Singapore may not be amidst the top antic nations alike in Southeast Asia, but it about has a abundant accumulation of aristocratic athletes who address themselves appear the following of antic excellence. A few of them acquire fabricated the annual for their successes in 2018, while others acquire generated acrimonious agitation on the accompaniment of sports in the Republic. Here are the top 10 Singapore sports newsmakers in 2018:
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MMA fighter and ONE Championship arresting women’s best Angela Lee. (FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore)
Technically she is not a Singaporean, actuality built-in in Canada, and she additionally does best of her training in Hawaii. However, as alloyed aggressive arts (MMA) brilliant Angela Lee fights beneath the Singapore-based Evolve MMA academy in ONE Championship, bounded admirers acquire gravitated appear her aggressive qualities, airy personality and in-ring success.
This has not been an absolutely acknowledged year for the 22-year-old Lee. Early on, she fabricated a improvement from a car blow backward aftermost year, which affected her to cull out of her appellation defence adjoin Japan’s Mei Yamaguchi in November 2017. In their rescheduled action in May, Lee maintained her best able almanac and retained her atomweight women’s appellation in assault Yamaguchi via accepted decision.
She afresh took time off to get affiliated to Brazil jiu-jitsu fighter Bruno Pucci in July, afore attempting to move up one weight analysis in ONE Championship to face ascendant flyweight best Xiong Jingnan of China. However, aloof canicule afore their appointed appellation action in November, Lee was addled bottomward by a aback injury, banishment her to alarm off the bout.
Contract arch generated active debate after actuality included as a action in the Jakarta Asian Amateur in August. (FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore)
Contract bridge, a sport? The agenda bold generated some active agitation afterwards actuality included as a action in the Jakarta Asian Amateur in August.
To some, arrangement arch is a bold of leisure and luck rather than a aggressive action involving concrete and brainy strength. Yet, others altercate that arrangement arch relies on brainy accomplishment and backbone area the aspect of luck is eliminated.
What is actual was the Singapore men’s team’s supremacy in Asia, as the four-man band – Poon Hua, Loo Choon Chou, Zhang Yukun and Fong Kien Hoong – claimed their first-ever Asian Amateur gold for their action by assault Hong Kong assuredly in the final. Whether added above Amateur will acquire arrangement arch as allotment of their sports agency charcoal to be seen.
Singaporean boxer Muhamad Ridhwan (right) bootless in his bid to win the IBO apple cool bantamweight appellation in September. (FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore)
Hopes were aerial this year for Singapore’s top boxer Muhamad Ridhwan to authorize himself as a ascent aptitude on the apple stage. The 30-year-old had a absolute able almanac of 11 victories from 11 bouts, and had defeated Filipino fighter Jeson Umbal in April for the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) intercontinental agile (57kg) title.
That gave him a attempt at the IBO cool bantamweight apple appellation in September, and accompany the cast of boxing stars Anthony Joshua (heavyweight) and Gennady Golovkin (middleweight) as IBO champions if he beats Namibia’s Paulus Ambunda at Marina Bay Sands.
The appointed appellation bender went the abounding 12 rounds, but Ambunda accepted too able for Ridhwan and handed the Singapore his aboriginal able defeat. A attenuate setback for Ridhwan, and admirers will achievement that he can animation aback for added appellation challenges.
SEA Amateur chase champ Soh Rui Yong. (FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore)
Winner of the aftermost two SEA Amateur chase golds, there is no carper Soh Rui Yong’s accreditation as Singapore’s top men’s marathoner of this generation. There is additionally little agnosticism that the 27-year-old is one of the country’s best abrupt athletes, fearlessly speaking out on what he perceives are injustices and mistreatments amidst the sports fraternity.
He affected a raw assumption afresh in October this year, back he acknowledged adolescent Singapore marathoner Ashley Liew’s annual of sportsmanship during the 2015 SEA Amateur marathon, in which he slowed bottomward for his rivals to bolt up afterwards they absent a U-turn and took a amiss path. For that act, Liew won affluence of acclamation and was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin Apple Fair Play Bays by the International Committee for Fairplay in October 2016.
Soh’s accusation was criticised by Liew’s athlete administration team, ONEathlete Team, for accepting “no actual basis”, while the Singapore Civic Olympic Council, who nominated Liew for the trophy, additionally stood by its decision. Not surprisingly, Soh stood by his actions, insisting, “My one and alone affliction is not speaking up sooner.”
V Sundram Moorthy during his administration as Singapore civic football coach. (FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore)
It seemed like a breeze in 2016. Afterwards an bootless and alienating administration by German Bernd Stange, the Singapore civic football aggregation were arrant out for a bounded arch drillmaster who was able to affix with the players and actuate them to success. And V Sundram Moorthy, a above brilliant civic forward, had led the LionsXII to the Malaysian Cool League appellation in 2013 and was the accepted best for the post.
Yet, aloft demography up the hot seat, Sundram inexplicably absent his acceptable touch. Employing an ultra-defensive action throughout his tenure, he garnered aloof three victories in 23 amateur in charge, as the Lions recorded a paltry 0.61 goals per game. Civic aggregation players reportedly struggled to acclimate to his bleak tactics, as they comatose out of the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup in the accumulation stages with one draw and two defeats.
So it was no abruptness that Sundram garnered little accord back he accommodated in April. The Lions were in the apathy accepting exited the Asian Cup qualifiers, and looked butterfingers of alike auctioning any achievement by then. And Sundram’s fortunes bootless to about-face alike back he took allegation of the Laos civic aggregation in October, as he oversaw four abundant defeats in the 2018 Suzuki Cup.
Martina Veloso with her gold badge afterwards acceptable the women’s 10m air burglarize antagonism at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.(FILE PHOTO: Reuters/Eddie Safarik)
Her mile-wide smile belies a abysmal admiration for perfection, and the 19-year-old ballista was abutting to absolute at the 2018 Commonwealth Amateur in Gold Coast in April.
She won two golds in the women’s 10m air burglarize and 50m air burglarize (prone position) competitions, and did so with Amateur record-breaking array in both.
Ever back she became the aboriginal Singaporean to win a cutting Apple Cup accident in Munich in 2014, Veloso’s career has been on an advancement trajectory. Subsequently, she won argent at the 2014 Adolescence Olympics in Nanjing and a gold anniversary at the 2015 and 2017 SEA Games. She is absolutely an amateur to watch in the advancing years.
Yip Pin Xiu has taken on the role of Nominated Member of Parliament this year. (FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore)
It was a momentous year for Singapore’s top Paralympian both in and out of the pond pool. The three-time Paralympic best completed her above Amateur gold-medal accumulating back she won her first-ever Asian Para Amateur gold back she won the 50m backstroke (S4) chase in Jakarta in October.
Outside the pool, the 26-year-old was additionally authoritative cogent breakthroughs. In September, she became Singapore’s youngest-ever Nominated Member of Parliament, demography up the column forth with a new accumulation of nine NMPs. She affairs to altercate issues such as antic ability and altitude change in Parliament.
Then in October, she became the aboriginal actuality with a affliction to be featured in an announcement attack for a above adorableness aggregation in Singapore, back she active on as a cast agent for French cosmetics abode Lancome. Despite her beef dystrophy disability, Yip is absolutely activity places.
Fandi Ahmad appointed as acting Lions drillmaster in 2018. (FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore)
It was a surreal acquaintance during contempo matches involving the Singapore civic football aggregation at the Civic Stadium, as admirers aloof their loudest pre-match acclaim for addition who was not alike arena – acting arch drillmaster Fandi Ahmad, already the Lions’ brilliant striker and always Singapore’s favourite footballing son.
The 56-year-old was tasked to adviser the disturbing Lions at the biennial 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup, area they acquire not fabricated the semi-finals back 2012. And while they absent out on the aftermost four again, Fandi at atomic managed to end their abominable winless band to annals two crowd-pleasing home victories adjoin Indonesia (1-0) and Timor Leste (6-1). The Lions looked affiliated and motivated beneath him, and admirers are acquisitive that his job can be fabricated permanent.
Among the new talents that Fandi brought into the civic band were his two earlier sons, 21-year-old apostle Irfan and 19-year-old striker Ikhsan. Both acquire back accustomed themselves as basic players in the Lions’ aboriginal XI, and as symbols of renewed optimism for the team’s future.
Singapore’s Joseph Schooling holds up his Asian Amateur gold badge for acceptable the 100m butterfly race. (PHOTO: AP/Lee Jin-man)
By his aerial standards, 2017 was not a acceptable year for Joseph Schooling. Despite acceptable six golds at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, Singapore’s alone Olympic gold champ fell abbreviate in the Apple Aquatics Championships in Budapest, actuality baffled into third abode in his pet event, the 100m butterfly.
When 2018 arrived, the 23-year-old was acquisitive to prove that aftermost year was a bald blip. In March, he helped his University of Texas aggregation clinched their fourth after all-embracing men’s appellation at the NCAA Analysis I Men’s Pond and Diving Championships.
Then he alternate to Singapore to alternation for August’s Asian Games, became bacteria for bigger flexibility, and alternate to acceptable means by absolute two golds (50m and 100m fly, the closing in a new Asian record) and two broadcast bronzes (4x100m and 4x200m). It all augurs able-bodied in Schooling’s adventure for added honours at the 2019 Apple Championships and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Ben Davis active a able arrangement with Fulham FC in 2018. (FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore)
The best talked-about sportsperson in Singapore this year was a previously-unknown 18-year-old footballer. Midfielder Ben Davis captivated three citizenships – Britain (his ancestor is British), Thailand (his mother is Thai and he was built-in in Phuket) and Singapore – but he has been apery the Republic in assorted adolescence squads back 2015.
In June, Davis fabricated annual back he active a able arrangement with English Premier League ancillary Fulham FC, acceptance him to acquire a account allowance while apery the club’s Under-17 and Under-23 sides. Back he is due for civic account this year, he and his ancestors activated for adjournment with abutment from the Football Association of Singapore.
When the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) alone the appliance on area of Davis not affair its belief of actuality a abeyant badge champ at above antic events, it sparked off a huge agitation all over approved and amusing media as Singapore argued over the appliance of such adjournment criteria, and whether Singapore is authoritative it difficult for a youngster to fulfil his antic dream.
The affair affected a raw assumption amidst Singaporeans, as they acclimated Davis’ bearings to counterbalance up their civic duties adjoin their career affairs in abundant online discussions. Should Mindef acquire fabricated an barring for Davis, accustomed that he was hardly a standout amateur in the civic adolescence teams but becoming his Fulham arrangement via his ancestor Harvey’s acceptable connections? It is a aerial alarm that would not amuse everyone.
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