Tuesday, January 21, 2014

East Timor set to make debut in Winter Olympics at Sochi 2014

Source: Inside the Games

Yohann Goutt Goncalves will be the first East Timorese athlete to compete at a Winter Olympic Games ©Yohann Goutt GoncalvesJanuary 8 - East Timor will be represented for the first time at a Winter Olympic Games after 19-year-old skier Yohan Goutt Goncalves qualified to compete in the men's slalom event at Sochi 2014.

Goutt Goncalves was born in France but has dual citizenship through his East Timorese mother.

He has amassed the requisite amount of points during official International Ski Federation (FIS) meetings to book his place in Sochi after turning down the opportunity to participate as a wildcard entry.

Goutt Goncalves' interest in skiing stemmed from his French father but he revealed his ambition was always to compete for his mother's homeland - a former Portuguese colony - which only became a fully sovereign state in 2002 after nearly two decades of conflict with Indonesia who had invaded the island in 1975.

"My mum brought me up with a Timorese way of thinking, so it has given me a lot of heritage and, of course, Timorese blood as well," said Goutt Goncalves.

The country's National Olympic Committee (NOC) was only established in 2007 and, prior to that, four athletes from East Timor had competed at Sydney 2000 under the International Olympic Committee (IOC) flag.

At Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 two athletes represented the country while at London 2012, marathon runners Augusto Ramos Soares and Juventina Napoleao took part in the Games.

Many of Goutt Goncalves' family and relatives live in Australia as East Timor is situated just 370 miles off the Northern Territory coast and its capital Darwin.

It was in Darwin in 1974 that Goutt Goncalves' mother and her family landed after leaving East Timor on an over-crowded fishing boat and she was granted refugee status by the Australian authorities.

Goutt Goncalves turned down a wildcard invitation for Sochi 2014 and qualified in his own right for the Games ©Yohann Goutt Gonclaves

Goutt Goncalves uses Australia as a base for Southern Hemisphere training and with the help of Australian authorities, family members and friends, the skier has set up two skiing federations to help develop the sport.

The Federation of Skiing in East Timor was formally recognised by FIS last year while the Australian Timor Leste Winter Olympic Association has also been set up.

According to Bill Zamut, from the Australian Timor Leste Winter Olympic Association, Goutt Goncalves wants to use his appearance in Sochi to project a positive image of his maternal homeland on the international sporting stage.

"He believes that the world has a very negative attitudes about East Timor because of the war, and because it is the world's second most poorest country," Zamut told Radio Australia.

"Something like 50 per cent of the population are illiterate, 40 per cent live below the poverty line and he thinks this is a great opportunity to get positive information out and improve the image of Timor Leste."

Link: http://www.insidethegames.biz/sports/winter/skiing/1017835-east-timor-set-to-make-debut-in-winter-olympics-at-sochi-2014

Pinoy skater gears up for Winter Olympics amid fund woes

Source: The Philippine Star

Photo via PhilStar.com

MANILA, Philippines – Youthful Michael Christian Martinez, the first Filipino figure skater to qualify for the Winter Olympics, is aiming to make the most out of his training stint in Moscow to get ready for the tough battles ahead in the 2014 Games slated Feb. 6-13 in Sochi, Russia.

Faced with funding problems, the 17-year-old Martinez could only commence serious training last Dec. 30 at the Novogorsk Training Center, a 20-hectare facility with a winter sports center for ice skating and speed skating, among others.

Russian coach Victor Kudryavtsev oversees the training of the Pinoy teener, who will likely be the youngest and greenest competitor in men’s figure skating in the Winter Olympiad. Kudryavtsev used to coach Martinez’ technical mentor, 1988 Olympic champ Ilia Kulik, who couldn’t attend to the Filipino’s training due to show commitments. Michael had previously trained under Kudryavtsev in his visit to Manila and in a camp in Switzerland.

“Victor plans to train Michael at least 3-4 hours/day “on-ice” plus Michael’s own practices plus at least  one-hour “off-ice” training. We are hoping that we can get additional financial support so Michael can complete the needed  training here in Russia  as he has a lot of catching up to do,” said Martinez’ mother, Maria Teresa, in an email to the STAR from Russia.

Ranked fifth in the world in the juniors division, Michael Martinez netted a ticket to Sochi when he placed seventh in the Neblehorn Trophy Tournament in Germany last September. However, given the sport’s high-maintenance, Teresa said financial assistance from the Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Skating Union, and SM was already used up both in training and in a five-competition sojourn that included the Olympic-qualifying tourney.

“After Michael won the Olympic spot on Sept. 28, he could not train completely due to serious lack of funds, and therefore he had lost so much valuable training time,” lamented his mother.
Sportshub ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 
Last month, supporters from a zumba group in the US, Michael’s Metro Ice skating club and another local club in the Philippines, some of his FB friends, and ShoeMart helped raise funds for his pre-Sochi training. The POC is also looking for a private sponsor to add to the warchest while the Philippine Sports Commission could only commit US$7,200.

“He still has one more international competition prior to the Olympics and that’s another $9,000 funds needed, another burden but he needs a warm-up competition prior to the Olympics since his last competition was last November yet,” said Teresa.

Martinez will be facing rivals who have been skating even before he was born, like three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada, 2010 Olympic bronze medalist Daisuke Takahashi  of Japan, Euro titlist lorent Amodio of France and US national titlist  national champion Max Aaron.  Teresa said they expect Michael to blossom by the next editions of the Winter Games yet.

“Given the situation, Michael’s best hope as of now is to be in the top 24 (in the 2014 Games) and to be able to qualify in the freeskate/final event ,” said Teresa. “The best skaters in each qualified country are expected to be competing in Sochi.   Most of them  are veteran skaters  and  supported by their government and/or  skating  Federations,  thus it will be a very , very tough competition for Michael,  who is expected to be the youngest and the least experienced among the  Men’s  group .”

“If  our  government will  fully support him in the next 4 years leading to the 2018 Winter Olympics  (or if there will be a Filipino company who will be willing to sponsor him) , then he can  be a medal contender in  the 2018 Olympics, but not  this 2014,” added the Martinez matriarch.


Mae set to compete for Thailand on Sochi slopes

Source: Bangkok Post

Violinist Vanessa Mae is set to represent Thailand at next month's Winter Olympics, the country's Olympic body said yesterday.

Charoen Wattanasin, vice-president of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand, said her handler Giles Holland had informed the NOCT that the 35-year-old has qualified to compete in slalom skiing at the Feb 7-23 Sochi Games.

"Mr Holland informed us that Vanessa has secured a place at the Sochi Games through her races in Slovenia at the weekend," Charoen said.

"We are awaiting confirmation from the IOC [International Olympic Committee].

"We will start our process [for Vanessa to represent Thailand] after her place is confirmed."

Vanessa, who has been competing using her Thai father's surname Vanakorn, raced four times in Krvavec, Slovenia.

Under Olympic rules, countries with no skiers ranked among the world's top 500 may send one man and one woman to the Winter Olympics provided they garner enough FIS points.

If her place is confirmed she will be the only second Thai athlete at the 2014 Winter Olympics with the other being Kanes Sucharitakul, also a skier.

Vanessa, who has dual British-Thai, was born in Singapore to a Chinese mother and a Thai father. She grew up in the UK after her mother remarried.

She started skiing at four but her violin playing took precedence.

She announced her bid to qualify for the Sochi event as early as mid-2010, telling the Daily Telegraph: "I am taking a plunge. I am British, but realistically there is no way I could represent my own country. Because my natural father is Thai, they have accepted me."

Link:  http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/sports/390598/mae-set-to-compete-for-thailand-on-sochi-slopes

Task force starts buildup for Incheon

Source: The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The quest for gold in Incheon begins this week when members of the Asian Games task force sit down with representatives of the different national sports associations (NSAs).

Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia, chef-de-mission to the Incheon Asiad set Sept. 19 to Oct. 4, yesterday said consultative meetings with the NSAs will begin on Thursday.

The other members of the task force are Philippine Olympic Committee chairman and triathlon head Tom Carrasco, Dr. Jay Adalem of basketball and Romeo Magat of tennis.

Garcia said they intend to make full use of the time to prepare for the Asian Games. He said eight months is more than enough to put up a delegation capable of surpassing the country’s 2010 haul of three golds, four silvers and nine bronzes.

“We will meet with the NSAs on Jan. 23 to talk about the criteria that we will follow to guide us for the Asian Games delegation,” he said.

The PSC chairman said the athletes are back in training after the holiday break, and they’re supposed to stay in top shape as they seek slots to the Philippine delegation.

The criteria to be used in forming the team is not yet finalized but Jose Romasanta, POC vice president and chef-de-mission to the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, said it’s not that difficult to set the standard.

Romasanta said only those who are close to at least the bronze medal standard in the Asian Games should be allowed to go.

Garcia is on the same page although he and the task force members have yet to announce the criteria.

Link:  http://www.philstar.com/sports/2014/01/21/1281321/task-force-starts-buildup-incheon

PSSI Insists on Sending Team to Asian Games

Source: Jakarta Globe

Despite pessimism among local fans, the national football governing body insists on sending the national team to the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

But Suwarno, chairman of Prima, the body responsible for preparing athletes for multisports events, said the committee would consider several criteria before sending teams to the event, taking place between Sept. 19 and Oct. 4.

“We will send teams from sports in which we can win medals. The Asian Games involve national pride, and it is not an event just to seek experience,” Suwarno said.

Prima, he said, is now evaluating in what sports the country can win medals and the National Sports Committee of Indonesia (KONI) used the performance result of the last year’s Southeast Asian Games as one criterion.

However, no representatives from the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) were present at a Prima meeting on Thursday.

Sefdin Syaifudin, secretary of the PSSI’s National Football Team Body (BTN), said the sport’s governing body was optimistic about sending the national under-23 team to Incheon.

“If they demand that we should send the team on our own, we are ready,” he said.

The PSSI said it would be allocating between Rp 10 billion and Rp 15 billion ($830,000-$1.2 million) to send the team to the Asian Games.

Indonesia’s U23 team won a silver medal at last year’s SEA Games in Myanmar after losing 1-0 to Thailand.

Sefdin said the Indonesia Olympic Committee (KOI) had the authority to say what sports teams may go to the Games in South Korea.

Football expert Anton Sanjoyo said all sports stakeholders first needed to ascertain how ready the football team was before deciding to send it to the Asian Games.

“We can see how many times those players play in regular competition. But we should know why we send the team,” he said.

There has been no information about whether Indonesia has to play in pre-qualifying matches or whether it could automatically enter the Asian Games by invitation as this would be determined by the Asian Olympics Committee (OCA).

Link:  http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/sports/pssi-insists-on-sending-team-to-asian-games/

Indonesia Sets Priorities for the 2014 Asian Games

Source: Jakarta Globe

After setting aside its failure to retain the overall winner title at the 2013 Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar, Indonesia is aiming for higher achievements in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4 this year.

After receiving the government’s target for a top-10 finish, the Indonesia Gold Program (Prima) — the body responsible for preparing athletes for multisports events — will give priority to players who have displayed good form in recent competitions. That would hopefully ensure a better chance of bringing home medals.

Prima has started a shortlist of sports where Indonesia earned medals during the SEA Games of Myanmar. This includes archery, athletics, badminton, rowing, swimming, and weight-lifting.

“We still welcome athletes from other sporting codes that were not featured in the SEA Games, and who have demonstrated good progress in Asian-level competitions to join the training camp,” Prima’s new chairman Suwarno said, referring to the beach volleyball team who did not compete in Myanmar but who have shown good form in recent games.

When asked about the possibility of sending the national football team, he added that Prima may consider it if the team showed significant improvement.

“We want to focus on the sports that have the most potential in garnering medals. Multisports events such as the Asian Games are about a country’s image and honor,” Suwarno commented.

Sports Ministry official Joko Pekik recently stated that the government has given Prima a target of a top-10 finish for the upcoming Asiad. The ministry calculated that Indonesia would need to win at least nine gold medals in order to secure a spot in the top 10.

Suwarno admits that the target will not be easy to achieve and urged the government to provide Prima and its athletes with better support, particularly in funding.

“Our wushu athletes managed to win four golds in Myanmar, so they will continue to compete in the Asian level. However, our badminton players will face powerhouse China, while South Korea has a solid archery team,” he said. “We [Prima and the athletes] need to work harder. But to accomplish the goal our Sports Ministry has given us, we need the strong political support of the government and sponsors.”

The nation’s swimming team is ready to take on the challenge and has prepared nine strong swimmers, team manager Albert Sutanto said. The swimmers include I Gede Siman Sudartawan, Glen Victor Sutanto, Indra Gunawan, Triadi Fauzi, Dennis Joshua Tiwa, Alexis Wijaya Omar, Fadlan Prawira, Ricky Anggawijaya and SEA Games silver medalist Resha Kania Dewi, who is the only female member of the team.

“Indonesia hasn’t secured a medal since 1990. We hope to change that and I’m optimistic about our swimmers’ progress,” Albert said, referring to three bronze medals won by Richard Sam Bera, Wirmandi Sugriat and the women’s relay team at the 1990 Asiad in Beijing.

Albert added that he would also like to see swimming prodigy Ricky reach his peak at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, in Nanjing, China, a month prior to the Asiad.

Ricky, who won the country’s only gold in last year’s Asian Youth Games, helped Indonesia qualify for the Youth Olympics.

Link:  http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/sports/indonesia-sets-priorities-for-the-2014-asian-games/

Athletics prepare for Asian Games 2014

Source: VOV

Vietnam’s athletics which have brought home trophy from Southeast Asian Games are receiving intensive investment to pursue their quest for Asian or Olympic gold medals.

In recent years, Vietnam has poured much investment into athletics to enable athletes to adequately train for and compete in big competitions, such as the Asian Games or Olympics.

Thanks to careful preparation and assistance from domestic and foreign coaches, Vietnam athletes won three silver medals and two bronze medals at the Asian Games 2010.

At the SEA Games 2013, Vietnam was among the top three finalists.

However, despite having huge success at regional competitions, its sports have yet to gain a firm foothold at international competitions.

Vietnam currently has fielded a team of 127 outstanding athletes who are training for the Asian Games 2014 to be held in Incheon, the Republic of Korea.

In track and field, potential athletes, especially those who placed high in the rankings at the recent 27th SEA Games, have been given priority for training assistance.

For instance, 28 year old sprinter Vu Thi Huong is highly motivated to win a medal at the continental competition. Shortly after returning home from the SEA Games, she began training for the Asian Games where she will face strong competition. 

At the recent SEA Games she clocked the 200m run at 23.55 seconds, surpassing a record set by 2013 Asian gold medalist Viktoriya Zyabkina of Kazakhstan.

Another young athlete is Nguyen Thi Oanh who won five gold medals at the ASEAN Student Games.

Other athletes who have a great chance of winning medals are Duong Thu Viet Anh in the high-jump, Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuc in jogging and Nguyen Thi Huyen in the hammer.

The Asian Games provide an opportune chance for Vietnamese athletes to contribute to the national identity and affirm their prestige they have earned in regional competition, and the prospect for grabbing medals is great.

Link: http://english.vov.vn/CultureSports/Sports/Athletics-prepare-for-Asian-Games-2014/272228.vov

CDM proud of athletes

Source: The Brunei Times

Brunei’s chef de mission to the 7th ASEAN Para Games Hj Rosmadee Hj Md Daud prior to the team’s departure for Myanmar at the Brunei International Airport on January 10. BT/Yee Chun Leong

BRUNEI might have fell short of their target at the 7th ASEAN Para Games but chef de mission Hj Rosmadee Hj Md Daud is still proud of his charges.

The 46-member contingent will return home with a haul of two gold, three silver and seven bronze medals from the biennial Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.

The result placed them ninth overall out of the 11-country table, beating just Laos and Timor Leste.

Prior to departure for the January 14-20 event, Hj Rosmadee said he was hoping that they could better their previous performance of three gold medals from Indonesia two years ago.

“Even though we didn’t reach the target I’m still proud of my athletes. They tried their very best and their spirit was very high,” said Hj Rosmadee in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

“Some of them managed to break their personal best records. We can see that Indonesia had prepared very well for this year and managed to finish top,” he added.

“Our athletes (for goalball and table tennis) lack exposure. I hope that all our athletes will continue training to be prepared for next year’s Para Games in Singapore,” continued Hj Rosmadee.

Brunei also won five silver and eight bronze medals at the 2011 Games.

The Acting Director of the Department of Youth and Sports, Hj Rosmadee, also lauded hosts Myanmar for a job well done on the Games considering they last hosted the SEA Games back in 1969 before taking up the challenge last year.

“They did very well. There was very warm hospitality, transport was well organised and sports events mostly on time,” said Hj Rosmadee.

“The accommodation, even though crowded, was convenient and the opening and closing ceremonies were also very nice. Overall they did an excellent job,” he concluded.

Brunei competed in three sports – athletics, goalball and table tennis – and all the medals came from the former at the Wunna Theikdi Stadium.

Both the goalball and table tennis teams were making their debut at the Games.

Alihan Muda during the men’s F35 shot put event at the 7th ASEAN Para Games on Sunday. He won the event with a throw of 7.85m. Courtesy of the Department of Youth and Sports

Shari Hj Juma’at delivered the country’s first gold medal after winning the men’s F55 javelin with a distance of 25.48 metres on Thursday.

Alihan Muda won the second gold from the men’s F35 shot put on Sunday with his throw of 7.85m.

He once again finished as the best Bruneian as he also notched a silver and a bronze from the F35 discus and F35/36 javelin respectively.

Norhensan Hj Mataha claimed the Sultanate’s first medal at the Games after finishing second in the women’s F11/F12 javelin event with a distance of 15.20m on Wednesday.

The other silver medal was courtesy of John Vianni Chandau in the F44 shot put event after he recorded a distance of 10.41m.

Hirdan Hj Abdul Kadir managed to get on the podium thrice with bronze medals in the men’s F54/F55/F56 shot put, F54/F55/F56 discus and F55 javelin events.

Md Khairin Azhar Rosli bagged two bronze medals for the country in the men’s F20 discus and F20 javelin events.

The other bronze medal was courtesy of Martin Dawat in the men’s F12 javelin.

The goalball team ended the six-team round-robin competition with one win out of five contested at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium C.

They started out their campaign with an 11-1 loss to Thailand before bouncing back for a 3-0 victory over Timor Leste on Wednesday.

They suffered a 12-2 defeat at the hands of Indonesia the next day followed by a 10-0 demolition at the hands of Malaysia on Friday.

Their campaign came to an end after losing 13-3 to hosts Myanmar on Saturday.

Over at the Wunna Theikdi Training Hall 1, the table tennis team failed to notch any victories in both the singles, doubles and team events.

The duo of Hj Noor Ishanuddin Hj Noorkaseh and Hj Md Rudy Izamn Hj Badar had the best chance in gaining a win for the country in the men’s team (Class T9) event on Saturday.

However, they were edged 3-2 (8-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-6, 11-1) by Singapore’s Cham Lee and Hassan Haminuddin.

Meanwhile, Indonesia stopped Thailand’s reign at the Games to finish with 99 gold, 68 silver and 49 bronze medals.

The latter, who had won the past four editions of the Games, were runners-up with their haul of 96 gold, 82 silver and 70 bronze medals. Malaysia claim third and achieved their target with 50 gold, 49 silver and 41 bronze medals.

Brunei’s best performance came at the 2009 edition in Kuala Lumpur when they returned with nine gold, five silver and eight bronze medals.

Brunei have participated in every edition of the Games, considered to the biggest multi-sport disability event for special needs athletes in the ASEAN region since 2001.

Link: http://www.bt.com.bn/sports-national/2014/01/21/cdm-proud-athletes

PH finishes 6th in Asean Para Games

Source: The Manila Times

The Philippines bagged a total of 20 gold medals, good for sixth place overall in the 7th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Para Games held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.

The Filipino differently-abled athletes managed to scoop 11 more gold medals on the last two days of the competitions.

Athletics delivered five additional golds highlighted by Jeannette Acebeda’s two-gold output. She topped the women’s discus throw F11 by submitting 21.05 meters then ruled the shot put with a 7.01-meter showing.

Also winning gold medals are Isidro Vildosola in the men’s 5,000m T46 (17:25.81), Marites Burce in the women’s shot put F54 (4.62m) and Sixto Ducay in the men’s 800m run F37 (2:22.73).

The chess team earned four mints courtesy of Henry Roger Lopez in the men’s individual rapid (PH), Menandro Redor in the men’s individual rapid (B2), the men’s team rapid (PH) of Sander Severino, Henry Roger Lopez and Alexis Elinon; and the men’s team rapid (B2) of Redor, Melchor Pizzaro Jr. and Israel Peligro.

Swimmers Ernie Gawilan (men’s 200m individual medley S8, 2:56.52) and Arnel Aba (men’s 200m IM S9, 2:50.12) also contributed one gold each in their respective events.

Indonesia grabbed the top spot with 99-69-49 followed by Thailand (96-82-70), Malaysia (50-49-41), Vietnam (48-65-72) and host Myanmar (34-26-36). Singapore is in seventh (7-10-10), Cambodia in eighth (3-4-2), Brunei Darussalam in ninth (2-3-7) and Laos in 10th (0-3-3).

Besides the 20 golds, the Philippines got 19 silvers and 21 bronzes, a little bit far from its 23-gold, 23-silver, 18-bronze in the 2011 edition where the Filipinos ended up fifth overall.

Link:  http://manilatimes.net/ph-finishes-6th-in-asean-para-games/69282/

Monday, January 20, 2014

Vietnam ranks overall fourth at 7th Para Games

Source: VOV/VietNamNet Bridge

After five-days of competition, Vietnam has bagged 185 medals, including 48 gold medals, ranking a respectable overall fourth at the 7th ASEAN Para Games.

Runner Nguyen Thi Thuy  wins gold at 100m running

Indonesia with 99 gold medals topped the medal tally trailed by Thailand with 96 and Malaysia with 50 medals.

The host country – Myanmar – came in fifth with 34 gold medals followed by the Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Brunei and Laos. 

All competition events concluded in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on January 19 with the closing ceremony held one day later at Wunna Theikdi Stadium in Nay Pyi Taw in Myanmar.



Location: Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

Date: 14th - 20th January 2014

Medal Tally

Day 5

Day 4
Day 3
Day 2

Day 1

Mohd Shahmil Wins Malaysia's Last Gold Medal

Source:  BERNAMA

NAYPYITAW, Jan 19 (Bernama) -- National powerlifter Mohd Shahmil Md Saad, who contested in the men's over 107kg category, emerged as Malaysia's last gold medal contributor at the 7th Asean Para Games here today.

With the gold medal from Mohd Shahmil, Malaysia completed its campaign with a total of 49 gold, 46 silver and 37 bronze medals - one gold short from the 50-gold target.

"The competitions at the Asean Para Games this year are quite tough compared to the previous games in Solo, Indonesia. Participants from other countries had also showed tremendous improvement in terms of weight lifted.

"I came here with the aim to complete a lift of 201kg but I failed," he told Bernama at the Boxing Indoor Stadium here Sunday.

The Kuantan-born 27-year-old athlete, however, succeeded in making a lift of 197kg, hence breaking his own personal record of 187kg, which he made in Solo in 2011.

"I will strive harder to make a lift of over 200kg in the future in preparation to face the competition at the Asian Para Games," he said.

The 2014 Asian Para Games is scheduled to be held in Incheon, South Korea from Oct 18 to 24.

Mohd Shahmil said he would also make preparations for the IPC World Powerlifting Championship scheduled for April 5 to 11 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

In the same stadium earlier, Malaysia also reaped the gold medal in the men's 97kg category through Jong Yee Khie.

Yee Khie succeeded in making a lift of 192kg, hence breaking the Asean Para Games' record for the category.

Link: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v7/sp/newssports.php?id=1008466

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Maybank Malaysia Open 2014

Location: Putra Stadium, Kuala Lumpur

Date: 14th - 19th January 2014


Men's Singles
1st - Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia)
2nd - Tommy Sugiarto (Indonesia)
3rd/4th - Kenichi Tago (Japan)
3rd/4th -Jan O Jorgensen (Denmark)

Women's Singles
1st - Xuerui Li (China)
2nd - Wang Shixian (China)
3rd/4th - Xue Yao (China)
3rd/4th - Yeon Ju Bae (South Korea)

Men's Doubles
1st - V Shem Goh & Khim Wah Lim (Malaysia)
2nd - Biao Chai & Hong Wei (China)
3rd/4th - Kenichi Hayakawa & Hiroyuki Endo  (Japan)
3rd/4th - Angga Pratama & Ryan Agung Saputra (Indonesia)

Women's Doubles
1st - Yixin Bao  & Jinhua Tang (China)
2nd - Misaki Matsutomo & Ayaka Takahashi (Japan)
3rd/4th - Reika Kakiiwa  & Miyuki Maeda (Japan)
3rd/4th - Reika Kakiiwa  & Miyuki Maeda (Japan)

Mixed Doubles
1st - Xu Chen &  Ma Jin (China)
2nd - Christinna PedersenJoachim Fischer Nielsen (Denmark)
3rd/4th - Zhang Nan &  Zhao Yunlei (China)
3rd/4th - Ahmad Tontowi & Natsir Liliyana (China)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Medal run continues

Source: The Brunei Times

Brunei’s medalists posing for a photo at the 7th ASEAN Para Games in Myanmar yesterday. The country has won one gold, three silver and four bronze medals thus far. Picture: Courtesy of the Department of Youth and Sports

BRUNEI added two silver medals to their tally at the 7th ASEAN Para Games yesterday in Myanmar yesterday.

Alihan Muda notched the first silver medal for the Sultanate in the men’s F35 discus event after his throw of 22.72m at the Wunna Theikdi Stadium in Naypyidaw.

Malaysia won gold with a distance of 22.78m while Myanmar bagged bronze with a distance of 14.21m.

Alihan also contested in the men’s F35/F37 shot put event but the results could not be obtained as of press time.

John Vianni Anak Chandau claimed the second silver for Brunei with his throw of 10.41m in the F44 shot put event.

Brunei’s chef de mission to the 7th ASEAN Para Games Hj Rosmadee Hj Md Daud (L) presenting Shari Hj Juma’at his gold medal in the men’s F55 javelin. Picture: Courtesy of the Department of Youth and Sports

Myanmar won gold after recording 12.16m while Vietnam finished on the podium with bronze after a throw of 10.21m.
The haul brings Brunei’s total to one gold, three silver and four bronze medals thus far at the biennial Games.

Shari Hj Juma’at delivered Brunei’s only gold medal so far at the Games after winning the men’s F55 javelin event with a throw of 25.48m on Thursday.

With all the medals coming from athletics, national coach Gaston Hippolyte Sonkeng was pleased with the performance of his charges.

“It is the third day of competition and because of the high level of the Games, the athletes are already showing signs of tiredness due to the intensity,” said Sonkeng in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

“They are continuing to give their best to achieve greater performances in the honour of Brunei Darussalam."

“The administrative staff has also brought all the accommodation and all the support needed to motivate the athletes."

“Apart from a few misses, the performances are closer, if not better than that which we were expecting. I’m convinced the team is more determined for the last two days,” continued the Cameroonian.

Ten other Bruneian athletes took to the stadium for yesterday’s athletics events.

Rosli Hj Hastan was placed at the bottom of the 10-participant F44 shot put event with a throw of 7.01m.

Norsahkinah Sikin (3.19m) and Siti Nornabilah Samrah (2.99m) placed second last and last in the eight-contested field for the women’s F20 long jump event.

Martin Dawat was stopped in his tracks in the heats of the men’s T12 200m with a time of 27.70s.
Sallehuddin Md Seruji was sixth in the men’s F46 javelin event with his throw of 32.54m.

Three Bruneians competed in the men’s T20 200m with the duo of Md Hadi Zulhilmi Nirwan (26.60s) and Mohammad Hafiq Zulkifli (26.30) advancing out of the heats while Nizam Zulhelmi Hussin Shah failed to finish.

Sibuang Hj Kalong and Radhuan Hj Mataha contested in the men’s F11/F12 discus event but official results were not released as of press time.

More Bruneian athletes are set to see action at the same venue today.

Meanwhile, the goalball team fell to their third loss in four matches after being swept aside 10-0 by Malaysia at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium C.

They will compete in their last match of the round-robin competition with a matchup against Myanmar today. Over at the Wunna Theikdi Training Hall 1, the table tennis team have yet to register a win in all categories.

Hj Mohd Rudy Hj Badar lost both his matches 3-0 to Thailand and Indonesia respectively in the men’s singles (class T3).

Hj Abdul Hamid Hj Ibrahim fell 3-0 to Thailand and Myanmar respectively in the men’s singles (class T9) while Muhammad Alimi Hj Mahali suffered three losses in the same category.

Matius Hakim went down to Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines respectively in the same category as well.

Over in the men’s singles (class T5), Hj Noor Ishanuddin Hj Noor Kaseh lost all four of his matches 3-0 to Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia respectively.

The table tennis team will take to the same venue in the team event today.

Link: http://www.bt.com.bn/sports-national/2014/01/18/medal-run-continues

Vietnamese reaches world record at ASEAN Para Games

Source: Vietnam Plus/VietNamNet Bridge

Vietnamese weightlifter Le Van Cong reached a world record of 176kg on January 16 at the ongoing seventh Para Games in Myanmar, equalling the weight lifted by a Nigerian athlete who had held the record since the 2012 London Paralympics.

Meanwhile, his teammate Nguyen Binh An protected his gold medal, keeping the 170kg record in the 54kg category. 

In goalball, Cao Ngoc Hung won a gold medal, breaking his own record with 45,87m. 

Athlete Nguyen Thi Thuy also set a Para Games record of 3.26m in the long jump. 

By 2pm on the second day of competition, Vietnamese swimmers brought home five more gold, three silver and five bronze medals. 

The golds went to Vo Huynh Anh Khoa, Dang Van Cong, Pham Thanh Son, Nguyen Van Hanh and Nguyen Duc Thien. 

Vietnam remains at the top of the medal tally with 20 golds.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Brunei end day one with silver and bronze

Source: The Brunei Times

Norhensan Hj Mataha (C) poses with her silver medal, alongside the Brunei contingent, after her throw of 15.20 metres in the women’s F11/F12 javelin event at the ASEAN Para Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.Courtesy of Department of Youth and Sports

BRUNEI notched one silver and one bronze medals in Day 1 of competition at the 7th ASEAN Para Games in Myanmar.

The duo of Norhensan Hj Mataha and Hirdan Hj Abdul Kadir were the first Bruneians to finish on the podium at the Wunna Theikdi Stadium in Naypyidaw.

Norhensan claimed the Sultanate’s first medal after finishing second in the women’s F11/F12 javelin event with a distance of 15.20 metres.

The result was an improvement as she managed bronze in the same event two years ago in the previous edition in Solo, Indonesia.

Defending champion Hemala Devi Enny Kutty of Malaysia threw her way to gold and a new Games record with a distance of 23.78m.

It bettered her previous record of 21.23m which she set two years ago.

Jeanette of the Philippines completed the podium with her throw of 14.50m.

Hirdan claimed the bronze for Brunei in the men’s F54/F55/F56 shot put event with a distance of 7.83m.

Vietnam’s Be Hau finished at the top of the podium with his throw of 9.51m while Joel Balatucar took home the silver after managing 8.02m.

Shari Hj Juma’at was the other Bruneian in the event but missed out on the podium with a fourth place finish recording 7.64m.

Brunei will continue their campaign in athletics today with 14 set to see action.

Norhensan Hj Mataha receives her silver medal for the women’s F11/F12 javelin event from Dato Zainal Abu Zarin, the president of the ASEAN Paralympic Sports Federation (APSF) yesterday.Courtesy of Department of Youth and Sports

Meanwhile, the men’s goalball team managed one win and one loss yesterday at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium C.

They made their debut with an 11-1 loss to Thailand before bouncing back with a 3-0 victory over Timor Leste in the second game.

They will continue the six-team round-robin competition with a matchup against Indonesia today.

The team will then play Malaysia tomorrow followed by a meeting against hosts Myanmar on Saturday.

Meanwhile, it was a debut to forget for the table tennis team as they ended up on the wrong side of all their matches without registering a single set at the Wunna Theikdi Training Hall 1 yesterday.

Hj Abdul Amit Hj Ibrahim kicked things off after losing 3-0 to his opponent from Indonesia in men’s open singles (Class 8).

The pair of Hj Noor Ishanuddin Hj Noorkaseh and Hj Md Rudy Izman Hj Badar opened their account with a 3-0 (11-1, 11-1, 11-3) loss to Malaysia in the men’s doubles (Class T5), which is contested in the round robin format.

They followed the performance with a 3-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-5) defeat at the hands of Indonesia.

They were then downed 3-0 (11-7, 11-5, 11-7) by Singapore followed by a 3-0 (11-2, 11-4, 11-1) defeat to Thailand.

Over in the men’s doubles (Class T9), the team of Muhamad Alimi Hj Mahli and Matius Akim started off losing 3-0 (11-3, 11-2, 11-1) to Vietnam followed by a 3-0 (11-3, 11-7, 11-1) loss to Myanmar.

The Sultanate will continue with the men’s singles events today.

Link:  http://www.bt.com.bn/sports-national/2014/01/16/brunei-end-day-one-silver-and-bronze

Monday, January 13, 2014

Victor Korea Open 2014

Location: Seoul, South Korea

Date: 7th - 12th January 2014


Men's Singles
1st - Long Chen (China)
2nd - Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia)
3rd/4th - Kenichi Tago (Japan)
3rd/4th - Boosak Ponsana (Thailand)

Women's Singles
1st - Yihan Wang (China)
2nd - Ratchanok Intanon  (Thailand)
3rd/4th - Wang Shixian (China)
3rd/4th - Sung Ji-hyun (South Korea)

Men's Doubles
1st - Mathias Boe &  Carsten Mogensen (Denmark)
2nd - Haifeng Fu & Hong Wei (China)
3rd/4th - Kenichi Hayakawa & Hiroyuki Endo  (Japan)
3rd/4th - Chris Adcock & Andrew Ellis (England)

Women's Doubles
1st - Yixin Bao  & Jinhua Tang (China)
2nd - Ying Luo & Yu Luo (China)
3rd/4th - Nitya Krishinda Maheswari & Greysia Polii (Indonesia)
3rd/4th - Reika Kakiiwa  & Miyuki Maeda (Japan)

Mixed Doubles
1st - Zhang Nan &  Zhao Yunlei (China)
2nd - Xu Chen &  Ma Jin (China)
3rd/4th - Yun Lung Chan & Ying Suet Tse (Hong Kong)
3rd/4th - Cheng Liu & Yixin Bao (China)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Disabled athletes journey to Para Games

Source: The Jakarta Post

As many as 150 Indonesian disabled athletes are due to take part in the seventh ASEAN Para Games, which will be held in Myanmar from Jan. 10 to 14.

Youth and Sports Minister Roy Suryo saw the contingent off at the Dr. Soeharso rehabilitation center for the disabled (PPRBM) in Surakarta on Friday.

“We hope Indonesia achieves an honorable place,” Roy told the media.

He said he hoped the contingent would finish in the top three in the competition, which is traditionally held following the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

At the SEA Games, which was held in Myanmar on Dec. 11-23, Indonesia slipped from top ranking to fourth place among 11 participating countries in the region, behind overall champion Thailand, host Myanmar and Vietnam.

The minister said a place in the top three was realistic for the disabled contingent, given the results at the last edition of the games, in which Indonesia finished second after Thailand.

At the sixth ASEAN Para Games in Surakarta in 2011, Indonesia won 113 gold, 108 silver and 89 silver medals. 

Link: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/01/11/disabled-athletes-journey-para-games.html

Para-athletes head for Naypyidaw

Source: The Brunei Times

The national para-athletes team posing for a group photo prior to their departure for the 7th ASEAN Para Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, yesterday. Picture: BT/ Yee Chun Leong

BRUNEI will be looking to improve on their previous medal haul when they take to the 7th ASEAN Para Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar next week.

The contingent returned home from the previous edition in Indonesia two years ago with a haul of three gold, five silver and eight bronze medals, falling just short of the four gold medals chef de mission Hj Rosmadee Hj Md Daud targeted.

Speaking to The Brunei Times at the Brunei International Airport in Berakas prior to departing for Myanmar, Hj Rosmadee said the aim is to once again win at least four gold medals at the Jan 14-20 meet.

“Hopefully we can win more than three gold medals this year,” he said yesterday.

“It is the first time that we are participating in goal ball and table tennis.

Members of the Brunei contingent praying prior to their flight for the 7th ASEAN Para Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, yesterday. Picture: BT/ Yee Chun Leong

“We don’t know how the competition will be like (but) we want to see where we are at, and hopefully, we’ll be able to return with something.

“The athletes have prepared well and I do hope that we will be able to do better than the last edition,” continued Hj Rosmadee.

The Sultanate will be represented by a 46-member contingent, which includes 32 athletes, at the biennial event to be held at the Wunna Theikdi Stadium.

Twenty-one athletes will compete in athletics, six in goalball and five in table tennis.

Despite the goalball and table tennis teams making their debuts at the Games, both are unfazed by the challenges lying ahead of them.

Md Aidil Jahali, the goalball team’s assistant coach, felt that the team has got good potential to finish strongly.

“We are hoping we will be able to finish inside the top-five because quite a few of the other countries competing are also new,” said Md Aidil.

“We had a course delivered by a coach from China (in December) and he believes that it is possible for us to finish better.

Brunei's chef de mission Hj Rosmadee Hj Md Daud. Picture: BT file

“We started our intensive training from September and have been learning a lot from videos from the internet,” he added.

The table tennis team are looking at the tournament to gain exposure and have confirmed their participation in both the singles and doubles events — while their entry in the team event is still being decided.

Hj Noorishanuddin Hj Noorkaseh, one of the table tennis players, hopes they will be able to put up a good performance at the Games.

“We are looking for exposure in the sport since it is our first time. It would be a bonus to be able to bring home a medal,” said Hj Noorishanuddin.

“We have been working hard training over the past six months and are not going only for the sake of participation — we hope we will be able to deliver,” he concluded.

Present to bid farewell to the contingent was Hj Abdul Malik Hj Mohammad, the Acting Director of the Department of Youth and Sports.

Brunei’s best performance came at the 2009 edition in Kuala Lumpur when they returned with nine gold, five silver and eight bronze medals.

Thailand have won the title the past four editions in the row.

Their last outing saw them bag a total of 121 gold, 94 silver and 72 bronze medals.

Link: http://www.bt.com.bn/sports-national/2014/01/11/para-athletes-head-naypyidaw

Asiad won’t just be for exposure

Source: Manila Bulletin

Incheon Asian Games chief of mission Richie Garcia said yesterday that that those who will be selected to represent the country in the Sept. 19 to Oct. 4 sportsfest won’t be there simply to bulk up the delegation.

“The Asian Games won’t be just for exposure,” said Garcia, chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) said in a radio interview, stressing that a soon-to-be-formed task force will oversee the selection process in close coordination with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).

Garcia said the number of athletes to Incheon will be sizable since there will be several team sports that will be formed to take part, including the Gilas Pilipinas basketball squad, a rugby team and possibly the Philippine Azkals.

Despite the high number of athletes, Garcia said bringing the athletes to Korea won’t pose a problem unlike in Myanmar where the 2013 Southeast Asian Games was held.

“The airfare is a lot cheaper because there are several direct flights from Manila, Cebu and even Kalibo (Aklan),” said Garcia, noting that reaching Myanmar from Manila entailed long layovers in Singapore and Bangkok.

Garcia plans to send Asiad hopefuls to overseas tournaments to maximize their winning chances as well as import foreign coaches who will help hone the skills of athletes in training venues outside Metro Manila to avoid pollution.

While the Asian Games is a bigger stage, Garcia is “looking forward” to the Philippines’ participation pointing to “some good surprises.”

The Philippines brought home three gold medals from the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and Garcia is upbeat it can be surpassed what with basketball now a prime candidate for the top spot.

Link:  http://www.mb.com.ph/asiad-wont-just-be-for-exposure/

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Viet Nam confirms plans to compete in 20 Asiad events

Source:  VNS

HANOI (VNS)- Sport officials confirmed on Wednesday that Vietnamese athletes will compete in 20 events at the 17th Asian Games (Asiad) to be held in Incheon, South Korea, in September.

Some 70 sportspersons will receive strong support in their aim to reach the top three positions in 15 events: shooting, archery, weightlifting, rowing, fencing, track-and-field, swimming, wushu, karate, taekwondo, boxing, wrestling, judo, sepak takraw and gymnastics.

Sportspersons participating in the remaining events – cycling, football, table tennis, badminton and volleyball – are expected to gain experience from competing with strong rivals.

At the last Asiad in Guangzhou, China, Viet Nam received just one gold medal, won by karate expert Le Bich Phuong. This year, the country hopes to bring home at least two gold medals.  

Link: http://vietnamnews.vn/sports/250006/viet-nam-confirms-plans-to-compete-in-20-asiad-events.html

Athletics team shoulder medal hopes

Source: The Brunei Times

Brunei’s Alihan Muda in action during the last edition of the Games in Indonesia. BT/ Yee Chun Leong

THE athletics team are looking to maintain or better their performance at the 7th ASEAN Para Games in Myanmar.
Brunei finished at the top of the podium three times in the previous edition in Indonesia and also secured five silver and eight bronze, though the three gold medals all came from athletics.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that the majority of the contingent took part in athletics.
It is the same this year, with 21 out of the 32 athletes contesting in athletics in Naypyidaw.

Alihan Muda was the biggest contributor for the country two years ago with two gold medals from the F35 discus and shot put events, while Shari Hj Juma’at won the other gold medal and set a new Games record in the F55 javelin with a distance of 26.22 metres.

Both are set to see action at the Jan 11-21 competition at the Myanmar capital and are hoping to keep their medal streak going.

Alihan will compete in the same events as well as javelin and is feeling confident ahead of the competition, having started training in September.

“I’m hoping to win two gold medals again. We are under a new coach now and training has been good over the past month,” said Alihan in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

“I feel that there are improvements in my throws. I’m confident (and) I do hope I will be able to set more records,” added the 40-year-old who has participated in every edition of the Games.

Shari, who ended 2012 as the World No 1 in the F55 javelin discipline, will also tackle all three of the field events.

However, he feels winning a medal will be tough if the format is the same used at the 2012 London Paralympics Games — where classifications were combined.

“The format should be the same as in London where the classifications are combined. It will be a lot tougher to win a medal if that is the case,” said Shari.

“I’ll have to see how it goes but it won’t be easy. Training has been alright and there are improvements,” he added.

Newly appointed athletics coach, Gaston Hippolyte Sonkeng, is pleased with the progress from the training.
The Cameroonian only arrived in the Sultanate two months ago and has trained the team for the past month.

“I hope the athletes are able to deliver what they have prepared at training. All of them have improved on their personal best,” said Sonkeng.

“It is different (during training) but I hope that they can produce the same results at competition. We would like to maintain our three gold medals or do better,” he concluded.

Besides athletics, the Sultanate will also participate in goalball and table tennis at the biennial Games.

Link: http://www.bt.com.bn/sports-national/2014/01/10/athletics-team-shoulder-medal-hopes

Sports Programme for 28th SEA Games Singapore 2015

Source: Chinese Olympic Committee website

29 Dec 2013, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: The Singapore National Olympic Council presented to the SEA Games Federation Council meeting on December 10 a list of 30 sports to be included in the 28th SEA Games from June 5-16, 2015.

They are: Aquatics, Athletics, Sailing, Table Tennis, Canoeing, Bowling, Wushu, Fencing, Netball, Gymnastics, Billiards & Snooker, Hockey, Softball, Waterski, Golf, Football, Shooting, Badminton, Cycling, Tennis, Penacak Silat, Sepaktakraw, Rugby, Basketball, Traditional Boat Race, Archery, Triathlon, Judo, Taekwondo, Squash.

The list shows that three Olympic Games sports and SEA Games regulars - Boxing, Volleyball and Weightlifting - and Karate from the Asian Games have been dropped.

National Sports Associations of the above sports may appeal through the Olympic Council of Malaysia as well as through their respective International Federations. The next SEA Games Federation Sports & Rules Committee will meet in Singapore on February 15, 2014, when the appeals will be considered.

Link: http://en.olympic.cn/news/olympic_news/2014-01-04/2300159.html

30 sports at 28th SEA Games announced

Source: Vietnam Plus/VietNamNet Bridge

Singapore has announced 30 sports for competition at the 28th Southeast Asian Games scheduled for the summer of 2015.

The host of the largest regional sport event said that almost the sports are named in the list of the Olympic competition system such as football, swimming, springboards, water polo, shooting, archery, track-and-field, judo, taekwondo, table-tennis and tennis. 

The organising board said it will add eight more sports, which will be decided following a meeting with representatives from Southeast Asian countries.

The 28th SEA Games will be held from June 5-16, 2015 instead of the year-end practice, Singapore said, revealing men’s football matches will take place several days ahead of the official opening ceremony.

Link:  http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/sports/93431/30-sports-at-28th-sea-games-announced.html

Brunei to send 32 athletes to Para Games

Source: The Brunei Times

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah (L) presenting the national flag to Hj Rosmadee Hj Md Daud, the chef de mission to the 7th ASEAN Para Games, at the Di-Gadong Hall of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports building in Berakas yesterday.BT/ Yee Chun Leong

BRUNEI will be sending a lean and mean team to the 7th ASEAN Para Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.
The Sultanate will be represented by a 46-member contingent, which includes 32 athletes, at the January 11-21 biennial event.

The country will be participating in three of the 12 sports on offer, with the majority taking part in athletics.
To be held at the Wunna Theikdi Stadium, six will participate in goalball while five will compete in table tennis.

This was revealed during a flag handing ceremony at the Di-Gadong Hall of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports building in Berakas yesterday.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, was present as the guest of honour to hand the national flag over to Hj Rosmadee Hj Md Daud, the chef de mission to the Games.

The others sports to be contested are archery, boccia, chess, football (7-a-side), football (5-a-side), powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming and wheelchair basketball.

The contingent will depart for the Myanmar capital today.

Brunei have participated in every edition of the Games, considered to the biggest multi-sport disability event for special needs athletes in the ASEAN Region, since 2001.

The country finished eighth at the previous edition with a total of three gold, five silver and eight bronze medals in the 11-team table.

The Sultanate were represented by a 37-member delegation at the last Games in Indonesia, with 24 special needs athletes making up the contingent.

Twenty athletes participated in athletics events, two in ten-pin bowling and two in chess - with the rest comprising the coaches and officials.

Alihan Muda was the biggest contributor for the country with two gold medals in the discus and shot put events.

Shari Hj Juma’at notched gold and set a new Games record in the men’s Javelin F55 with a distance of 26.22m.

Brunei’s best performance came in Kuala Lumpur in 2009 when they returned with nine gold, five silver and eight bronze medals.

Thailand have won the title for the past four editions in the row.

Their last outing saw them bag a total of 121 gold, 94 silver and 72 bronze medals.

Link: http://www.bt.com.bn/sports-national/2014/01/10/brunei-send-32-athletes-para-games

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

ASEAN Para Games: S'pore to field up to 100 athletes for 2015 Games

Source: - CNA/gn

Team Singapore ended a successful SEA Games campaign in Myanmar, and the focus now shifts to disabled athletes. With many new faces making their debuts in the ASEAN Para Games, the Singapore Disability Sports Council hopes to field up to 100 athletes when the 2015 edition comes to Singapore.

A group shot of some Team Singapore athletes headed to Myanmar for the ASEAN Para Games. (Photo: Patwant Singh, Channel NewsAsia)

SINGAPORE: With Team Singapore ending a successful SEA Games campaign in Myanmar, the focus now shifts to disabled athletes.

A 52-strong contingent will head to Myanmar for the ASEAN Para Games from January 14, and more than half of them will be debutants.

With many new faces making their debuts, the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) hopes to field up to a hundred athletes across 10 to 12 sports when the 2015 ASEAN Para Games comes to Singapore.

The 2015 edition will be staged in December, six months after the SEA Games in June, to avoid clashing with the Muslim fasting month, and National Day celebrations in that year.

Team Singapore's disabled athletes will compete in five sports at the ASEAN Para Games from January 14 to 20 in boccia, athletics, football, table tennis and swimming.

And the athletics and table tennis contingents will be significantly larger compared to 2011.
One athlete making his debut in Myanmar will be Navy Serviceman Jason Chee, who lost both legs and his left arm in a horrific ship accident in 2012.

Competing in table tennis, Chee wants to be an inspiration to others.

He said: "There will be opportunity for people with disability to take up sports, like me. If I can represent Singapore, there are many disabled people, they also can represent Singapore."

Singapore is also sending a football team for the very first time.

The Cerebral Palsy Team is not familiar with its regional competitors, but boasts a good track record.

Muhammad Mubarak, Team Singapore’s football player competing in the 7th ASEAN Para Games, said: "With all the experience in the AFC Dream Asia CP Soccer tournament back in 2012, and the recent invitational tournament in Vienna earlier in August, I believe the team is doing quite well."

Seven boccia athletes headed for Myanmar are also hoping the experience proves valuable for 2015.

Neo Kah Whye, a boccia player for Team Singapore, said: "From Asia Youth Games, I came back (and) my target was to train harder, better than last time, so now (I have) improved."

Singapore won nine gold, 10 sliver and 9 bronze medals in 2011, but Team Singapore is quietly confident.

Justinian Chua, Team Singapore’s Chef de Mission, said: "We are expecting to do well in swimming where majority of our medals will be coming from swimming, and also two new sports boccia and football seven-a-side, which I personally have high hopes for them to do well."

The contingent leaves for Nay Pyi Taw on January 11, with the Games starting three days later. 

 Link: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sport/asean-para-games-s-pore/938952.html