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WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Sports happenings in Singapore (6-12 Mar)

Local paddlers earn wins at WTT S'pore Smash, Asian Water Polo C'ship later this month, Thai winner at WAAP golf c'ship

Singapore paddler Izaac Quek during his WTT Singapore Smash round-of-64  match against India's Sharath Kamal Achanta. (PHOTO: WTT Singapore Smash)
Singapore paddler Izaac Quek during his WTT Singapore Smash round-of-64 match against India's Sharath Kamal Achanta. (PHOTO: WTT Singapore Smash)

SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (6 to 12 March):

Izaac Quek creates history at WTT Singapore Smash

Rising talent Izaac Quek, 16, became the first Singaporean paddler to win a men’s singles main-draw match at the WTT Singapore Smash tournament, as he stunned reigning Commonwealth Games champion Sharath Kamal Achanta at the OCBC Arena on Saturday (12 March).

Quek defeated the 40-year-old Achanta 11-4, 11-6, 12-10 in their round-of-64 clash to avenge his loss to the Indian at last year's Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The tournament wild-card entry will face Sweden's world No.36 Mattias Falck in the round of 32 on Monday.

Singaporean mixed doubles pair Clarence Chew and Zeng Jian also advanced out of their opening round of 32 on Saturday, defeating Australia's Nicholas Lum and Minhyung Jee 6-11, 11-6, 11-3,11-6 to set up a round-of-16 tie with India's Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra.

On Sunday, 2019 SEA Games men's singles gold medallist Koen Pang joined Quek in the last-32, defeating Australia's Lum 11-3, 11-6, 11-4 to secure his passage out of the opening round.

Singapore to host Asian Water Polo C'ship this month

Singapore will be hosting the Asian Water Polo Championships from 22 to 27 March at the OCBC Aquatics Centre. The event will serve as the qualifying event for the World Aquatics Water Polo World Cup Division 2 Qualifier in Berlin from 1 to 7 May.

A total of 12 teams (eight men and four women) will take part in the championships. The top four men’s teams and the top four women’s teams will qualify for the Water Polo World Cup. Hosts Singapore will take part in both the men’s and women’s competitions.

In the men’s event, Singapore have been drawn with Uzbekistan, Thailand and China in Group A. Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, Iran and the Philippines make up Group B. In the women’s event, Singapore, Kazakhstan, Thailand and Uzbekistan will play each other in a double round-robin format.

Ahead of the Cambodia SEA Games in May, the tournament will throw up a preview of possible gold medal match-ups, as Singapore face their Thai counterparts in both the men’s and women’s events.

Tickets for the event range from $10 to $20. A bundle of four matches for the day is going at a discounted price of $30 per person.

Thailand's Eila Galitsky wins the 2023 Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship at Singapore Island Country Club. (PHOTO: Andrew Redington/R&A via Getty Images)
Thailand's Eila Galitsky wins the 2023 Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship at Singapore Island Country Club. (PHOTO: Andrew Redington/R&A via Getty Images)

Thai youngster wins Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific C'ship

Thailand’s Eila Galitsky won the fifth Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) Championship in commanding fashion, shooting a four-under-par 68 in the final round on Sunday (12 March) for a 14-under 274 total and a five-shot win over South Korea's Kim Min-sol at the Singapore Island Country Club.

The 16-year-old follows in the footsteps of Atthaya Thitikul, who won the inaugural championship in 2018 in Singapore and rose to world No.1 last year.

Galitsky, 193rd in the world, closed with three birdies in her last four holes to seal the dominant victory. World No.14 Kim - who shot a 70 in her final round - was bidding to become the first South Korean player to win the WAAP title, but blew several birdie opportunities.

South Korea’s Park Ye-ji Park (70), Japan’s Yuna Araki (72), New Zealand’s Fiona Xu (71) and Hong Kong's Sophie Han (71) were tied for the third place at six-under 282.

With the, Galitsky earns starts in three Major championships – the AIG Women's Open, the Amundi Evian Championship and The Chevron Championship – as well as the Hana Financial Group Championship, ISPS Handa Australian Open, the 120th Women's Amateur Championship and an invitation to play in the Augusta National Women's Amateur later this month.

Tickets for Merlion Cup tournament on sale

Ticket sales for the Merlion Cup invitational football tournament at Jalan Besar Stadium from 24 to 26 March can be purchased via the Football Association of Singapore website.

Category 1 tickets will be priced at $12 for adults and $8 for concession, while Category 2 tickets will be $10 for adults and $6 for concession. Fans will enjoy a 30-per-cent early-bird discount off the full price of either category of tickets from now until 11pm on 19 March.

Each ticket will allow fans to watch both matches per matchday, with each person allowed to purchase a maximum of 12 tickets per transaction. Limited tickets will be sold at the Jalan Besar Stadium ticketing counter on both match days.

The Singapore men’s Under-22 team will take on Hong Kong in the opening round of the tournament on 24 March at 8.30pm. Meanwhile, Cambodia will face Malaysia earlier at 5pm in the other opening round match.

The losing teams of the opening round will compete in a third/fourth placing match on 26 March, as the curtain raiser prior to the final.

Participants at the 2023 Tiger Balm National Boccia Championships. (PHOTO: Singapore Disability Sports Council)
Participants at the 2023 Tiger Balm National Boccia Championships. (PHOTO: Singapore Disability Sports Council)

Tiger Balm National Boccia Championships returns after 3 years

The Tiger Balm National Boccia Championships made its return after a three-year hiatus, as 26 para athletes took part over four categories at the Pasir Ris ActiveSG Centre on Saturday and Sunday (11 and 12 March).

ASEAN Para Games and Asian Youth Para Games medallist Aloysius Gan won the BC3 males category; Paralympian Nurulasyiqah Muhammad Taha clinched top spot in the BC3 females category; and world No.3 Jeralyn Tan was triumphant in the BC1 females category.

Event organiser Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) also organised an "I’mPossible" learning journey for schools and organisations to try out their hand in boccia.

Guest-of-honour Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. participated in a handprint ceremony to commemorate the SDSC’s 50th anniversary.

Para-athletes clinch three golds in Marrakech

Singapore's para-athletes clinched three golds, two silvers and one bronze medal at the Marrakech leg of the 2023 World Para Athlete Grand Prix from Thursday to Saturday (9 to 11 March). This puts Singapore 10th out of 33 countries on the medal tally table.

James Ethan Ang won gold in the men’s 200m (T13/47) with a time of 23.09 seconds, and a silver in the men’s 100m (T13) in 11.56sec. Both timings saw him break national records and personal bests.

In the women’s 100m (T35/36), Maisarah Mohamed Hassan won a gold in 17.39sec. Meanwhile, Lionel Toh took silver in the men’s 100m (T37), and bronze in the men’s 200m (T35/36/37/38/46/47) categories.

Paralympian Muhammad Diroy Noordin also clinched gold in the shot put (F40/41) with a throw of 8.70m for 568 points. Another Paralympian, Suhairi Suhani had to pull out from his event due to a hamstring injury.

Ang, Diroy, Suhairi and Maisarah have qualified for the World Para Athletics World Championships in Paris in July.

Singapura Finance to sponsor BJJ athlete Jedd Tan

Financial services provider Singapura Finance announced its sponsorship for Singapore's Brazilian jiu-jitsu athlete Jedd Tan, as the 16-year-old is set to compete at the World IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championships in Long Beach, California in May.

Jedd had won gold at the Singapore Jiu Jitsu Open by BJJ Roots two weekends ago, and the sponsorship was formalised through a cheque presentation ceremony that was held at The Social Space on Tuesday (7 March).

As part of the sponsorship, Singapura Finance will be providing support for Jedd’s training and competitions, along with additional cash rewards of $2,500 for each future competition victories as well as $5,000 for doing well in his school examination.

“I am extremely grateful for Singapura Finance’s support in helping me achieve my goals," Jedd said. "I hope my dedication towards the martial art serves as an inspiration to young Singaporeans to dare to dream.”

'Femme First' female-focused mass cycling in May

Singapore’s active mobility lifestyle app RIDEnjoy announced "Femme First", a female-focused mass cycling event to held on 20 May at the Stadium Riverside Walk at Singapore Sports Hub.

Female cyclists have a choice of three event categories. The “Start Anywhere” category allows one to cycle from anywhere across the island to the Stadium Riverside Walk, while the “City to Kallang” category starts from 30 Maxwell Road and brings riders around Marina Bay and Marina Barrage before ending its 10km route at the Sports Hub. The third “RIDEnjoy Kallang” category starts and finishes at Stadium Riverside Walk with a short 8km scenic ride around Tanjong Rhu and Kallang Bay.

Participants can also choose between morning or afternoon start times, before enjoying a post-ride party celebration with live music from popular buskers, a dawn-to-dusk DJ set, games and lucky draw giveaways.

Early-bird registrants (before 15 April) will go into a lucky draw for a chance to win a pair of tickets to watch K-pop stars Blackp!nk at the National Stadium in May.

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