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Team Singapore Rock Climbers Scaling New Heights


Team Singapore's Youngest Sport Climber Zhang Bin Bin is aiming for a medal at the 26th SEA Games this November. (Photo: SSC) 

Imagine yourself ascending a vertical rock face wall using only your hands and feet with the only protection being fixed bolts that were preplaced on the rock face.

Indeed, it does sound like a daunting task that perhaps only Spiderman undertakes! However, there will be 12 Singaporeans who will rise up to this intimidating challenge at one of the most anticipated regional event come November.

Yes, Sport Climbing will debut as medal sport for SEA Games 2011 in Indonesia. This decision, supported by six NOCs members of SEA Games Federation including Singapore, was taken during the SEA Games Federation Council Meeting in Jakarta on 30 May 2010. It is indeed a historical moment for the entire ASEAN sport climbing community. SportClimbing can attract anyone from all ages because of its fresh take on a traditional sport and practicality. You do not need to spend a lot of money on gear since all you need is a rope, quickdraws, and your personal climbing gear: rock shoes, harness, belay device, and chalk bag.

This mix of adventure and adrenaline rush is a fast growing sport in the South East Asian region and looks set to  entertain the crowd and also give aspiring local climbers, glorious opportunities to shine at the big stage in future competitions.

At this November's SEA Games, 10 gold medals will be contested in the men's and women's individual categories in the lead, speed and boulder climbing, and team event in speed climbing, and Singapore is aiming for at least one gold medal.

At the beginning of the year, Singapore Mountaineering Federation (SMF) conducted trials to identify potential climbers to compete in upcoming international events. A total of 62 ambitious climbers registered for the trials to vie for an opportunity to don the national colours.

Those who make the cut, would proceed on to the Putrajaya and Singapore legs of the ASEAN Sport Climbing circuit, giving them as well as regional climbers, a competitive edge in the upcoming 11 nations battlefield; SEA Games 2011

21 were eventually nominated to the Singapore National Olympic Council for the SEA Games, of which 12 (six men & six women) have been selected and thus, the Team Singapore Sports Climbing team was formed.

The group of young climbers from the national team have been hard at work to scale new heights in the sport. They took part in many competitions to gear up for the main regional event happening in midweek November.

Muhammad Faizeen Abdul Malik, 18, a speed track and team relay event climber for TeamSingapore said, “I am very excited for the SEA Games and am optimistic of at least a medal because our climbers get stronger day by day by training very hard.”

We are also prepared for the regional event as we competed overseas and won a couple of medals before.”

The courageous wall speedster added that, they are prepared for the regional event as they have competed in many international events and brought back couple of medals before.

Zhang Bin Bin, 16, the youngest member of Singapore Sports Climbing team said, “I am pretty confident that we can clinch a title in the SEA Games because we train very hard and give it all our best.

The Outram Secondary School, student who has bagged 27 medals in her four years of experience in climbing will take part in the speed track as well as the team relay event. The speed demon also added that, the team is doing well under the watchful eyes of experienced climbers cum teammates, Rozihan Anwar and Tan Li Yin Suzanna.

Singapore will also host the World Youth Sport Climbing Championship for the first time in 2012.