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Entries for August 2008

(Closing Ceremony Of Beijing Olympics) As the Beijing Olympic Games ended tonight (Aug 24) with a glittering ceremony inside the Bird's Nest, Singa...

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(Sailors Find Olympic Competition Tough) Singapore’s sailors, who have enjoyed much success at the SEA Games and Asian Games as well as int...

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(Paddler Li Jiawei Finishes Fourth In Women’s Singles) She won a team silver but will not be leaving Beijing without the much-coveted indi...

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(Li Jiawei & Feng Tianwei Are On Track) Paddlers Li Jiawei and Feng Tianwei tasted success today (Aug 20) in the women’s singles event ...

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(Swimmer Tao Li Gets Warm Welcome Home)

Welcome home. That was the warm message swimmer Tao Li received at Changi Airport tonight (Aug 18) as she returned from Beijing after a highly successful debut at the Olympics.

Fine Showing

The youngster was mobbed by dozens of her schoolmates from the Singapore Sports School at Terminal 3. Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Vivian Balakrishnan, who was also present, credited her for her fine showing in the pool.

World's Best

Competing against the world's best, she set national marks in the heats and semi-finals of the women's 100m fly, clocking 57.77 secs and 57.54 secs respectively. She also swam well in the final to finish fifth in 57.99 secs against the likes of Australia's Libby Trickett (gold in 56.73), America's Christine Magnuson (silver in 57.10), another Australian Jessicah Schipper (bronze in 57.25) and China's Zhou Yafei (fourth in 57.84). Behind her were Great Britain's Jemma Lowe (58.06), Brazil's Gabriella Silva (58.10) and the Netherlands' Inge Dekker (58.54). Significantly, she became Asia's fastest woman in this event based on her semi-final performance. She also did well in the 200m fly, setting a new national record of 2:12..63 in the heats.

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(Women's Paddlers Lose 0-3 To China To Finish Second In Beijing Olympics)

Team Singapore won a silver at the Beijing Olympics yesterday (August 17), courtesy of paddlers Li Jiawei, Wang Yuegu and Feng Tianwei who lost to China, the world's No 1 team.

Too Strong
Ranked world No 2, the Singapore girls gave everything they had at the Peking University Gymnasium but found the Chinese just way too strong. They lost 0-3 eventually. In the first singles, Feng Tianwei, the team's rising star who was the heroine in the semi-finals against South Korea, faced China's former world No 1, Wang Nan. The Singaporean started well by winning the first game, 11-9. But the Chinese took the next three games, 11-3, 11-8 and 11-6 to win the match.

Uphill Task
Li Jiawei, ranked No 6 in the world, then had to take on world No 1, Zhang Yining in the second singles. Again, Singapore started nicely, with Li winning the first game 11-9. Her Chinese opponent, however, won the next three games, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7 to put China 2-0 up as a team. Then came the doubles. It was an uphill task for Li and Wang Yuegu as they were up against world No. 1, Zhang and world No. 2, Guo Yue. The Chinese team combined well to win with ease, 11-8, 11-5,11-6. With this win, China won the tie, 3-0 and the Olympic gold medal.

First Medal
Though Team Singapore lost, the girls already had much to be proud of. Going into the final, they were already assured of at least a silver - our first medal since the silver by weightlifter Tan Howe Liang at the 1960 Rome Olympics. No wonder in Singapore, fans across the country followed the final closely. Through television, internet and handphones, they joined the officials and fans who were in Beijing to follow our paddlers' progress match-by-match, game-by-game, point-by-point. At the Singapore Table Tennis Association, for example, live screening of the final enabled fans to cheer and bond together.

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(Focus On Paddler Feng Tianwei)

Before the Beijing Olympics, only Singaporeans in the table tennis circle knew about Feng Tianwei. Mention table tennis and the name that came to mind was inevitably Li Jiawei. Now Feng has made her own mark.

Crucial Point

She was the player who won the crucial point to enable Singapore to beat South Korea 3-2 in Friday's semi-finals and earn our first medal in 48 years. She beat Park Mi Young 11-7, 12-10, 3-11, 11-9. And, earlier in the tie, she contributed the opening point by defeating Dang Ye Seo 11-5, 11-5, 11-2. Sure, Li and Wang Yuegu also did their part. They won their doubles against Kim Kyung Ah and Park 11-7, 11-6, 11-9 though they both lost their singles matches. Li fell 11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 9-11 to Kim while Wang was defeated by Dang 8-11, 12-14, 9-11.

World Class Grit

But the day clearly belonged to Feng. The 21-year-old showed world class grit, tenacity and composure just when such traits were much needed. Cheering her and her team mates all the way during the three-hour,40-minute epic at the Peking University Gymnasium were about 100 Singapore fans. Among them were President S.R. Nathan and Minister of Defence, Singapore National Olympic Council president Teo Chee Hean and Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Community Development, Youth and Sports) Teo Ser Luck. At home, Singaporeans too followed the action closely. Many didn't know Feng Tianwei. Now they do.

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(Zhang Guirong Throws 16.23m In Women's Shot Put)

Singapore's Zhang Guirong found the competition at the Beijing Olympics way too strong in the qualifying rounds of the women's shot put today (Aug 16).

Best Throw

She managed a best throw of 16.23m to finish 14th out of the 17 competitors in Group B. Leading the group was China's Gao Lijiao (19.46).

Title Contenders

Overall, the leader was New Zealand's Valerie Vili who was first in Group A with her throw of 19.73m. Other contenders for the title who did well included China's Li Meiju (19.18) and Belarus' Nadzeya Ostapchuc (19.11).

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(President S.R. Nathan Visits Team Singapore Athletes At Beijing Olympics)

Presidential support. That was what Team Singapore athletes enjoyed earlier this week at the Beijing Olympics when President S.R. Nathan visited them. The special guest even took time to watch our women paddlers play against USA.

Mingling With Athletes

He also visited the Olympic Village where he mingled with the athletes, including swimmer Tao Li, who finished fifth in the women's 100m fly. Present too at the village was Defence Minister and President of the Singapore National Olympic Council, Teo Chee Hean.

All The Way

There was also a reception dinner with the President who met Singaporean supporters - both those based in Beijing as well as those who had flown in to watch the Olympics. Ms Miranda Lee, mother of three and winner of the Team Singapore well-wishing campaign, said, "This is my first time in Beijing and to the Olympic Games. Go for gold Singapore!" Mr James Quah, an accountant, added, "It's exciting to watch our athletes compete live. I plan to cheer for Team Singapore all the way."

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(Women's Table Tennis Team Wins Silver Medal At Olympics)

The wait is over. And Singapore has finally won its first Olympic medal since 1960, courtesy of the women's table tennis team comprising Li Jiawei, Feng Tianwei and Wang Yuegu.

Feng The Star

The girls beat South Korea 3-2 in Beijing today (Aug 15) in a tense semi-final tie to ensure they would win at least a silver. The other semi-final tie involved China and Hong Kong. Feng was the star of the Singapore side, winning both her singles matches. Li and Wang contributed with a win in the doubles. Both, however, lost their singles matches. The Korean team comprised of Kim Kyung Ah, Dang Ye Seo and Park Mi Young.


Feng started well by beating Dang 11-5,11-5,11-2. Li then lost to Kim 11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 9-11. Li and Wang combined well to win the doubles 11-7,11-6,11-9 against Park and Kim. Wang was next defeated by Dang 8-11,12-14,9-11. Then came Feng's crucial win. She beat Park 11-7,12-10, 3-11, 11-9.

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