SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (30 May to 5 June):
17 new athletes for spexScholarship programme
The Sport Excellence Scholarship (spexScholarship) programme welcomed 17 new athletes from eight sports in its year 2022 cohort, bringing the total number of spexScholars to 76 athletes across 24 sports.
For the first time since the launch of the spexScholarship in 2013, the programme includes more athletes from team sports, and will support an athlete who competes in a sport that is not included in major Games - indoor skydiving world champion Kyra Poh.
"Indoor skydiving is still considered a niche sport in the region, hence I am incredibly grateful to be a recipient of the spexScholarship, which will provide more holistic support for me as an athlete," the 19-year-old said in a media release on Tuesday (31 May).
The 2022 cohort will see the inclusion of the men’s bowling team, along with the men’s and women’s table tennis teams.
A total of 49 nominations were received by the Singapore Sport Institute (SSI), from which the new athletes were selected. Among the rest of the 59 spexScholars, 34 of them had their contracts renewed from the previous cycle while the remaining 25 athletes’ contracts are not yet due for renewal.
Lions fall 0-2 to Kuwait in friendly
Singapore's national men's football team were beaten 0-2 by Kuwait in a friendly in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (1 June).
In new head coach Takayuki Nishigaya's first match in charge, the Lions competed well but failed to make their chances count, and conceded a goal in each half to Fahad Al-Reshidi (39th minute) and Yousef Nasser Al-Sulaiman (87th).
Despite the loss, Nishigaya said, "The players tried what I demanded and I am happy to see that. We were able to win the ball with our high pressing; at the same time, we lost the ball a lot of times in the middle, so we should improve on keeping the ball.
"I believe in our strikers and if we can make good chances like we did today, definitely we are going to get the goals.”
The Lions will be competing in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers in Bishkek starting from Wednesday (8 June). They will face hosts Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday, Tajikistan on Saturday and Myanmar next Tuesday.
Top Malaysian, Indonesian shuttlers for Singapore Open
The Singapore Badminton Open announced on Monday (30 May) that Thailand Open and Asian champion Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia, as well as Indonesian stars Anthony Sinisuka Ginting and Jonatan Christie, will be taking part in the US$370,000 (S$509,000) tournament from 12 to 17 July.
The trio’s participation - along with Denmark’s world No.1 Viktor Axelsen, world No.3 Anders Antonsen and Singapore’s 10th-ranked Loh Kean Yew - means that more than half of the top-ranked male players in the world have already signed up for the Open.
Both Malaysia and Indonesia will also be represented by their top men’s doubles pairings. Indonesia's world No.1 duo of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and world No. 3 pair of Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan will be taking part, together with Malaysia's world No.10 duo Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi.
Crocodile Challenge Cup sees biggest participation
Over 350 youth paddlers took part in the Crocodile Challenge Cup, which concluded on Sunday (5 June). This is the tournament's highest participation since it began in 2011.
Here are the winners:
Primary 1 & 2 girls’ singles: Jayna Feng (Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School)
Primary 1 & 2 boys’ singles: Zhu Yixi (Maha Bodhi School)
Primary 3 & 4 girls’ singles: Zhang Yi Han (Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School)
Primary 3 & 4 boys’ singles: Zane Ong (Ngee Ann Primary School)
Primary 5 & 6 girls’ singles: Loy Ming Ying (Elias Park Primary School)
Primary 5 & 6 boys’ singles: Benaiah Seah (Pei Chun Public School)
The winners of the P5/P6 singles events will win an overseas training camp or tournament.
1st season of Singapore Football League begins
The first edition of the Singapore Football League (SFL) began on Saturday (4 June). Previously known as the National Football League, the competition was renamed to the SFL in 2020 but could not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The SFL will see a round-robin format that spans from June to October, with eight and 10 teams participating in Division 1 and Division 2 respectively. Matches will be played at Choa Chu Kang Stadium, Clementi Stadium, Jalan Besar Stadium, Hougang Stadium and Toa Payoh Stadium for Division 1 teams while Division 2 matches will be held at Bedok Stadium, Choa Chu Kang Stadium and Woodlands Stadium.
At the end of the season, the bottom two Division 1 teams will be relegated to Division 2 while the bottom two Division 2 teams will be relegated to the Island Wide League (IWL). Conversely, the top two teams in Division 2 and the IWL will be promoted to Division 1 and Division 2 respectively.
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