TeamSG athletes set Commonwealth Games targets at Queen's Baton Relay
31 October 2017
By Nicolette Mok
TeamSG’s 2018 Commonwealth Games chef de mission and athletes share their goals for the meet during the Singapore leg of the Queen’s Baton Relay.
Set to take place from 4th to 15th April next year, the 2018 Commonwealth Games has already made waves in Singapore, with the local leg of the Queen’s Baton Relay taking place at the Singapore Botanic Gardens last week.
The Baton, which contains a message from Queen Elizabeth II, has been undertaking its traditional journey around all 70 Commonwealth nations. It arrived in Singapore on 16th October following a tour through Asia, and will be headed for the Oceania region before reaching Gold Coast, Australia, in time for the Games’ Opening Ceremony.
L to R: Clarence Chew (Table Tennis), Pang Xue Jie (Table Tennis), Zhou Yihan (Table Tennis), Ong Jun Hong (Shooting), Roanne Ho (Swimming), Martina Veloso (Shooting), Commonwealth Games Singapore president Tan Chuan-Jin, CDM Mark Chay and deputy CDM Lim Heem Wei, Eunice Chu (Rugby), Xavier Ducourneau (Rugby) and Diroy Noordin (Athletics)
Singapore’s leg of the relay was attended by Commonwealth Games Singapore president Tan Chuan-Jin, as well as chef de mission (CDM) Mark Chay and his deputy Lim Heem Wei. Chay and Lim were both former competitors at the Commonwealth Games, having represented the nation in swimming and gymnastics
During last Friday’s event, Tan handed the Baton over to Chay and Lim in a symbolic gesture witnessed by various TeamSG athletes. Recent SEA Games champions, shooter Martina Veloso and swimmer Roanne Ho, were also treated to a surprise birthday celebration during the luncheon.
Martina Veloso (Shooting) and Roanne Ho (Swimming) celebrating their birthdays at the event
Although the contingent for Gold Coast 2018 has not been finalised, the Queen’s Baton Relay event saw Chay, as well as some athletes, already setting their targets for the quadrennial Games.
“Regardless of who’s going, we expect the best of our athletes; we expect them to be prepared – mentally and physically prepared – to give their best for Team Singapore,” Chay stated.
Veloso, who had taken part in the previous edition of the Games as a 14-year-old, echoed his sentiments: “Being part of the Queen’s Baton Relay brings back fond memories of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, which was my first senior major Games. This time, I hope to qualify for more than one event and will aim to better the fifth placing I received then.”
After all, despite coming in from a strong performance at the SEA Games, the athletes are aware of the higher level of competition that they will face in Gold Coast, with larger nations such as South Africa, Canada, and Australia taking part as well.
“Setting a new national record and winning [at] the SEA Games was a bonus. It’s not time to rest on my laurels. The timings at the Commonwealth level are much faster and I believe I have more in the tank to push further,” shared Ho, who is looking forward to making her Commonwealth Games debut next year in the women’s 50m breaststroke.
Beyond actual performances in the arena, the experience of being at the Games will also be something to savour. Ho, for one, expressed excitement at being able to return to the country that she had studied in for six years, alongside her good friends and teammates, Quah Ting Wen and Amanda Lim.
Commonwealth Games Singapore president Tan Chuan-Jin, with CDM Mark Chay and deputy CDM Lim Heem Wei
Chay, who had visited Gold Coast recently to attend the Games’ CDM seminar, elaborated: “From a CDM’s perspective, I hope that they become great ambassadors for their sports and keep our Singapore flag flying high.”
“But from an athlete’s perspective, I hope that they really soak it in; that they’ll see more than just the airport, the competition venues, and the Games village. I hope that they make full use of this experience!” he concluded.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held from 4-15 April in Gold Coast, Australia. Share your support with our TeamSG athletes and follow our website and Team Singapore Facebook pages for updates!