Road to Nanjing: Young but experienced athletes raring to go for YOG
13 August, 2014
Two sports captured the imagination of the nation at the recent Commonwealth Games, with one being table tennis, and the other being badminton.
Team Singapore’s paddlers dominated the scene by sweeping 10 medals – six Golds, two Silvers and two Bronzes, while the shuttlers grabbed three medals – two Silvers and one Bronze, making history along the way.
As such, much will be expected of these disciplines’ next generation of athletes’ at the upcoming Youth Olympic Games (YOG) which will take place from 16 to 28 August 2014 in Nanjing, China.
For badminton, one of those to watch without a doubt will be Liang Xiaoyu. Before the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Liang has had relatively decent success at the youth tournaments she participated in.
Team Singapore shuttler Liang Xiaoyu will one to watch during the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing. (Photo by Sport Singapore)
A quarter-finalist at the 2014 World Junior Championships as well as a semi-finalist at the 2014 Badminton Asia Youth U19, Liang arguably attained her best finish at the youth level by finishing as the runner-up at the 2013 Korea Juniors Open.
However, the 18-year-old’s most recent claim to success would be the Bronze medal she clinched at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games, as part of the mixed team.
But Liang was also impressive in the women singles category, where she made a run to the last 16, only to lose out to Michelle Li from Canada 21-16, 21-16, who eventually went on to win the Finals.
The experience from her first major tournament should stand her in good stead, and the aspiring Olympian will be raring to go at the YOG.
On top of maintaining a positive mindset pre-games, Liang shares that the support she receives pushes her a step further towards her peak.
“The support from fellow Singaporeans motivates and inspires me to push myself harder. For that, I thank all my supporters for their heart warming and continued support.”
17-year-old paddler Yee Herng Hwee confirmed her qualification to the YOG in April, after she took one of the two spots available at the Asia Continental Qualification event in Bangkok.
Team Singapore paddler Yee Herng Hwee was part of the women’s team that secured Bronze at the 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championships. (Photo by Singapore Table Tennis Association)
While Yee did not compete in the recent 2014 Commonwealth Games, she has enjoyed success on the professional level being part of the women’s team that secured Bronze at the 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championships.
Initially playing the sports for leisure, the 17-year-old has gone from strength to strength to enjoy a successful 2014 where she has also claimed various medals at international youth tournaments.
Yee has huge shoes to fill, after the Republic’s Isabelle Li claimed the Silver medal in the 2010 YOG Women’s Singles event.
But Yee remains quietly confident she can assume Li’s mantle.
“I get to represent Singapore and do my best in this upcoming YOG, [the support from Singaporeans] it makes me feel that I can do it,” Yee asserted.
Show your support for Xiaoyu, Herng Hwee and the rest of the contingent as they begin their YOG journey on 17 August. Continue to pledge your support for our Team Singapore athletes via www.facebook.com/teamsg and instagram! #ourteamsg