Our Team Singapore rugby seven women's team, who finished 6th in the 2010 Asian Games, are hoping to finish at least in the Top 4 category. (Photo by Sport Singapore)
Our Team Singapore’s rugby sevens women’s team will make its second consecutive appearance at the Asian Games as the team takes on Japan, India and Uzbekistan in the preliminary rounds at Incheon, Korea.
A familiar face will captain the team this time round, as Samantha Teo, who was part of the 2010 Asian Games squad, has been entrusted with the responsibility of leading team on the Namdong Asiad Rugby Field.
Teo was delighted to find her name on the roster back in 2010, despite only possessing two years of playing experience. She has since gone on to gain more playing time, representing the nation at various Asian-level competitions, including the 15-a-side games.
However, Teo still counts her Asian Games debut as the highlight of her career so far, when the nation achieved a respectable sixth-placing.
“The unforgettable moment that happened during my sporting career was when I was selected to play in 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, just after two years of playing the game,” Teo shared.
“To add on to that, we were Singapore's first rugby women's team to play in Asian Games.”
At 1.56cm, Teo (pictured above) depicts a petite figure. But the demure facade soon gives way to a battle-hardened complex, as she reveals how she had fought her way back from an anterior cruciate ligament injury to be a better player than when she was before injury.
Not one to shy away from onrushing challenges on the pitch, Teo thrives in the adrenaline she gets from each tackle or pass she makes.
Teo also rests easy going into games with such a mindset, due not only to her trust in teammates whom she believes will back her up, but also because of the pride she has in representing her nation and the subsequent support she receives for it.
“You know you are not alone during tournaments,” Teo answered in response to how such support inspires her.
"[It helps me] to know that I am not only fighting for my team and country, but [for] the support and rally from Singapore for our nation's pride," the 24 year-old continued.
Joining Teo in Incheon will be teammate Alvinia Ow, who too has had to recover from her share of injury-setbacks over the years.
Ow - a former track and field athlete - not only brings speed to the team, but also a wealth of experience and familiarity.
While she was not part of the Asian Games squad in 2010, the 27-year-old has played alongside Teo in the 2013 and 2014 Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) Four Nations Championship, while also being part of the Singapore squad that achieved third place at the 2011 Touch Football (the competitive version of Touch Rugby) World Cup.
Just like any Singaporean, Ow is as fond of Singapore as she is of local cuisines, with chili crab at the top of her list.
Trivial it may seem, but this shared love for food will be a motivational factor for Ow, as she is reminded of the people she is affiliated to and will be representing at her Asian Games debut.
“It is an honour to don our national colours and always a great experience to represent the country,” Ow expressed.
“They (Singapore supporters) remind me of who I am representing and thus, motivate me to work harder.”
Let’s cheer Samantha, Alvinia and the team when they meet India (GMT+9 12:55pm), Uzbekistan (GMT+9 3:13pm) and Japan (GMT+9 6:17pm) on 30 September! Continue to pledge your support for our Team Singapore athletes via www.facebook.com/teamsg and instagram! #OurTeamSG
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