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World Pencak Silat Championship 2018 (WPSC 2018) - Match #135 - highlights of the match between Nurul Suhaila representing Singapore (blue corner) and Ozodakhon Mamasidikova representing Uzbekistan (red corner). Singapore won 5-0. Photo by Ben Cho/SportSG news

Sporting reflections: A year in review 2018

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Time flies. Once again, we have come to that time of the year where we take a breather and look back at the local sporting scene this past year. 2018 has been an exciting year for Singapore’s sporting scene. From hosting the final edition of WTA Singapore to the third edition of GetActive! Singapore, there was no lack of vibrancy and enthusiasm on the ground.

With that said, let us take a quick look back at what transpired on our shores in 2018.

BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore

WTA finals 2018lina Svitolina of Ukraine poses with the Billie Jean King trophy after after her win. Photo: Sport Singapore

The WTA Finals came to a close after five years in Singapore and will move to Shenzhen in 2019. In this final edition, Elina Svitolina of Ukraine fought back from the opening set to beat Sloane Stephens of the United States of America 3–6, 6–2, 6–2 to win the 2018 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore.

Billy Jean King, founder of the WTA, thanked Singaporeans for their hospitality to the WTA for the last five years.

“I just want to thank each and every one of the people here that have changed my life for the better,” she said.

HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens

HSBC Singapore rugby 7s photo: rugby singaporeFiji won its third HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in a row with a thrilling win over Australia. Photo: Sport Singapore

Fiji won its third HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in a row with a thrilling 28-22 win over Australia, who reached their first Cup final since winning their home event in Sydney earlier this year. The 2018 HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens saw over 55,000 fans enjoy the magic of the Family Sevens at the National Stadium over the weekend.

With a perfect blend of pulsating on-pitch rugby action, thousands of people rocking out to disco legends Village People, and a 20,000 square feet FunZone that featured first time appearances of The Transformers, Nerf, and the Little Pony, the two-day fiesta reaffirmed its position as the biggest celebration of rugby in Southeast Asia.

GetActive! Singapore

getactive! singapore finale 2018The GetActive! Singapore finale saw over 3,000 pre-schoolers gathering for a morning of sports at the National Stadium. Photo: Sport Singapore

This year’s GetActive! Singapore finale saw over 3,000 pre-schoolers gathering for a morning of sports at the National Stadium, marking the finale of the third edition of GetActive! Singapore.

Along with their teachers, parents, and even grandparents, the children, aged four to six, participated in the GetActive! Singapore workout and ActiveSG academy try-outs.

The students from 50 pre-schools jumped over hurdles, ran in relays, bounced basketballs, and tried out yoga in a series of physical activities specially tailored for the little ones.

FIFA World Cup

Japan football team at World Cup photo: FIFA World Cup FacebookJapan football team in action during World Cup. Photo: FIFA World Cup Facebook 

And we can’t look back at 2018 and not mention the FIFA World Cup held in Russia! How can we forget this major football extravaganza where France defeated Croatia in the finals to lift the coveted trophy. Not forgetting the Korea versus Germany game where Korea emerged triumphant to boot Germany out of the group stages.

There’s a reason why this is the most beloved game in the world and this edition did not disappoint with the introduction of VAR bringing a whole new level of drama and intrigue into the game.

Asian Games and Asian Para Games

joseph schoolingTeam Singapore swimmer Joseph Schooling. Photo: Sport Singapore

Team Singapore athletes delivered a total of 22 medals - four golds, four silvers and 14 bronzes - just three fewer than the 25 medals from Incheon.

They may not have bettered their medal haul from the 2014 Asian Games, but the athletes that made their debut at this edition showed huge potential for what is to come.

The Asian Para Games was one to remember as well, with a new record haul of three gold medals, 2 silver and five bronze. This 44-strong contingent, which participated in 10 out of the 18 sports, has set a new benchmark for future Games.

2018 World Pencak Silat Championship

World Pencak Silat Championship 2018 (WPSC 2018) - Match #135 - highlights of the match between Nurul Suhaila representing Singapore (blue corner) and Ozodakhon Mamasidikova representing Uzbekistan (red corner). Singapore won 5-0. Photo by Ben Cho/SportSGTeam Singapore concluded the tournament with seven golds, six silvers and seven bronzes. Photo: Sport Singapore

Team Singapore concluded the tournament with seven golds, six silvers and seven bronzes.

Singapore’s youngest medalist, Muhammad Hazim Mohd Yusli, wrapped up the final day of the biennial tournament with Singapore’s fourth gold medal.

The 18th World Pencak Silat Championship is the third time Singapore has hosted the Championship, it was previously held here in 1988 and 2004.

The biennial tournament saw more than 300 athletes from over 40 countries taking part in the four-day event.

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon

Soh Rui Yong clocked a time of 2:41.49 to be the first Singaporean to complete the 2018 Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon. Photo: Sport SingaporeTeam Singapore athlete Soh Rui Yong was Singapore's top male finisher. Photo: Sport Singapore

The recent edition of Singapore’s flagship marathon saw 2017 SEA Games Champion, Soh Rui Yong, defending his championship title (2:41:49) while Lim Baoying was Singapore's top female finisher coming in at 3:16:36.

The 17th edition of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon introduced a new two-day format where the Kids Dash, 5km and 10km category kicked off on Saturday.

This year’s event also saw the inaugural elite Wheelchair Marathon race. Japan’s Kota Hokonuie and 2016 Paralympics champion, Zou Lihong of China came out victors in the men’s and women’s category with a time of 1:13:36 and 1:46:48 respectively.

Watch this space for more sporting news and quality events in 2019! In the meantime, happy holidays and all the best for the New Year!

 

Editor’s thoughts: This is by no means an exhaustive list of sporting events that took place in 2018 but it represents how far Singapore has progressed as a sporting nation. Who would have thought that the likes of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova would compete here. Or that world class footballers like Mesut Ozil and Neymar Junior would play at our new National Stadium. As we continue to grow as a sports hub within the region, who knows which famous athlete will grace our shores next? *wink*

 

 

 

Gary Yang is a myActiveSG Editor and Presenter. Gary started his career as a suit cum copywriter at an advertising agency, followed by a successful stint in Corporate Communications with Singapore Press Holdings and Asia Pacific Breweries, before eventually joining the editorial team at Sport Singapore. He now turns his attention to fitness and wellness headlines and sniffing out news angles in the sporting arena.