to a circuit that will bring them past some of the city-state’s most iconic landmarks.

Last year’s inaugural edition attracted 32 top cyclists from eight of the world’s best professional teams. They included four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, stage wins joint record holder Mark Cavendish, and 2022 champion Jonas Vingegaard, who won the inaugural Singapore race.

Prudential will be organising cycling clinics through its PRURide Seeker’s Society, an exclusive cycling club started last year as part of the title sponsorship of the Singapore Criterium. The public can sign up and gain access to complimentary cycling clinics, and also have an opportunity to be selected to take part during the race weekend in the only event for non-professional cyclists.

Renowned musical acts are also set to headline The Sundown Live Party (28 October) and the Prudential Singapore Criterium closing party on 29 October.

Fans can stay up-to-date on event announcements and ticketing sales on the Singapore Criterium website, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.

Singapore to host World Supercross C'ship for the first time

Singapore will be hosting for the first time the FIM World Supercross Championship (WSX), to be held at the National Stadium on 30 September.

The WSX motorcycle race - which will be held two weeks after the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix - will feature 40 racers from 10 teams competing on specially-built dirt tracks with steep jumps and obstacles. Fans can expect high-flying supercross action, entertainment and pyrotechnics at the event.

Singapore is the only Asian stop for the six-race 2023 WSX series, which will also feature in Britain, France, Germany, Canada and Australia. Register at WSXChampionship.com to be notified when tickets go on sale.

FAS announces Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands friendlies

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced on Monday (29 May) that the Singapore men’s national team will face Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands in international friendly matches during the upcoming FIFA window this month.

In the Lions’ return to the National Stadium for the first time since March 2022, coach Takayuki Nishigaya’s charges will go up against Papua New Guinea on 15 June, and Solomon Islands on 18 June. Both matches will kick off at 7.30pm.

Nishigaya said in a media release that the two matches are vital to further assess players at the international stage, amid preparations for October's 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

Tickets to the two friendly matches range from $9 to $28, and are on sale online at the FAS website and Sistic. Fans who purchase tickets to both matches as a bundle will be able to enjoy discounted prices for both the adult and concession prices. Fans are urged to buy their tickets early online to avoid the queues on match day.

World champs Sweden thump Singapore floorballers in friendly

Reigning women’s floorball world champions Sweden gave a preview of their prowess when they defeated Singapore 24-0 in a friendly at Our Tampines Hub on Tuesday (30 May), ahead of December's Women’s World Floorball Championships (WFC) in Singapore.

Together with an intra-squad friendly match on Friday, the match served as preparation for Sweden ahead of their title defence in a week-long camp in Singapore. Sweden’s Moa Gustafsson and Singapore’s Noor Shazana were named the best players for their respective teams after the match.

Sweden will open their WFC title defence against Slovakia at the OCBC Arena on 2 December, while Singapore begin their campaign against France on the same day. The WFC action will move to the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 9 and 10 December for the semi-finals and final.

Tickets are available at www.sistic.com.sg.

Return of S'pore Invitational Junior and Hopes Tournament

The Singapore Invitational Junior and Hopes Tournament made its return after a three-year hiatus, with the age-group table tennis competition being held from 30 May to 3 June (Tuesday to Saturday) at the the Singapore Sports School.

This year's tournament consisted of 16 categories, and include the debuts of the Under-9 team and singles events. Participants from seven countries - including Malaysia, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, and China - took part, with 60 teams and 192 paddlers participating. Here are the results:

Team events - Girls U-9: 1 Hubei Zhanjian 2 Singapore White 3 Terry Palmer. Boys' U-9: 1 Shenzhen Yinghe/Terry Palmer 2 Hubei Zhanjian A 3 Singapore Red. Girls U-12: 1 Shenzhen Yinghe 2 Hubei Zhenjian 3 PJ Union, Changchun Hantang. Boys' U-12: 1 Taiwan Heixiong 2 Shenzhen Yinghe 3 Beijing S11, Shenzhen Yinghe Team 1. Girls U-15: 1 Hubei Zhanjian 2 Singapore Red 3 Shenzhen Yinghe, GSS Penang. Boys' U-15: 1 Singapore Red 2 SIM Table Tennis Club Lampung 3 PJ Union, Beijing S11. Girls' U-18: 1 Holston Girls' High School 1 2 Holston Girls' High School 3 3 Beijing S11, Malaysia Table Tennis. Boys' U-18: 1 Dong San High School 1 2 Singapore Red 3 Dong San High School 3, Dong San High School 2.

Singles - Girls' U-9: 1 Tong Yuxin 2 Joelle Fok 3 Jayna Feng, Lin Yunxi. Boys' U-9: 1 Liu Zhen Hao 2 Xu Kehang 3 Lian Yun Yi, Hao Boxu. Girls' U-12: 1 Dania Elisha 2 Do Le Van Linh 3 Kayleigh Ng, Choo Ke Ying. Boys' U-12: 1 Wang Yu Long 2 Fang Bing Wei 3 Lin Jin, Zou Du. Girls U-15: 1 Bu Shixuan 2 Lee Seo An 3 Zhang Keer, Gisele Peh. Boys' U-15: 1 Pang Xiang Jun 2 Aron Ng 3 Ellsworth Le, Loy Xing Yao. Girls' U-18: 1 Kim Seo Hyun 2 Yang Shucheng 3 Kim Min Song, Loh Yu Xuan. Boys' U-18: 1 Lee Hoyun 2 Liu Chien-jui 3 Lim Dohyeong, Quek Seng Yan.

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