WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Sports happenings in Singapore (17-23 Jan)

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·Editorial Team
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Team Singapore's chefs de mission Lim Heem Wei (left) and Amirudin Jamal with the Queen's Baton of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. (PHOTO: Kong Chong Yew/Commonwealth Games Singapore)
Team Singapore's chefs de mission Lim Heem Wei (left) and Amirudin Jamal with the Queen's Baton of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. (PHOTO: Kong Chong Yew/Commonwealth Games Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (17 to 23 January):

Chefs de mission selected for Commonwealth Games

Former Olympic gymnast Lim Heem Wei has been appointed chef de mission for Team Singapore at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Birmingham from 28 July to 8 August.

Lim, 32, was the first Singaporean gymnast to compete at the Olympics in 2012, and won a silver medal in the balance beam at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. She served as assistant chef de mission to Mark Chay at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, and is on the Commonwealth Games Federation’s athletes advisory commission since 2018..

Former national sprinter Amirudin Jamal, 34, will assist Lim in leading the Team Singapore contingent. Amirudin is a two-time Commonwealth Games participant in the men’s 100m and 4x100m relay events.

Team Singapore is allocated a quota of 52 athletes for the Games (excluding certain sports which require qualification and team sports). The Commonwealth Games will feature 283 events in 20 sports including an integrated para-sport programme.

Lim's and Amirudin's appointments were announced as the Queen’s Baton Relay - a Commonwealth Games tradition - came to Singapore for a three-day tour around Singapore from Monday to Wednesday (17 to 19 January). Organised by the University of Birmingham, the relay featured five Singaporean baton-bearers: alumni Bernard Tan and Alvin Ho, Koh Ting Ting (national women's water polo team captain), Terry Tay (national gymnastics team captain) and Hazel Westwood, the university's director of international education (Singapore).

Singapore to be host city for Arena Games Triathlon in May

Singapore has been selected as the host city for the grand final of the Arena Games Triathlon (AGT), a global esports-triathlon championship series, which is set to be held on 6 and 7 May.

The series, which inaugurated in 2020, will feature real-life and virtual racing action. The swim leg of the AGT will see the triathletes take to the water, while the bike and run disciplines are completed on smart trainers and self-powered curved treadmills.

In 2021, the first multi-city version of the AGT took place in Rotterdam and London, featuring three-time Olympic medallist Jonathan Brownlee and European champion Beth Potter. This year, the series will be held in three cities: Munich (9 April), London (23 April) and Singapore.

(From left) Women's golf world No.2 Ko Jin Young, world No.3 Lydia Ko and world No.4 Park In-bee have confirmed their participations at the 2022 HSBC Women's World Championship. (PHOTOS: Getty Images)
(From left) Women's golf world No.2 Ko Jin Young, world No.3 Lydia Ko and world No.4 Park In-bee have confirmed their participations at the 2022 HSBC Women's World Championship. (PHOTOS: Getty Images)

3 of top 4 women's golfers confirmed for HSBC Women's World C'ship

Three of the world's top four women's golfers confirmed their participation in the HSBC Women's World Championship, which will be played at the Sentosa Golf Club from 3 to 6 March.

World No.2 Ko Jin Young, No.3 Lydia Ko and No.4 Park In-bee will be teeing up at the elite competition with defending champion Kim Hyo Joo at the Tanjong Course.

South Korean Ko Jin Young has had a stellar 2021, with five wins and 13 top-10 finishes, and the 26-year-old will be hoping to improve on her third-place finish at the tournament in 2019.

Former world No.1 Lydia Ko also had a successful 2021 with one victory and 10 top-10 finishes. With two major championships to her name, the New Zealanders will be looking forward to land her first Women's World Championship.

Park, meanwhile, has already won twice at Sentosa, and the 33-year-old South Korean will be aiming for a hat-trick of titles after coming up short in last year's edition in finishing in third spot.

Tampines sign midfielder Nakamura to SPL's longest contract extension

Singapore Premier League side Tampines Rovers' have handed a new five-year deal to their Japanese midfielder Kyoga Nakamura, making it the longest contract extension in the league's history.

The extension would see the 25-year-old remain with the club until December 2026, and could also pave the way for the Japanese to take up Singapore citizenship and turn out for the Singapore national team.

Nakamura - who had played for the Stags in the past two seasons - had applied to be a Singapore permanent resident earlier this month, but will need to satisfy FIFA's five-year residency rule to play for an adopted country at senior level.

The Straits Times reported that the former Japan U-17 international had turned down offers from clubs in Japan, Indonesia and Thailand before reaffirming his commitment to Tampines.

Asian Champions League, AFC Cup draws for SPL teams

Singapore Premier League (SPL) champions Lion City Sailors were drawn into Group F of Asia's East Zone during the Asian Champions League (ACL) draw conducted virtually in Kuala Lumpur on Monday (17 January).

In their maiden ACL campaign, the Sailors will face reigning Chinese Super League champions Shandong Taishan, Japanese Emperor's Cup holders Urawa Red Diamonds and the winners of the playoff between K-League 1's Daegu FC and Thai powerhouses Buriram United.

Group-stage matches will be played on a double round-robin basis in centralised venues between 15 April 15 and 1 May. The five group winners and the best three runners-up from both the East and West Zones will advance into the knockout stages, which begin in August with the final to be played in February 2023.

In the AFC Cup draw, Hougang United - which finished third in the last SPL season - were drawn into Group I with Vietnam's Viettel FC, Cambodia's Phnom Penh Crown and Myanmar's Hantharwady United FC. However, Hantharwady pulled out of the tournament on Wednesday due to ongoing political turmoil in the country.

Another SPL team, Tampines Rovers, are in Group H with Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur City FC, Indonesia's PSM Makassar and Myanmar's Ayewady United FC.

Matches will be played on a single round-robin basis in centralised venues between 24 and 30 June. The winners of each group and the best runners-up of the ASEAN zone will advance to the zonal semi-finals.

Shuttler Jason Teh exits India International after narrow loss

National shuttler Jason Teh, the only Singapore representative at the Syed Modi India International tournament in Uttar Pradesh last week, crashed out in the round-of-32 on Wednesday (19 January).

The world No.99 was edged out 21-14, 11-21, 16-21 by India's world No.145 Kaushal Dharmamer, after skipping the India Open in New Delhi two weeks as he was still recovering from a knee injury.

The National Open Championships 2020 winner is also entered for this week's Odisha Open in the Indian city of Cuttack, as well as next month's Badminton Asia Team Championships. He is expected to play a part in this year's SEA Games and Commonwealth Games.

Sports Hub activities to celebrate Chinese New Year

The Singapore Sports Hub has lined up a series of activities to celebrate the Chinese New Year:

  • Annual Huat Run: From 1 to 15 February, patrons can run on an 888-metre red "prosperity" track around the National Stadium at the 100Plus Promenade. Snap a photo with the HUAT standee and stand to win prize vouchers by posting it on Instagram, as well as tagging @sgsportshub, @100plus_singapore, and hashtag #MySgSportsHub.

  • Paddling Tiger, Rowing Dragon: Head to the Water Sports Centre with friends for some dragon-boating fun.

  • Chinese New Year promotions: Spend a minimum of $48 to redeem an exclusive set of Kallang Wave Mall red packets, and a minimum of $168 ($188 for FairPrice Xtra receipts) to redeem a limited edition Tayo The Little Bus umbrella and a $10 Kallang Wave Mall voucher.

  • National Stadium in Gold: The National Stadium will be draped in red and gold lights in a special display on 1 February from 8 to 9pm.

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