Team Singapore delivers medals amid tough competition

From left to right: SNOC Secretary-General Mr Chris Chan, Chef de Mission Mr Lee Wung Yew and Singapore Sports Institute's Head of Performance and Athlete Life, Mr Richard Gordon

01 Sep 2018

• Team Singapore’s largest Asian Games contingent in history impress with medal haul of 4 gold, 4 silver, 14 bronzes, 1 Games record, 8 national records and 18 personal bests at the 2018 Asiad
• 202 debutants out of 264 athletes stand out with gritty performances in world-class field
• Chef de Mission Lee Wung Yew lauds Team Singapore’s efforts and congratulates the organisers for a successful Games

Jakarta, 1 September 2018 – After 15 days of intense competition, Team Singapore’s outing at the 2018 Asian Games is coming to an end with athletes in canoe, contract bridge, rugby, table tennis and water polo concluding their campaigns today.

With a 264-strong athlete representation in 21 sports, the 2018 Asiad remains Team Singapore’s largest contingent at the Games to date. Of the 264 athletes, 202 are participating in their first Asiad, with some athletes posting outstanding showings to win medals on their debut.

Since the inception of the Games, the Republic has kept a perfect attendance at the Games participating in every edition since 1951. The 2006 Asian Games remains the Republic’s best performing Games, when the sailing team was responsible for five out of eight gold medals won by Team Singapore.

The medal tally in Jakarta and Palembang currently stands at 4 gold, 4 silver and 14 bronze medals, placing Singapore in 18th position among 45 participating nations. One Games record was set by Joseph Schooling in the men’s 100m butterfly event and eight national records were set – seven in swimming and one by track and field athlete Dipna Lim-Prasad in the women’s 400m hurdles. There were 18 personal best timings and scores recorded by the artistic swimming, athletics, diving and swimming teams.

Debutants pulling their weight

Team Singapore participated in six sports for the first time at this Games – archery, artistic swimming, contract bridge, paragliding, ju-jitsu and silat – with the latter four sports making its first appearance at the Games.

The contract bridge sextet of Poon Hua, Loo Choon Chou, Zhang Yukun, Fong Kien Hoong, Desmond Oh and Kelvin Ong played their cards right, leading the men’s team event from start to finish. They emerged victorious in a gruelling seven-day contest of focus and skills to win a historic gold medal.

Archery mixed team pair Alan Lee and Contessa Loh shot career-best performances to upset Malaysia and earned a spot in the semi-finals. They finished in fourth place losing 152-155 to the Iranian bronze medallist pair.

Former swimmer turned ju-jitsu exponent Constance Lien fought hard in the under-62 kg final against world champion Sung Kira from Korea to conclude her first major Games campaign with a silver medal. The 19-year-old now has set her sights on a world championship title, and has started training immediately upon her return to Singapore.

The silat exponents contributed an impressive haul of two silver and three bronze medals to the medal tally on the sport’s first showing at the Games.

Onwards to 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

In Olympic sports such as canoeing, fencing, sailing, swimming and shooting, there were some creditable performances which bode well for Team Singapore’s participation on the Olympic stage.

The women’s foil team earned Singapore’s first fencing team medal at the Games – the young team of Amita Berthier, Maxine Wong, Tatiana Wong and Melanie Huang have sights on qualifying and competing at the Olympic Games.

Kimberly and Cecilia Low, partners in the Olympic 49er FX event, sailed a perfect regatta to clinch the gold medal with one day to spare. Laser sailor Ryan Lo ended his Asiad campaign with a bronze medal. The trio will now focus full-time on their Olympic qualification.

In shooting where Asian nations consistently reign as world champions, air rifle specialists Jasmine Ser and Martina Lindsay Veloso made appearances in the finals of the 10m air rifle and 50m air rifle 3 positions events. Jasmine was the highest-placed shooter in fourth position in the 50m air rifle 3 positions event, while Martina made the top eight in all three events she competed in. Both shooters are currently at the ISSF World Championship where they will be vying to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games.

The Singapore swimming team returned home with their best ever performance at the Games. Olympic champion Joseph Schooling contributed two individual gold medals in the 50m and 100m butterfly events and two bronze freestyle relay medals to the medal tally, and set a new Asian Games record in the 100m butterfly. Roanne Ho was rewarded with a surprise silver medal in the 50m women’s breaststroke when a disqualification pushed her third place position to a second. Three bronze medals were won in the relays – men’s 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle and the women’s 4x100m medley. The young swimming debutants stood out with some outstanding swims in the relays and the men’s 800m freestyle and women’s 1,500m freestyle events.

The canoe and kayak team have so far produced their best results at the Games with one more day of competition to go. Mervyn Toh finished in third in the K1 200m event to take home the canoe team’s first medal from the Games. Lucas Teo and Brandon Ooi finished creditably in fourth in the men’s K2 1,000m final.

Paddler Yu Mengyu soldiered through the rounds to reach the semi-finals in the women’s singles event to earn a bronze medal.

Praise for Team Singapore

Lee Wung Yew, former Olympic shooter and chef de mission for Team Singapore at the Games, was ably supported by two assistants – former national fencer Ruth Ng and former national rugby player Azhar Yusof, who was based in Palembang.

Lee said, “Team Singapore delivered an excellent showing at the Games. Our athletes showed no fear coming up against some of the world’s best athletes to fight for every point and victory. With a contingent formed largely of debutants, the results are very encouraging and hopefully, indicates greater successes for them in the future.”