SEA Games nod for 19 more athletes

SEA Games nod for 19 more athletes
Teo Zhen Ren has made the cut for the Myanmar Games after the final qualification meet conducted by the Singapore Swimming Association this week. Photo: Tan Yo-Hinn
Published: 4:02 AM, August 31, 2013
Updated: 4:00 AM, September 2, 2013

SINGAPORE — A total of 315 athletes from 25 sports will represent the Republic at this year’s South-east Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar after the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) gave the green light to an additional 19 athletes. They are from archery, billiards & snooker, chess, judo, sepak takraw, wushu and swimming. The only new entrant in the list was chess, which will be represented by Hazel Liu and Kevin Goh in the women’s blitz and men’s individual rapid chess respectively.

The SNOC’s five-member SEA Games Appeals Committee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and SNOC President Teo Chee Hean, convened at the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) yesterday to study the appeals.

“The NSAs (National Sports Associations) came down to speak to the SNOC and SSC to analyse what went wrong with their submissions,” said SNOC Secretary-General Chris Chan.

“The STAC (Special Training Assistance Committee) also visited all the sports that appealed and we can say they prepared well for this. For some, unfortunately they didn’t have any new results.”

Swimming accounted for the majority of the successful appeals yesterday, with 11 athletes — including Teo Jing-Wen and Teo Zhen Ren — making the final cut for nine events after the final qualification meet conducted by the Singapore Swimming Association this week.

“This is unexpected, but I will definitely be very motivated to train even harder and come back stronger than before,” said Zhen Ren, 19, who now gets to defend his 1,500m freestyle title after recovering sufficiently from a year-long shoulder injury that kept him out until June.

Meanwhile, wrestling, silat, badminton, cycling and athletics were unsuccessful in their attempts to include more athletes for additional events at the December Games. Athletes from Muay Thai and volleyball will not compete in Myanmar after appeals for both sports were turned down.

But Chan said athletes who meet the qualification mark — which is set at the bronze medal time or result from the 2011 SEA Games — by the Sept 27 deadline stipulated by the Myanmar SEA Games Organising Committee can still be included.

The Singapore contingent will be looking to improve on their performance from the 2011 SEA Games were the Republic’s 414-strong delegation won 42 gold, 45 silver and 73 bronze medals. This year’s SEA Games from Dec 11 to 22 is expected to feature an estimated 460 events across 33 sports. LOW LIN FHOONG