Singapore's Quest for GOLD

Discussion in 'Olympics BEIJING 2008' started by Loh, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    The Electric New Paper :
    20 July 2008

    BEIJING 08
    THE 2008 SUMMER OLYMPICS
    S'pore's QUEST for GOLD


    As The New Paper starts its countdown to Beijing08, LIM SAY HENG and CEL GULAPA take a trip down the memory lane and relive some of Singapore's significant's moments at the Olympic Games...

    Singapore, then a Crown Colony, was first recognised as an independent 'Olympic country' by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and was thus eligible to send its own athletes.

    LONDON - 1948

    Singapore, then a Crown Colony, was first recognised as an independent 'Olympic country' by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and was thus eligible to send its own athletes.

    High-jumper Lloyd Valberg was our first competitor at the Games.

    With no access to professional training facilities or coaching, the late Valberg invented a portable folding contraption in 1937 and trained without sandpits.

    The Eurasian eventually qualified for the final and finished 14th, despite suffering from an injury and feeling homesick.

    MELBOURNE - 1956

    Singapore sent 52 athletes to Australia for the Games, its biggest contingent ever.

    Among the athletes was an 18-man hockey team, captained by the late Percy Pennefather - considered to be the founding father of Singapore hockey.

    Pennefather scored a hat-trick in Singapore's first game against the United States as we romped to a 6-0 victory. We eventually finished a credible 8th overall, above arch-rivals Malaya.

    ROME - 1960

    Singapore wins its first and only Olympic medal as Tan Howe Liang beat 33 others to a silver in the lightweight category. Tan, who was 27 then, lifted 380kg at the Palazetto Dello Sports Hall in Rome, losing only to Russia's Viktor Busheuv. The three-time Olympian is the only Singaporean to win a medal at the major international games - Olympics, Commonwealth, Asian and SEAP, scoring gold in all except for the Olympics.

    MEXICO - 1968

    Singapore takes part in the Olympics for the first time as an independent country after separating from Malaysia, sending four athletes to Mexico City, located 2,300m above sea level.

    Numerous records were set there, where the air contained 30 per cent less oxygen, including a 100m national record for C. Kunalan.

    The 1966 Asian Games silver-medallist clocked 10.38s in Mexico, setting a benchmark that would stand for 33 years. UK Shyam bettered that by 0.01s in 2001.

    MOSCOW - 1980

    Singapore joined the US-led boycott in protest at the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. That was the only time that Singapore missed the Games since 1948.

    LOS ANGELES - 1984

    Singapore returned to the 1984 Games in United States, when the Soviet Union led 13 other Eastern bloc countries in a revenge boycott, a response to the 1980 snub.

    A total of five Singaporeans took part in the Games, including current SSC chief Oon Jin Teik and brother Jin Gee, currently SSA's secretary-general.

    That year also marked the Olympics debut of swimming legend Ang Peng Siong, who became the world's fastest man in the 50m freestyle two years before this Games.

    The two-time Olympian made his debut in style, winning the 100m freestyle 'B' final with a time of 51.09s and setting a national record with that feat.

    That was Singapore swimming's best showing at the Games ever, and the record stood for 22 years.

    SYDNEY - 2000

    Table tennis player Jing Junhong came closest to winning only Singapore's second Olympic medal when she reached the semi-finals of the women's singles.

    But Jing, then ranked 31st in the world, crashed out to China's Li Ju, then world No. 2, in the last four.

    She fought bravely for the bronze medal, but eventually succumbed to then world No. 3 and third seed Chen Jing of Taiwan after winning the first set.

    'I had not even expected to make the semi-finals before coming here. If I had won a medal, I think I probably deserved bonus points,' she said then.

    ATHENS - 2004

    The heartbreak was almost uncanny four years later, as Jing's successor, Li Jiawei, came agonisingly close to winning an Olympic medal for Singapore.

    Li was on the way to a historic final in the women's singles, leading North Korea's Kim Hyang Mi 3-1 in the semi-final match. But nerves got the better of her and she eventually lost 3-4.

    A place in the final would have guaranteed Singapore our second medal since Tan Howe Liang's silver in 1960.

    The nerves showed up again during the bronze medal play-off, as Li lost to South Korea's Kim Kyung Ah after winning the first set.

    'Please tell Singapore I'm sorry for not giving them an Olympic medal,' she said tearfully after the match. 'They have been so supportive. I know how long we have all been waiting.'
     
  2. X Ball

    X Ball Regular Member

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    The gold has been elusive for many countries which poured millions into preparation of their teams. Is it wrong to do so ?

    My personal view is it is worth the effort - Malaysia is just one country like Singapore trying its best to win one. Should it still not win, it can say it has done its utmost best.

    But like everything if one tries hard enough, there is a chance of a breathrough. It is unfortunate Squash is not an Olympic sport else Nicol David is a certainty.

    Simon Gerrans (Aussie) made a breathrough yesterday by winning a leg of the Tour Le France. That is what I meant.
     
  3. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore celebrates silver win

    No gold for Singapore but our women's Table-Tennis team won the silver medal for the country after more than a 40-year-old-drought and made Singapore proud.

    The last medal, also a silver was won by weightlifter Tan Howe Liang.

    Even the Prime Minister has decided to shorten his National Day speech just so that the audience can witness the action on TV. China proved to be too strong and took the gold medal as expected. But our girls came back from the brink of defeat in the SF to oust Korea 3-2 yesterday. The Koreans went on to take the bronze when they defeated Japan in the bronze medal play-off.

    This achievement by our Foreign Talents has boosted the morale of our people when the economy looked gloom with high inflation. Singaporeans and even foreigners converged at the Singapore Table Tennis Association stadium at Toa Payoh to cheer the team's action which was shown over a huge screen.

    More celebrations on this historic event is expected in days to come including a happy and warm welcoming ceremony at the Changi Airport.

    Congratulations to our TT women's team and to Singapore! You have made the day for Singapore and we are proud of you! :):):)
     
    #3 Loh, Aug 17, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
  4. extremenanopowe

    extremenanopowe Regular Member

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    Good job from the Ladies indeed. The money is super duper good....;)

    Good try for RS. Hopefully he will has his rewards after the game as well...
     
  5. wood_22_chuck

    wood_22_chuck Regular Member

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    Congratulations to Singapore. For a tiny but powerful nation-state, that Olympic medal is a great achievement.

    Dave
     
  6. ants

    ants Regular Member

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    Happy for Singapore with the Silver... the Gold is so near but China is too good for them.
     
  7. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Yes even our Prime Minister Lee has commented that in terms of our small population size (about 4.5 million) compared to other countries like China, USA, Russia, Germany, Indonesia or even Malaysia, we have done relatively well.

    That's why we're extremely proud of our women's table-tennis team which brought back a long-awaited medal, albeit a silver and not a gold! :)
     
  8. Krisna

    Krisna Regular Member

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    Choosing to get a medal from table-tennis means that any country other than China should be mentally ready to get silver as the maximum target... :p And Singapore have achieved that... ;)
     
  9. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    And Maria has achieved something precious and special for INA. :) She's simply marvellous making a fool of WR No 3 Lu Lan to become the third best in the world! And it's been quite some time that INA has a young lady that will soon join the ranks of Susi and Mia! Congratulations INA and Krisna. ;)

    In the relatively short time that I saw her in Singapore as a junior participating in our Satellite tournaments, she has blossomed into a senior world beater during the recent Uber Cup competition in Jakarta. And now an Olympic bronze medalist! I certainly hope she'll work hard to become the World No 1 by next year. :)
     

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