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Entries for December 2009

09
 


Singapore female paddler Zena Sim focused on the game. Photo courtesy of Team Singapore Photography Team in Vientiane

Team Singapore's paddlers, on a quest to repeat their complete sweep of the gold medals at the last SEA Games, enjoyed winning starts at the National University Convention Hall in Vientiane yesterday (Dec 8).

Singapore 3 Laos 0

The women, as expected, were just far too strong for their opponents, beating Laos and Vietnam to earn a semi-final spot in the team event. In the tie against Laos, Yu Mengyu gave us a fine start with an easy 11-7, 11-5, 11-2 win over Seangdavieng Douangpanya. Sun Beibei was a bit tentative at first but still prevailed over Seangdavanh Doungpanya in the end, winning 11-8, 11-5, 11-3. Zena Sim (pix) then took apart Thippakone Southammavong 11-2, 11-1, 11-2 to give Singapore a dominant 3-0 victory. And that was achieved without our top two players, world No. 6 Feng Tianwei and world No. 13 Wang Yuegu.

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09
Singapore fought valiantly but were denied a win against their Scottish rivals. Photo courtesy of Netball Singapore.
 
Today marked the halfway stage of the round-robin portion of the Netball Nations Cup 2009. Some teams continued to fire while others hit a slump in form three games into the tournament. Northern Ireland kept their winning form in tact with a 66-41 win over Malaysia who are still searching for a victory but the Celts were a shadow of their previous performances.

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09
Slingers No.1 point guard Al Vergara goes for a lay-up under intense pressure. Picture by: Sharry Lee
 
Singapore Slingers coach Frank Arsego was visibly furious with his team's lacklustre performance as they slumped to their third consecutive defeat in the ABL, this time at the claws of the Thailand Tigers. They were beaten 62:65 in a game on 7 December which saw both teams taking the game down to the wire; the Slingers desperately groping for a counteroffensive, the Tigers frantically digging their claws in to hold on to their slim lead.

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09

With stars like Feng Tianwei and Wang Yuegu, our women's table tennis team, who clinched silver at last year's Beijing Olympics, inevitably get the limelight. But spare a thought too for the men's team led by players like Gao Ning and Yang Zi as they get set for action at the SEA Games in Laos. Photo courtesy of Team Singapore.

Campaign For Honours

Together with the women's team, they will start their campaign for honours today (Dec 8). They will play three round-robin matches, including one against Indonesia which has in its team the 2005 SEA Games men's singles champion Muhamad Hussein. A good start matters. Which is why they want to win in their opening tie against the Philippines led by 2005 SEA Games singles silver medallist Richard Gonzales.

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09
Wrestlers Melvynna Tumbunan, Mohamad Sulaiman, Gabriel Yang and Aloysius Chua are thinking only of their immediate task in Laos but the fact is they are making a bit of history as Singapore's first representatives ever in wrestling (picture above). Photo courtesy of Team Singapore.

 Tough Challenge

 Under the tutelage of national coach and two-time Olympic champion Sergey Beloglazov, these four unfamiliar faces, who were originally in judo, have been training five times a week to prepare for the SEA Games. With only about ten months of serious wrestling training under their belt, the quartet is well aware of the difficult task ahead of them, especially since they will be competing against seasoned wrestlers.

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09

This year's edition of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, saw 50,000 participants.

Pre-dawn on Sunday 7 December 2009 saw thousands of marathoners pounding the road in one of the most popular marathons in the country - the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2009

The Padang was already buzzing with life that morning, even though it was only 5.30 am and the sun barely peeping over the horizon. Throngs of supporters had turned up to cheer on the runners as 50,000 participants took to the various routes in the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM), including the gruelling 42.195 km full marathon, the 21.1 km half marathon and the 10 km race.

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09
WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER: Marathons are not just about running as proven by this half marathon participant and his partner (left) and the full marathon participants (right) crossing the finish-line, hand in hand.
 
As radio personality Rod Monteiro, aptly and quite cheekily puts it across, “Why the hell do you want to do it?”
 
It’s hard to imagine. What could possibly make people sign up for the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2009 (SCSM) and subject themselves to the arduous and, at most times, excruciating long-distance run?

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08
A proud unbeaten record. For the new faces among our water polo guys, it was hard to appreciate the historical significance of the team's feat as they clinched gold at the SEA Games in Laos yesterday (Dec 7). Picture courtesy of Danny Toh.

Third Win

But newcomers Lin Yaoxiang, Samuel Loh and Andy Chin will celebrate as hard as their more seasoned team mates, Alvin Lee and Luo Nan. Afterall, the team had to come back from behind to beat Thailand 8-5 to score their third win after earlier victories over Indonesia (14-5) and the Philippines (8-1).

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08
Goal Keeper Premila Hirubalan in the air to prevent Malaysia from scoring points. Photo courtesy of Netball Singapore
 
What a difference a day makes at the Nations Cup 2009! Scotland and Tanzania opened proceedings on day two with the African nation producing a composed and confident performance they kept the pressure on the Scots until the final quarter and lost out 52-39.
 
The final score masks Tanzania’s much improved performance against the highest ranking team of the competition. With only five points separating the sides at the break and Tanzania drawing level during the third quarter, it came down to confidence and experience in the final period where the Scots stayed strong and gained the advantage over their opponents in the circle. Once again, Lesley MacDonald had a solid performance for Scotland with a 93% success rate.

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08
Singapore's shuttlers (pictured) left for Laos on Saturday (Dec 5) morning keenly aware of the challenge ahead as they try to at least come close to their haul of four silvers and two bronzes from 2007 SEA Games in Thailand. Photo courtesy of Team Singapore.
 
Household Name

To achieve their goal, they will be counting on both familiar and less familiar faces. One household name in the team is Ronald Susilo. Even though he is not likely to feature prominently in the team this time the way he used to, his experience would certainly come in useful in key ties. This is all the more so now that another seasoned player Kendrick Lee, who won a silver in the men's singles in 2007, has dropped out due to his studies.

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