The people have spoken. Following an exciting poll on myActiveSG Facebook, as well as many moving comments, we now have a list of Singapore’s most unforgettable sporting moments of the year!
Presenting our top eight, in ascending order of popularity:
8. Introduction of flippa ball
A fitness activity that’s somewhat like a modified water polo game, flippa ball was introduced in a bid to bring exercise to the community. Starting out with just eight participants, the programme has grown considerably, with over 20 elderly enthusiasts currently attending weekly sessions at the Toa Payoh Swimming Complex.
As ActiveSG Facebook fan Liew Mun Fah enthused, “It [the popularity of the flippa ball programme] shows that age is not a barrier when it comes to keeping fit and staying healthy!”
7. Singapore Slingers’ best-ever ABL result
The 2015-2016 ASEAN Basketball League season marked the best-ever result achieved by the Singapore Slingers in all 10 years of their participation in the prestigious tournament. Making it to the finals for the first time, the local side eventually lost to the Westports Malaysia Dragons, but not without a spirited fight. What’s more, Slingers player Wong Wei Long also went home with the title of Season MVP (Local)!
6. Launch of Centres of Expertise for disability sports in Singapore
Riding on the success of Singapore’s hosting of the 8th ASEAN Para Games, as well as the community’s heightened awareness of para sports, four Centres of Expertise were opened in the neighbourhoods of Queenstown, Toa Payoh, Jurong West, and Sengkang this year.
This initiative, which ActiveSG Facebook fan Selina Tan deemed “a stepping stone to [Singapore] being a more inclusive country”, involves establishing para sports programmes and inclusive gyms that will form part of the nation’s five-year masterplan for disability sports, to encourage more persons with disabilities to exercise.
5. Angela Lee becomes youngest-ever MMA world champion
The bubbly mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, who caught the eye of the public when she first entered the scene, soon became known for something far more impressive. At just 19 years old, the Singapore representative became the youngest-ever MMA world champion this May when she clinched the ONE Women’s Atomweight Title. She is also presently one of the highest-paid fighters in the ONE Championship!
4. Timothee Yap racing alongside Usain Bolt at the Olympics
An Olympics wildcard, Team Singapore sprinter Timothee Yap made the nation sit up during the 100-metre sprint heats when he took on Usain Bolt. He might not have been able to match up against the world’s fastest man, but his admirable composure in Rio was certainly memorable!
3. Yip Pin Xiu winning another gold medal (and another!)
Having already won a gold medal at the 2008 Paralympics, Team Singapore swimmer Yip Pin Xiu added another notch to her belt this year at Rio, where she won not one – but two gold medals, smashing two world records along the way. Special mention, too, goes to Theresa Goh, who contributed to the nation’s medal tally with her bronze medal. Marking a significant milestone in Singapore’s para sports scene, their achievements also saw the community calling for more recognition of the para athletes’ achievements.
2. Team Singapore fencer Ywen Lau wins world cadet title
Bringing Singapore yet another international title this year was Team Singapore fencer Ywen Lau, who became the first-ever Singaporean to win a gold medal at the Cadet and Junior World Fencing Championships.
“Ywen Lau, together with her generation of young fencers, are showing the European fencing powerhouses that Singapore is becoming a force to reckon with,” wrote ActiveSG Facebook fan Ng Hock Sing
Indeed 16-year-old Ywen, who joined the national team at the tender age of 12, is already the proud owner of two SEA Games bronze medals, and is poised to shine even brighter on the world stage over the coming years.
1. Joseph Schooling’s gold medal
Arguably the highlight of 2016, Joseph Schooling’s 100-metre butterfly race at Rio drew support and cheers from behind thousands of screens in Singapore. Swimming to victory and beating his own hero Michael Phelps along the way, Team Singapore’s golden boy made history by bringing home the nation’s first-ever Olympics gold medal.
From world titles to smaller triumphs, 2016 has been a successful one for our local sporting scene indeed. Are you looking forward to what 2017 has in store? Don’t forget to keep active and to continue supporting Team Singapore as we move into the new year!