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Road to Nanjing: Rising starlets looking to YOG

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Martina Lindsay Veloso Team Singapore shooting

Team Singapore shooter Martina Lindsay Veloso has set her sights on the upcoming Youth Olympic Games. (Photo by Singapore Shooting Association)

Their love for the sport has seen them sacrificed hours at the training ground coupled with balancing their school and time with family.

But their hard work is finally paying off as Nadine Joy Nathan (Artistic Gymnastics) and Martina Lindsay Veloso (Shooting) have been selected to represent Singapore at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) from 16 to 28 August 2014 in Nanjing, China.

For Martina, her sporting journey started when she decided to take up shooting two years ago. After winning the 2014 Asian Championship in Kuwait City, she went on to defeat 2008 Olympic Champion Katerina Emmons at the ISSF World Cup Munich 2014, bringing home the Gold. Add those to the recently concluded 2014 Commonwealth Games, the valuable experience will no doubt play a big role in her preparations for the YOG.

“It's been a very exciting experience even though I didn't make it to podium. I'm just glad that I've done my very best, and I'm very happy with my performance,” said Martina after her Commonwealth Games adventure.

“I know that coming to this Commonwealth Games, Singaporeans were behind me all the time, win or lose, whether I had won a medal or not.

“Now I will train harder for the coming YOG,” added the 15-year old who earned a respectable 8th placing in the 10 metre Air Rifle event at the Commonwealth Games.

Joining Martina in Nanjing is Nadine, who will be competing in the Women’s Artistic All-Around. 



Team Singapore gymnast Nadine Joy Nathan has steadily progressed through the years. (Photo by Sport Singapore) 

Nadine started gymnastics since young and has steadily progressed through the years under the watchful eyes of the coaches at Singapore Gymnastics.

“My love for the sport started when my dad took me to the gymnasium to play when I was little, and I got enrolled in classes, and I've just done it ever since,” explained Nadine.

Not only talented, the gymnast also has determination. After suffering an unfortunate bruise in a regional tournament a year ago, she decided that it will not hinder her participation and eventually cemented top spot for Singapore.

“An unforgettable moment in my sporting career was at the ASEAN Schools Games in 2013, in which I had fallen at the bars and injured my foot but still had my beam and floor routines to complete,” said the Raffles Girls’ School student.

“It hurt a lot, but I decided to complete the routines so that we would have a team score, and we got the Gold!” added Nadine whose team comprised Cheryl Lam, Janessa Dai, Tan Sze En and Ashly Lau.

Nadine has indeed come a long way despite her young age as she was initially put off by going up against others in a tournament. But that mental block was shaved off her mind as she grew in confidence and is now focused on her routine.

“One of my greatest challenges was competing when I was younger; I was always terrified by the idea of a competition. I overcome it with experience and just convincing myself into believing it is like my training and performing the routine to the best that I can,” commented Nadine who in her free time likes to sew and knit.

Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games

Date: 16 to 28 August 2014

Singapore contingent: 18 Team Singapore athletes

Total contingent: About 3,600 athletes from 204 nations 

Number of sports: 26 

Medal haul at last Youth Olympic Games: 2 Silvers, 5 Bronzes 

Chef de Mission: Mark Chay

Young Ambassador: Cecilia Low

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