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Singapore sports round-up (25-31 March): Australia retain FIBA Asia Cup crowns, SAQ partners Joseph Schooling's swim school

Valencia retain JSSL 7s U-16 titles, top women's shuttlers Tai Tzu-ying and An Se Young confirm Singapore Open participation

Australia (yellow jerseys) and Iran battle in the men's final of the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2024. (PHOTO: Singapore Sports Hub)
Australia (yellow jerseys) and Iran battle in the men's final of the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2024. (PHOTO: Singapore Sports Hub)

SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (25 to 31 March):

Australia retain men's, women's titles at FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup

Australia cemented their status as the region's 3x3 basketball powerhouse after winning both titles at the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2024 at the Singapore Sports Hub on Sunday (31 March).

Playing in their fifth straight men's final, they reclaimed their crown and won a fourth Asia Cup title overall with a 21-7 victory over Iran at OCBC Square, pulling away early and never easing up. They had avenged last year's final defeat by Mongolia by beating them 21-11 in the semi-finals.

In the women's final, Australia also successfully wrapped up their title defence with an 18-13 victory over New Zealand in a repeat of last year’s final. Australia held a slim 15-13 lead in the final minute before Alex Wilson hit a clutch two to effectively end the New Zealanders’ resistance.

For the third straight year, Singapore hosted Asia's biggest 3x3 event, welcoming over 6,000 people in the five-day event.

Singapore Aquatics partners Joseph Schooling's swim school

Singapore Aquatics (SAQ) has partnered Sports Schooling - the swim school founded by Olympic gold medallist Joseph Schooling - to introduce the sport of aquatics to Singapore’s less fortunate children.

Coaches from the swim school will be holding a swim clinic in May to teach 20 children from Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home, a beneficiary selected by the Rotary Club of Singapore, to equip them with water survival and swimming competency skills.

The clinic is part of SAQ’s "Empowering Lives Through Aquatics" initiative, which aims to get participants between six and 14 to complete the first three stages of SwimSafer, the national water safety programme. It will also serve as a scouting platform for coaches to identify promising aquatic athletes.

Besides the clinic, the Rotary Club of Singapore also organised their annual swimarathon on Friday (29 March), as national aquatics athletes, including Schooling, Quah Ting Wen, Quah Jing Wen, Letitia Sim, and Levenia Sim took to the pool to raise funds. Together, they have raised over $50,000 to help support two SAQ initiatives - the "Empowering Lives Through Aquatics" programme, and enhancing the high-performance sports systems.

Valencia CF retains boys' and girls U-16 crowns at JSSL 7s

The 10th edition of the JSSL Singapore Professional Academy 7s football tournament concluded on Sunday (31 March) with Valencia CF retaining both their crowns in the boy's and girls’ Under-16 pro competitions.

The Spanish LaLiga club's boys' team successfully defended their title with a 4-0 win over Melbourne City FC, while their girls' team defeated Thai side Chonburi FC 2-1 after extra time. Guest-of-honour and former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy handed out the trophies during the prize presentations.

A record 500 registered teams from 16 nations participated in the event, which took place across five venues in Singapore: The Arena at Woodleigh, the Lion City Sailors Training Centre, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Hougang Stadium and Tampines SAFRA. In addition to the pro teams, promising young footballers aged between six and 16 also competed across 11 boys’ and 4 girls’ categories during the four-day event.

StarHub to hold free live EPL screening at Capitol S'pore

StarHub will be hosting a free live screening of the English Premier League match between Newcastle and Tottenham Hotspur on 13 April at Capitol Singapore's outdoor plaza. The match will commence at 7.30pm, with activities from 6pm onwards.

With Tottenham Hotspur gunning for a top four finish, catch South Korean star Son Heung-min in action as he leads the Spurs front line. Before the match, Yahoo Southeast Asia’s Neil Humphreys and Chia Han Keong will also be hosting a live vodcast of "Footballing Weekly", offering fans valuable insights to the match.

Fans can also enjoy activities such as photo prints, airbrush tattoos, claw machines and an OPPO Experience Booth for visitors to try out the new OPPO phones. Party treats like popcorn and candy floss will also be available for everyone to enjoy while watching the match.

Tai Tzu-ying, An Se Young confirm S'pore Open participation

Taiwanese badminton star Tai Tzu-ying is set to play in her final KFF Singapore Badminton Open this year, as she has confirmed her participation in the 28 May to 2 June tournament at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, ahead of her expected retirement after the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The world No.3 could again face defending champion An Se Young in the women's singles competition, after the duo clashed in last year's semi-finals. The South Korean women's world No.1 has picked up where she left off last year, winning the French and Malaysia Opens this year.

Meanwhile, newly-crowned All England Open women's doubles champions Baek Ha-na and Lee So-Hee have also confirmed their participation for the Singapore Open, together with Thailand's mixed doubles pair Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai and men's doubles duo Kang Min-hyuk and Seo Seung-jae of South Korea.

Early-bird season tickets for the Open are on sale until 8 April 2024, starting from $90. Fans can also opt for The Champion Club, a new ticket category offering exclusive privileges, priced at $1,000.

Lionesses head to Saudi Arabia for training camp

The Singapore women’s national football team have headed to Dammam, Saudi Arabia this month for a 10-day training camp, as part of their preparation for upcoming official competitions, including the 2025 SEA Games in Thailand.

The 26-strong squad will be taking part in closed-door friendly matches with local clubs Al-Nassr and Qasedeya on 3 and 6 April respectively, before returning to Singapore on 7 April.

Two players – Tanjong Pagar United goalkeeper Elizabeth Tan and Albirex Niigata (Singapore) midfielder Nahwah Aidilreza – have been called up to the national team set-up for the first time. Familiar faces are also making a comeback, such as Angelyn Pang, the former Lionesses captain who was last called up in 2018, and Nadhra Aqilah, who returns after a year's absence due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Squad - Goalkeepers: Beatrice Tan, Haziqah Haszman, Izairida Shakira, Elizabeth Tan. Defenders: Angelyn Pang, Khairunnisa Anwar, Nadhra Aqilah, Syazwani Ruzi, Umairah Hamdan, Qarissa Ramadhani, Nurerwadah Erwan, Rosnani Azman, Putri Syaliza. Midfielders: Dorcas Chu, Ho Hui Xin, Mastura Jeilani, Nahwah Aidilreza, Dhaniyah Qasimah, Sarah Zu’risqha, Summer Chong, Nasriah Ibrahim, Venetia Lim, Sitianiwati Rosielin. Forwards: Farhanah Ruhaizat, Raudhah Kamis, Nicole Lim.

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The "Garden City Slam" mural by artist Alvin Tan is on display at the Singapore Sports Hub's Skate Park, in conjunction with the "Festival of Basketball". (PHOTO: Singapore Sports Hub)

'Festival of Basketball' mural at Sports Hub Skate Park

The Singapore Sports Hub has partnered with youth lifestyle company Hypebeast for its "Festival of Basketball", with a series of creative art installations at its Skate Park.

Central to the installations is the “Garden City Slam” mural by artist Alvin Tan. Inspired by local symbols such as the orchid and the Merlion, and merged with the essence of the First Slam Dunk Movie, the artwork encapsulates Singapore’s green identity and the collective spirit of its people.

The Sports Hub hosted the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup basketball tournament over the weekend, and will also host the FIBA Intercontinental Cup in September. Its outdoor basketball courts are open to all at no charge, while the indoor courts at OCBC Arena are available for booking.

Singapore Ladies Masters to return from 14 to 16 June

The Singapore Ladies Masters golf tournament is set to return to the Laguna National Golf Resort Club from 14 to 16 June. It is set to feature 132 players, including 12 elite amateurs vying for top honours in the China Ladies Professional Golf Association (CLPGA) event.

The Singapore Ladies Masters is the sixth leg of this season's CLPGA Tour and boasts a competitive prize purse of US$100,000, where the winner will receive a US$15,000 prize check. A line-up of CLPGA elites, including Ji Yuai and Sui Xiang, who finished third and fourth in the Tour’s overall points standings last year, have confirmed their participation.

At the inaugural tournament in 2023, Singapore’s amateur golfer Shannon Tan delighted the home crowd by outshining her seasoned professional counterparts to claim the championship.

Over 140 golfers at Dementia Singapore fundraising event

More than 140 golfers took part in Dementia Singapore’s 2024 Drive for Chari-Tee fundraising golf event at Sentosa Golf Club on Thursday (28 March). This year’s event saw prominent figures such as local actor-director Tay Ping Hui, Olympic swimming champion Joseph Schooling and BBC News chief presenter Steve Lai teeing off at the Serapong Course.

Guest-of-honour and Speaker of the Parliament Seah Kian Peng, in his address to the 200-strong guests at the event’s appreciation dinner, reiterated Singapore's concerns on dementia, noting how one in 10 seniors aged 60 and above has dementia. “Cultivating an informed, compassionate community that embraces diversity is crucial in addressing dementia," he said.

Jason Foo, chief executive officer of Dementia Singapore, said the funds raised from the event will go far in sustaining and building upon its varied programmes and services, designed to better serve the growing dementia community.

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