The Athletes

The 30 chosen ones for Project 0812,
from badminton, table tennis, sailing, shooting and swimming

Feng Tianwei
Table Tennis

Star of the Beijing and London Games. She won two pivotal matches in the 2008 semi-finals against South Korea, helping Singapore to a famous 3-2 victory. She won two bronze medals in London 2012, in both the team and individual events, and is Singapore’s most bemedalled Olympic athlete with three in her collection.

Li Jiawei
Table Tennis

Singapore’s top women’s player and captain of the team in Beijing 2008. She was ranked world No 3 at her peak and led the Singapore team to a historic silver medal in Beijing. She picked up a team bronze in London 2012, before retiring and is now based in Beijing.

Wang Yuegu
Table Tennis

She had a career high ranking of world No 6 and overcame differences with teammates to be part of the Beijing silver-winning squad. Scored a memorable win over South Korea’s doubles pair in the 2008 Olympics’ semi-finals. She also won a team bronze in London before retiring. She runs a table tennis school in Singapore, coaching children and teenagers.

Sun Beibei
Table Tennis

The reserve player in Beijing 2008 whom the team had wanted to replace Wang Yuegu. She joined Feng and Wang in winning the World Championships in 2010 and retired after the London Olympics. She is a table tennis coach based in Singapore.

Yu Mengyu
Table Tennis

She did not make the Beijing and London squads. But after scalping world No 1 Liu Shiwen in 2012, she finally represented Singapore at the Olympics in Rio 2016. She helped the team to fourth and managed a quarter-final finish in the singles.

Gao Ning
Table Tennis

Singapore’s top men’s player and a multiple winner on the Pro Tour, Commonwealth Games and South-east Asia Games. He lost to a Croatian player in the Beijing Olympics’ singles event and cried because he did not have a coach by his side. His coach was ill. The resulting incident led to much controversy and the eventual departure of head coach Liu Guodong.

Yang Zi
Table Tennis

Singapore’s second-ranked player and a multiple winner as a doubles player on the Pro Tour, Commonwealth Games and South-east Asia Games. He qualified for the Beijing Olympics and reached the round-of-16 after beating Chuan Chi-yuan of Chinese Taipei, a higher ranked player. He was defeated by Croatia’s Primorac Zoran.

Cai Xiaoli
Table Tennis

He won a team gold in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and five SEA Games men's team golds. Together with Gao and Yang, he formed the team for the Beijing Olympics and was knocked out in the first round. He retired as a player in 2011 and became a coach.

Ronald Susilo

Popular shuttler who garnered global attention when he defeated China’s world No 1 Lin Dan in the 2004 Olympics. He has won the Japan Open and reached the semi-finals of the All-England Championships. He qualified for the Beijing Olympics but suffered from serious injuries before the Games. He was defeated by Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei, the eventual silver medallist, in the first round. He runs a badminton academy today.

Li Li

The impish player charmed many when she became the first Singaporean to win a Commonwealth badminton gold medal in 2002. She then led the country to its maiden South-east Asia Games women’s badminton title in 2003 with the team gold medal. She retired from the sport in early 2008 and did not participate in the Beijing Olympics. She is based in Fuzhou, China and is a private badminton coach.

Jiang Yanmei

The doubles specialist hit a career high world ranking of seventh and was part of the team which won the SEA Games women’s team gold in 2003. Her partnership with Li Yujia qualified for the Beijing Olympics and they were Singapore’s best performing shuttlers, reaching the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles. They lost to eventual South Korean silver medallists Lee Hyo Jung and Lee Kyung Won. She retired after Beijing and is now a coach with the Singapore national women’s team.

Li Yujia

She was the only Singapore athlete to qualify for two events at the Beijing Olympics, adding mixed doubles to her preferred women’s doubles. Her partnership with Hendri Saputra in the mixed doubles reached the round of 16 before losing to Danish pair Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl. She retired after Beijing and is a private badminton coach based in Singapore.

Lee Wung Yew

Singapore's top trap shooter for years and winner of 13 SEA Games medals. He became the first Singapore shooter to qualify for the Olympics on merit, after making two wild-card appearances in 1996 and 2004. He finished the Beijing Games ranked 28th out of 35 shooters. The long-time amateur shooter remains a physical education teacher at Innova Junior College.

Jasmine Ser

The air rifle shooter joined Project 0812 only in late 2007 after impressive results at international events. She failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics but succeeded four years later for London 2012 and again for Rio 2016. The Commonwealth Games champion finished 29th out of 46 shooters in the 50m rifle three-positions event, and 24th among 58 competitors in the 10m air rifle event in London. She was 34th and 25th in those two events respectively in Rio 2016.

Vanessa Yong

She began full-time training in September 2006 thanks to the support of Project 0812, but returned to being a part-time athlete in mid 2007 after a series of poor results. The Asian Games silver-medallist and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics. She is working in her family’s business.

Koh Seng Leong

The Laser sailor bounced back from a freak motorcycling accident in 2005 to garner an Asian Games silver medal in 2006 and qualified for the Beijing Games. It was his second Olympics, having appeared as a wildcard in Sydney 2000. He finished 36th out of 43 in Qingdao, the sailing venue of the 2008 Games. He retired from sailing in 2010 and is a bank manager. His younger brother Terence Koh represented Singapore in the 470 men’s event.

Maximilian Soh

The two-time Asian Games champion in 2006 and 2014 was regarded as an outside bet for a medal in the Beijing Olympics. He finished 11th in an Olympic test event in Qingdao in August 2007 against the world’s best Laser sailors – the best Singapore performance at the event. But he quit Project 0812 two months later after disagreements on the requirements and demands of full-time sailing. He now competes in the professional keelboat match racing circuit.

Lo Man Yi

She won the Laser Radial gold at the 2005 SEA Games, contributing to an unprecedented 10-medal haul for Singapore sailing at the biennial event. She put her studies on hold to train full-time and it paid off with qualification for the Beijing Olympics, where she finished 25th out of 28 sailors. She retired from sailing after Beijing and is a bank executive.

Victoria Chan

World champion in the Laser 4.7 category in 2006 when she was only 15. She was rated as a medal hopeful for Beijing 2008, but was edged out after internal trials in Singapore. The Olympics allow only one entry from each country in each class of sailing competition. She is an operations manager at a water activity organisation.

Roy Tay & Chung Pei Ming Sailing

They became the first pair in Singapore sailing history to qualify for the Olympics in the 470 Class, after coming in 31st among 112 boats at the 2007 Isaf World Championships in Cascais, Portugal. But they lost to Xu Yuanzhen and Terence Koh in the internal trials and did not make it to Qingdao in 2008. Both Tay (right) and Chung have retired from the sport. Tay is a businessman and Chung is SingaporeSailing’s general manager.

Xu Yuanzhen & Terence Koh Sailing

The duo were silver medallists at the 2006 Doha Asian Games and they took the sole Singapore spot in Beijing’s 470 Class. They managed 22nd out of 29 places in Qingdao in 2008, the highest placed among the Singapore sailors. Both of them are with SingaporeSailing, Xu (right) as a high performance manager and Koh as a coach.

Teo Wee Chin & Benjamin Tan Sailing

Teo (right) had partnered Terence Koh to win the 420 class in Isaf Youth World Championships in 2005, a landmark victory as the first Asian team to get the gold medal in the championship’s 35-year history. The pairing of Teo and Tan did not qualify for the Beijing Olympics and lost to Xu and Koh in the internal trials. Teo is SAF Yacht Club’s sailing manager, while Tan is a pilot with the Singapore Airlines.

Toh Liying & Deborah Ong Sailing

Toh (left) had won a silver and a bronze in the Asian Games leading up to Beijing and they reached the Games on an unused quota place. They were the highest-ranked non-qualifiers and because of a lack of women competing in their 470 class, they were given a slot. They came in last among the 19 sailing pairs in Qingdao. Toh is a doctor and Ong is a manager at an energy infrastructure company.

Dawn Liu & Elizabeth Tan Sailing

The duo won the 470 class gold medal in the 2007 SEA Games. Tan had also bagged a silver in the 2006 Asian Games. They did not qualify for the Olympics in 2008. Liu (left) worked for SportSG before pursuing postgraduate studies. She stopped her campaign for the 2016 Olympics after suffering a wrist injury in 2014. Tan is based in Sydney and married to Mark Robinson, SingaporeSailing’s former Head of High Performance.

Tao Li

Although not formally part of Project 0812, the swimmer was given support by the scheme, helping her obtain better nutrition and comfort at the Singapore Sports School where she was studying. She surprised many with a fifth place finish in the 100 metres butterfly in Beijing, becoming the first Singaporean swimmer to reach an Olympic final. The two-time Asian Games gold medallist has opened a swim school in Singapore.

Where to buy

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