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Entries for August 2008

14
(Tao Li Sets National Mark In Women's 200m Fly)


She may be fifth in the women's 100m fly at the Beijing Olympics but swimmer Tao Li (picture) found the 200m fly a much harder challenge as she bowed out of the heats this evening (Aug 12). But the youngster set a new national mark with her time of 2:12.63 compared to her own previous record of 2:13.20.

Impressive Times

Leading the way into the semi-finals was China's Liu Zige who clocked 2:06.46. Others who impressed with times below 2:08 in the heats were France's Aurore Mongel ( 2:06.49), Japan's Yuko Nakanishi ( 2:06.62), China's Jiao Liuyang (2:06.89), Poland's Otylia Jedrzejczak ( 2:06.91), Japan's Natsumi Hoshi (2:07.02), America's Kathleen Hersey (2:07.65), Denmark's Micha Jensen (2:07.77) and USA's Elaine Breeden (2:07.92).

Good Meet

Overall, it has been a good meet for Tao Li. Earlier in the competition, she shone in the 100m fly. She did 57.77 secs in the heats, 57.54 secs in the semi-finals and 57.99 secs in the final to finish fifth behind four big names - Australia's Libby Trickett (gold in 56.73), America's Christine Magnuson (silver in 57.10), another Aussie Jessicah Schipper (bronze in 57.25) and China's Zhou Yafei (fourth in 57.84).

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14
(Women's Paddlers Start Olympic Campaign In Style)

Much was expected of them and the inevitable pressure was there. But Singapore's female paddlers competing at the Beijing Olympics more than held their own in the team event today (Aug 13) when they overcame the United States with ease.

Great Start

Seeded No 2 just behind China, our women's team of Wang Yuegu, Fang Tianwei and Li Jiawei (picture) were in fine form against the seventh-ranked United States. Wang got us to a great start when she beat Gao Jun 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-4. Fang, the least experienced member of the team, carried herself admirably, defeating Wang Chen 11-2, 8-11, 11-4, 15-13. The duo of Li and Wang then beat the American pair Huang Xi and Gao Jun 11-5, 11-9, 11-7.

Good Chance

With this easy win, Singapore should stand a good chance of a medal. The Americans are regarded as our strongest rivals in Group B. Up next will be Nigeria later this evening (Aug 13) before we play Holland tomorrow (Aug 14). For more updates, stay tuned.

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11
(Beijing Olympics: Updates In Badminton & Swimming)

The thrill of swimmer Tao Li's fifth placing in the women's 100m fly aside, it was a quiet day for Team Singapore at the Beijing Olympics today (Aug 11). Shuttlers Ronald Susilo (picture), Jiang Yanmei and Li Yujia as well as swimmer Lynette Lim all gave their best but found their opponents way too strong.
 
High Hopes
 
In badminton, Ronald had high hopes of creating an upset against world No 2 Lee Chong Wei. He had some good moments but, in the end, his Malaysian rival proved superior and he succumbed 13-21, 14-21. Yanmei and Yujia too showed some form. However, their opponents Lee Hyojung and Lee Kyungwon prevailed eventually and the Singaporeans lost 15-21, 12-21.
 
Fairly Good Swim
 
In the pool, Lynette was hoping for a national record in the heats of the women's 200m free. She had a fairly good swim but just missed her own national mark of 2:02.16, clocking 2:02.30. The crowd witnessed a world record when Italy's Federica Pellegrini clocked 1:55.45 to erase the former mark of 1:55.55 held by France's Laure Manaudou. Other leading swimmers included Slovenia's Sara Isakovic (1:55.86),  Great Britain's Caitlin McClatchey (1:56.97),  America's Katie Hoff (1:57.20) and Hungary's Agnes Mutina  (1:57.25).

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11
(Swimmer Breaks National Record For Men's 200m Free)
 
 
Swimmer Bryan Tay made a dream debut at the Beijing Olympics, winning his heats tonight in the men's 200m free in a new national mark of 1:50.41. The time was no where near what world class stars like USA's  Michael Phelps and Switzerland's Dominik Meichtry  clocked but it was an achievement for the Singaporean.
 
New National Mark
 
He beat his own previous national record of 1:52.09 by a wide margin. Also, he showed in no uncertain terms that he could perform on the big stage. The performance came in the wake of a strong showing by team mates Tao Li and Quah Ting Wen earlier in the competition.
 
Just Off
 
Nicolette Teo and Lynette Li, however, did not have the best night. Swimming in the  women's 100m breast, Nicolette finished seventh in 1:10.75. The time was slightly slower than her national mark of 1:10.15.  Leading the way in this event were stars like Australia's Liesel Jones (1:05.64) and Russia's Yuliya Efimova (1:06.08). Lynette too was a bit off her national record of 4:16.42, clocking  4:17.67 to finish sixth in her heat. International stars like Italy's Federica Pellegrini (4:02.19) and Rebecca Adlington of Great Britain (4:02.24) proved way too good.

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11
(Tao Li Breaks 100m Fly National Mark & Enters Finals)
 

 
Team Singapore's Tao Li continued  her sizzling form at the Beijing Olympics with an impressive swim in the women's 100m fly semi-finals this morning. The youngster clocked 57.54 secs to erase her national mark set last night in the heats and move into the finals as the fourth fastest qualifier.
 
Top Eight
 
Leading the way in terms of the timings was Australia's Libby Trickett (57.05), followed by America's Christine Magnuson (57.08) and another Aussie  Jessicah Schipper (57.43). Rounding out the top eight were China's Zhou Yafei (57.68),  Great Britain's Jemma Lowe (57.78), the Netherlands' Inge Dekker (58.20) and Brazil's Gabriella Silva (58.39).
 
On The Verge
 
In the finals scheduled for Monday morning, Tao Li will have to improve further if she were to win a medal. Going by her record at international meets, this is not beyond her. She appears to have the temperament to perform at the highest level and doesn't seem at all intimidated by big names - signs that she certainly has all the makings of a champion. Of course the likes of Trickett and Schipper will start out as favourites. But, for Team Singapore fans, Tao Li may just be on the verge of something very big.

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11
 

(Shooter Lee Wung Yew Holds His Own, Shuttler Xing Aiying Bows Out)

Shooter Lee Wung Yew (picture), taking part in the men's trap qualifying competition at the Beijing Olympics today (Aug 9), showed some fine form to finish 17th in a field of 35. His scores of 23, 24 and 22 earned him a total of 69 as the stiff competition enters Day 2 (Aug 10).

Vast Experience

Leading the way were Czech Republic's David Kostelecky (73 based on scores of 24,24,25) and Italy's Giovanni Pellielo (73 based on scores of 25,25,23) and Erminio Frasca (72 based on scores of 23,24,25). Wung Yew, who is taking part in his third Olympics, is hoping that his vast experience will stand him in good stead as the pressure builds up in the midst of the intense competition.

No Dream Debut

Meanwhile, young shuttler Xing Aiying, who has been showing top form in recent meets, didn't have the dream debut that she wanted. She bowed out of the competition in the round of 64, losing to Belarussia's Konon Olga 19-21, 12-21.

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11
 (Swimmer Tao Li Shines In Day 1 Of Swimming At Beijing Olympics)
 
 
Singapore's Tao Li (pix) created a stir this evening in the Beijing Olympics when she clocked 57.77 secs to finish as the fourth fastest qualifier to enter the 100m butterfly semi finals.  This sensational performance placed her just behind Australia's Jessicah Schipper (57.58), America's Christine Magnuson (57.70) and China's Zhou Yafei (57.70).
 
Great Improvement
 
Significantly, Tao Li, who broke her previous national record of 58.96 secs by a wide margin, finished ahead of many world class swimmers. Behind her in the overall results from the heats  were Brazil's Gabriella Silva (fifth in 58.00), America's Elaine Breeden (sixth in 58.06), Italy's Ilaria Bianchi (seventh in 58.12), South Africa's Lize-Mari Retief (eighth in 58.20), Netherlands' Inge Dekker (ninth in 58..22), France's Aurore Mongel (10th in 58.30), Russia's Natalia Sutyagina (11th in 58.32) and even Australian star  Libby Trickett (12th in 58.37). The others who made the  semifinals were Hungary's Dara Eszter (58.39), France's Alena Popchanka (58.40), Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen (58.44) and Great Britain's Jemma Lowe (58.49).
 
New National Mark
 
Tao Li's team mate Quah Ting Wen also did well, clocking 4:51.25 in the heats of the women's 400m IM. Though she did  not advance beyond the heats, her time was not only a PB but a new national mark.  The old Singapore record of 4:51.87 was set by Joscelin Yeo in 1999. Leading the qualifiers for the final of this event were America's Elizabeth Beisel (4:34.55) and Katie Hoff (4:34.63), with Australia's Stephanie Rice and Italy's Alessia Fillipi both timed joint third at 4:35.11.

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10

(Team Singapore Athletes Enjoy Spectacular Opening Of Beijing Olympics)


The opening of the Beijing Olympics last night was China's moment, no doubt about it. But Team Singapore athletes too had their own "once in a life time" moment, soaking in the dazzling spectacle at the brand new 'Bird's Nest' National Stadium.

Record Figures

The record figures were impressive. Some $60 billion pumped into the sporting extravaganza. Participation by 204 nations and territories. Focus on more than 10,500 athletes. And attendance by  more than 80 world leaders at the multimedia ceremony choreographed by famous Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou.


A Medal At Last?

But for Team Singapore, the sight of our athletes, led by flagbearer Li Jiawei, entering the stadium was the most memorable. Significantly, Jiawei is part of the women's table tennis team that will be hoping to end our  48-year medal drought since the silver by weightlifter Tan Howe Liang at the 1960 Rome Olympics.


Cauldron Lighted

Now that the Olympic cauldron has been lighted and the burst of fireworks experienced, our athletes are hoping to translate the passion felt at the opening to the sporting arena. Starting our campaign today (August 9) are shuttler Xing Aiying, shooter Lee Wung Yew and swimmers Tao Li (picture) and Quah Ting Wen.

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09

(Olympic Action Starts For Team Singapore Athletes In Badminton, Shooting & Swimming )

It's National Day - and D-day of sorts for some Team Singapore athletes competing at the Beijing Olympics. Indeed,  shuttler Xing Aiying (picture), shooter Lee Wung Yew and swimmers Tao Li and Quah Ting Wen can't ask for better motivation than the fact that they will be performing on the sporting world's biggest stage on their nation's birthday.


Badminton

Aiying, who has been showing top form in recent meets, should fancy her chances in the women's singles round of 64. She takes on Belarussian Konon Olga.


Shooting

Wung Yew, taking part in the men's trap qualifying competition, will be tapping on his vast experience as he takes on some of the world's best. Having been to the Olympics twice, he must be hoping that his third attempt will be his best.

Swimming

In the pool, Tao Li will compete in the heats of the women's 100m butterfly while Ting Wen lines up for the women's 400m individual medley heats. With world class swimmers improving so much in the past year, they have their work cut out. Asian Games gold medallist  Tao Li stands a chance of entering the semi-finals at least while Ting Wen will be mainly aiming for a personal best.

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