When Singapore returned with the Silver Medal she secured in the Table Tennis Women’s team event in the Beijing Olympics of 2008, it raised hopes that our athletes would be able to stretch themselves further at London.
Singapore has already hit some milestones prior to London 2012, with gymnast Lim Heem Wei being the first ever Singaporean gymnast to qualify for the games. So who are these hopefuls, and will they deliver and bring home the loot?
Lim Heem Wei oozes deft poise in gymnastics
Lim Heem Wei has already contributed an Olympic sporting moment to Singapore, being the first ever gymnast from the nation to qualify for the Olympic Games. The Singapore National Olympics Council Award recipient of 2005 and 2006, as well as the winner of the Colours Award, she also finished 2nd at the Commonwealth Games with a poised performance to qualify for the all round individual gymnastics event in London.
To date, she has finished a commendable 45th out of 98 places in the qualifying rounds at the Olympic games.Though not able to secure a place in the Olympic final, her performance was polished, especially at her forte, the vault, where she finished with a 13.333 points. She made a slight mistake on the floor exercise, wobbling slightly on landing, where she closed with a score of 12.033 points. She has created yet another significant moment for Singapore and heralds more to cherish.
Image Source: http://redsports.sg/2011/11/16/sea-games-gymnastics-gabriel-gan-lim-heem-wei/
Her medal hopes dashed, Tao Li still swims on
Tao Li, Singapore’s swimming medal hopeful for the Women’s Butterfly and Backstroke events, performed commendably in the heats for the 100m backstroke event at the Olympic Games, breaking her national record by clocking 1:01.6 minutes. Her previous mark was 1:02.11 minutes in the SEA games in Palembang. She has attributed her Olympic loss to the short time spent with coach Ian Turner, who took over from Barry Prime less than a year ago. On her performance, Tao said : “The others were too fast. There was simply nothing I could do.”
Although this does not qualify the former gold SEA games medalist and Singapore Sports School student as being one of the last 16 to get into the final, she has done commendably against tough competition. The competition was not just human; having overcome surgery to remove a cyst on her right knee, Tao has broken her own record despite overwhelming odds.
The 22-year-old athlete has ended her Olympic campaign, but not the campaign to make her mark in Singapore’s sporting history.
Image Source: http://redsports.sg/2012/07/29/olympic-swimming-tao-li-100m-backstroke/
Off her personal best, Helena Wong is still happy with her Olympic debut
Another Singaporean athlete who made her debut at the London Olympic games this year, Helena was 20 kg off her personal best, lifting 134kg in the women’s 53kg category. She finished last of 15 competitors.
Wong has had plenty to live up to, weightlifting being a special sport in the hearts and minds of many in Singapore. Tan Howe Liang’s record of winning a silver medal at the games in 1960 is surely a difficult one to beat. That withstanding, she also bore the pressure of the long hiatus in weightlifting after Chua Koon Siong flew Singapore’s weightlifting flag in 1976.
However, Wong is upbeat and happy with her debut. She has battled the obstacles of time and injury. Said Wong: 'I've only started training for this six weeks ago, and I'm carrying a wrist injury. So I'm very happy with my lift.
'The experience in London has been very good. The Brits even cheered for me when I was competing so that was very nice.'
Singapore's weightlifting hopes are dashed, but not our hopes in Helena, whom we shall see more of in future.
Image Source: http://www.timeoutsingapore.com/sports/feature/singapore-athletes-in-2012-london-olympics
Jasmine Ser shoots a little off the mark
The Commonwealth Games gold medallist for the 10m Air Rifle singles event has failed to qualify for the final round at the olympic games in London. The gold for the event went to China’s Yi Siling who shot a stunning score of 103.9 in the final for an overall score of 502.9.
Jasmine finished 394 out of 400 in the qualifying round, 24th out of 56 shooters. She missed being in the final eight by three points. The minimal margin of error means a very commendable performance, and we look forward to more from Jasmine in the future.
Image Source: http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/MNSGhE6RUyU/19th+Commonwealth+Games+Day+7+Shooting/Ea_swrlYp9L/SER+Xiang+Wei+Jasmine
Gary Yeo Foo Yee to run the extra mile for Singapore
Our olympic hopeful for Men’s Track and Field, Gary Yeo, makes no bones about his passion for the sport. Said Gary: "I first participated in running in 2000 and won the overall C Division Title for Boys the same year. I have been running since then as I feel very passionate about the sport.”
The three time SEA silver medallist faces heavy weight competition at the London Olympics, having to battle the likes of legendary contenders like Usain Bolt who is set to perform in spite of hamstring problems.
In spite of such formidable competition, Gary’s passion will only allow him to serve his utmost on the Olympic track platter.
Image Source: http://topic.worlds-luxury-guide.com/photo/06Ir3lB4gwbV2
Dipna Lim Prasad: jumping the hurdles for Singapore
Dipna, Singapore’s Women’s Track and Field hopeful, has overcome many odds for the chance to live the Olympic dream. A student at the Singapore Sports School, she was outshone by her peers and relegated to second scoring status. Her coach, Viatcheslav Vassiliev, saw her potential in women’s hurdles that marked the turning point in her career in track and field. She holds the women’s national record for the hurdles at 14.23 seconds.
The SEA games silver medalist will represent Singapore in the hurdles, being only the second woman since Tang Pui Wah in 1952 to do so for Singapore in this event. She carries tremendous pressure from all the hope and the tough competition, and has already marked an important Olympic moment for Singapore by her presence.
She will fare well against tough competition, though medal hopes are uncertain. Her sheer determination - she wants to go below her personal best of 10.46 seconds - means that she will surely make the hurdling grade for Singapore in more ways than one.
Image Source: http://www.singaporeathletics.org.sg/dipna-lim-prasad
Colin Cheng Xin Ru oozes passion for sailing
The Singapore National Olympic Council’s Meritorious Award winner, who has represented Singapore at the Asian Games and won the Australian Laser National Sailing Championship has passed the qualifying test for the Men’s Laser event. He will be one of Singapore’s sailing hopefuls.
Anyone can sense his passion for sailing. Said Colin: “ ‘I love the recreational part of sailing, cruising through Sydney Harbour and taking in the sights and the feeling of freedom. But I’m also naturally competitive. I think sailing is the most complex of sports because of the variables.’
The passion means a definitely commendable performance against fierce competitors. Colin has many expectations to live up to, having to beat the records of Singapore sailing greats ike Benedict Tan. We look forward to Colin giving his best.
Image Source: http://asiangames.sailing.org.sg/?p=232
Elizabeth Yin Yue Ling overcomes disappointment to battle it out at the olympics
Elizabeth Yin was disappointed when her team-mate Lo Man Yi got the chance to fly the Singapore flag at the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing. The 3 time medal winner, who secured a 1st at the 2012 Skandia Sail For Gold will overcome her disappointment with a shot at the Olympics this year
The former winner of the Youth Sailing Championships has, with much perseverance, overcome many obstacles, including a constant change of coaches. Now training under Ian Clingan, formerly part of the Olympic team, she is upbeat about her chances.
Of her chances, Elizabeth said in an interview with Channel News Asia: "Sailing-wise, I was a lot more inconsistent in the past, with some shockers. But my two years here have made me a lot more consistent and I am focused."
Singaporeans look forward to a polished, determined performance from Elizabeth.
Image Source: http://redsports.sg/2010/01/06/koh-seng-leong-elizabeth-yin-sailing/
A Singles chance for badminton
Singapore’s medal hopes for the doubles events, Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei, may not have made it into the qualifying round, having lost to formidable Japan’s Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa. But if all goes well badminton remains a sport that will sustain Singapore’s medal hopes for the rest of the games.
At the Wembley Stadium, Derek Wong scored an easy victory over Israel’s Misha Ziberman, beating him 21:9, 21:15. Derek, who was confident in poise from the beginning, proved the more formidable opponent. He played a closer second set, but regained his footing to win the match. The Vietnam International Challenge winner plays against Jan Jorgensen on Tuesday. He will face a greater challenge in Jorgensen, though, who has beaten Lin Dan of China, one of the world’s top seeds.
World number 17 Gu Juan easily took the match against Monika Fasungova of Slovakia at the group stage, giving her opponent a run for her medal chances. Having performed well at local and international Badminton Superseries Competitions, she faces her ultimate challenge of procuring a medal for Singapore.
Her next opponent is Victoria Na of Australia, and if she maintains her confidence level, she stands a chance of upping Singapore’s medal tallies, though her competitor is not an easy match. Victoria is the only single’s representative from Australia, has won the Australian Junior National Championships in the Under 15 class as has played internationally in competitions such as the 2012 Air Tahiti Nui International Challenge in Punaauia, French Polynesia, where she finished 9th.
We look forward to positive performances from our determined shuttlers.
Image Source: http://redsports.sg/2008/06/11/irene-wong-parents-support/
Great medal hopes in the Table Tennis Singles and Team Events
By far, table tennis is the sport that stands the greatest chance of winning the Republic’s third medal. So far, the table tennis team of Feng Jiewen, Wang Yuegu and Li Jiawei have had the luck of the draw, having made it through a few qualifiers and being likely to meet China only in the final round of the team competition. The World Number 3 team stands a good chance, but not without a few hindering obstacles, what with Feng’s weakness for battling choppers and Jiawei’s only recent return to the table tennis platform after taking time off to look after child. If they can over come those hindrances, the team stands a very good chance of a medal win.
In the singles events, the ladies cannot be discounted either, with Feng beating Taiwanese Chen Szu Yu in the third round and Wang ousting French player Xian Yifang.
Of their chances, Feng has commented that the lighting in the arena and the blue flooring, fitted specifically for the purposes of television, may take time getting used to. This is because they usually train on red flooring.
However, the determination of these table tennis greats may yet put Singapore once again in the Olympic spotlight, if they remain determined and unfettered.
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Singapore's medal hopes may have been dashed for a few events, but her athletes are not completely out of the running. With hopes for a medal in badminton and table tennis, the Olympic dream still lives on.
For the athletes who have not been able to meet the mark owing to personal obstacles or tough competition, the best is yet to be, and we are proud of their efforts.