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Entries for December 2009

31
JUST ONE SHOT: Lions midfielder, Mustafic Fahrudin (left in blue jersey), priming himself to deliver a penalty kick in the AFC friendly against Oman.
 

Monday 28 December 2009 saw the Lions take on Oman in the first of two friendly matches in preparation for their Asian Football Cup (AFC) qualifying match against Group E Champion and nemesis Iran, which would be held on 6 January 2010.

Play in the first half of the game saw heroic saves by the Lions’ veteran and stalwart goalkeeper, Lionel Lewis. Two of those saves were in close succession; the first in the 16th minute and again at the 17th minute.

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28
WE HAVE WON THE GOLD: Young Team Singapore Ambassadors cheering the return of the SEA Games Athletes as  Alex Chan (right, in red), Chairman of the Singapore Sports Council (SSC), looks on. Photo by Kenneth Nah
 
It’s doesn’t take an athlete to know that the road to success in any sport is paved with blood, sweat and tears. At times, it is very tempting to simply throw in the towel in despair and walk away. At low moments as these, even the slightest encouragement in any form can be a balm to help a struggling athlete recover momentum and soldier on.

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24
In the first of several columns by Team Singapore athletes, Parker Lam, national record holder for the men's 100m breast, shared his experience of catching our SEA Games swimmers (above) on television as they competed in Laos. Here he offers some highlights from the pool. Picture courtesy of Team Singapore.
 
Full Of Excitement

The swimming action in Laos was full of excitement everyday. There were many high moments. A few stood out for me. Quah Ting Wen, as expected, got us to a flying start with gold in the competition's opening event, the women's 100m free. On the same day, Zach Ong fired things up for the guys with a surprise gold in the men's 200m backstroke. There was more to come in the days ahead. Lynette Lim's gutsy win in the women's 800m free was a lesson on how to fight back after an earlier loss. She had narrowly missed the gold in the women's 400m free. Amanda Lim shone in the women's 50m free with her win over her more illustrious team mate Ting Wen who ended up with five gold medals. Tao Li too won five events, showing fighing spirit in the women's 200m fly in particular with her brave comeback. Less experienced swimmers like Joshua Lim, Samantha Yeo and Koh Hui Yu more than held their own against seasoned opponents.

 
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23
18-year-old Leonard Ong clinching bronze in the RS:X men's windsurfing class. Picture courtesy of Singapore Sailing.

It has been a good start to the annual Down Under sailing season for Singapore sailors. At the recently concluded Sail Melbourne and IODA Optimist Asian Championship, our local sailors earned a few podium positions, including a gold and two bronzes at an ISAF World Cup event.

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22
Athletes from sports like silat, badminton and cuesports were among those spotted at the welcome back ceremony (pix) for Team Singapore on their return from the 25th Laos SEA Games on Saturday (Dec 19). Picture by Suhaimi bin Abdullah.
 
Friends & Families
 
They were warmly received and cheered by some 200 friends and families at Changi Airport. Chef de mission Jessie Phua was beaming following the strong perfomance of our athletes who won 33 golds, 30 silvers and 35 bronzes. 

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22
The SEA Games in Laos came to an end on Friday (Dec 18) with Team Singapore winning 33 golds, 30 silvers and 35 bronzes and swimmer Quah Ting Wen crowned the Best Female Athlete. Picture by John Heng.
 
Top Sports
 
It was a performance which earned high praise from chef de mission Jessie Phua, especially since some of our top sports such as sailing, bowling and gymnastics were not featured in Vientiane. Sports like swimming (14 golds), shooting (six golds) and table tennis led the way. Athletes from less established sports like cue sports, boxing, cycling and wrestling also shone with some creditable performances.

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22

Gearing Up: The Indonesian pair (in white) readying themselves for a serve from their Singaporean counterparts.

On arriving at the Yio Chu Kang Sports Hall for the finals of the Li-Ning Singapore Youth International 2009 on 20 December, one could be forgiven to think that admission was expensive. On the contrary, it was actually free. The venue was by no means packed, with the spectators consisting of the players’ families, coaches, and members of the public scattered all around the oval-shaped hall. However, the atmosphere generated by them mirrored that a sold-out stadium, with their wild cheers and liberal use of their balloon clappers.

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19
The Singapore swim team show off their medals when they arrive on home soil.
 
Deafening roars of approval greeted the Team Singapore swimmers when they landed at Changi Airport after their dominant performance at the 25th SEA Games in Laos.
 
The swim team’s best-ever away performance of 14 gold medals put Singapore as the top swimming nation in Southeast Asia. The team also won eight silver and 11 bronze medals. Numerous records and personal bests were broken and made Singaporeans and peers from neighbouring countries sit up and take notice.

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18
The Extreme 40 boats racing under the Singapore Flyer.
 
What do you get when you take the biggest and fastest boat to have raced at the Olympics, make it twice as big and race them in tight confines? You get the Extreme 40.

Singapore had its first taste of the Extreme 40s when a brand new event, Extreme Sailing Series Asia came to town from December 11 - 15. The statistics are impressive. The boats can travel at a speed of up to 40 knots (73 km/hr) and the 24 sailors from the six teams have between them, three double Olympic Gold medals, 24 World Championship titles, nine America Cup events, eight Round the World navigations and 114 National Championship titles.

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18
There was more for Team Singapore supporters (above) to cheer about at the SEA Games in Vientiane today (17 Dec) as Zhang Guirong clinched the women's shot put title while the men's 4x100m relay team and footballers won silver and bronze respectively. Picture by John Heng.
 

Other Sports

 

There was success in other sports too. In silat, Shakir Juanda and Dinniyati Julaimi both won silvers. Also winning silvers were cue sports' Charlene Chai,  judo's Wee Pui Seng, wrestling's Sulaiman Yusoff  and badminton's Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari.
 
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