The Officials

The eight men behind Singapore's first Olympic medal in 48 years

Teo Chee Hean

The Deputy Prime Minister was the president of the Singapore National Olympic Council from 1998 to 2014 and gave the green light to Project 0812 in 2006. He helped to raise funds and was the advisor to the committee which worked to bring home Singapore’s first Olympic medal in 48 years.

Ng Ser Miang

The International Olympic Committee member was the chairman of Project 0812 and was at the forefront of its work, from fund raising to food tasting. He personally checked out the food at the Singapore Sports School when swimmer Tao Li asked for a more nutritious diet. He was a vice president of SNOC from 1990 to 2014 and chairman of the Singapore Sports Council from 1991 to 2002.

Tan Eng Liang

The chef de mission of Team Singapore at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was the chairman of the Project 0812 working group, in charge of executing the plans and strategies of the main committee and monitoring the cashflow. He was instrumental in helping the Singapore women’s table tennis team overcome their differences and unite for the Olympics. The former Senior Minister of State was also an Olympian athlete who represented Singapore in water polo in the 1956 Melbourne Games.

Chris Chan

The secretary-general of SNOC since 2002 and a pivotal player in Project 0812. He first mooted the idea of additional support for Singapore to obtain an Olympic medal after two near misses in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. The suggestion evolved into Project 0812, whose key performance indicator was succinctly captured by him – a medal of any colour in Beijing and London. The results surpassed expectations with one silver in 2008 and two bronzes in 2012.

Edmund Lim

The assistant secretary-general of SNOC was a key lieutenant in the Project 0812 working group, ensuring the smooth operations of the scheme. He was the project’s main contact point with the four national sports associations: table tennis, badminton, sailing and shooting. When infighting broke out within the table tennis team, he took on an almost daily oversight of the athletes.

Choo Wee Khiang

The long-time president of the Singapore Table Tennis Association was credited as “the man behind the medal” by The Straits Times during the Beijing Olympics. He turned Singapore table tennis from regional also-rans into global champions, pioneering foreign sports talent in the country. The former Member of Parliament had two stints as leader of STTA (1991-1998, 2002-2008), with the latest ending a month before the 2008 Games. He was also the continental vice president of the International Table Tennis Federation and treasurer and executive committee member of the Asian Table Tennis Union from 1991 to 2008.

Liu Guodong

He was recruited from China to train the Singapore men’s team in 2006, but eventually made his name as the coach who delivered an Olympic medal for Singapore. Groomed Feng Tianwei from an unknown player with no world rankings into the star of Singapore’s Beijing Olympics success. Two months after the Games, he declined the offer of a new contract from Singapore, describing the terms as insulting and unrealistic. He coached the Indonesia and Hong Kong squads after leaving Singapore.

Antony Lee

Team manager of the Singapore table tennis players. He was seconded from the Singapore Sports Council as part of Project 0812’s bid to provide the paddlers with full-time support. He enhanced the sports science, nutrition and biotechnology of the national team and endured a tough balancing act to stop worsening relations within the team. He left the table tennis set up three months after delivering the silver medal and joined SNOC, where he is the director of projects.

Where to buy

Get your copy of Project 0812 from a bookstore near you.