Monthly Archives: July 2008

Newsflash: Weining emerges as new contender for national U-17 mark

Remember this name: Goh Weining. For this Singapore Sports School hurdler could well become the new owner of the national girls Under-17 100m hurdles record next year.

Goh Weining in action at last month's National Schools Championships (Picture courtesy of redsports.sg)

Goh Weining in action at last month's National Schools Championships (Picture courtesy of redsports.sg)

The 14-year-old Secondary Two student – who set a new C Division 80m hurdles record (12.52sec) at the 49th National Schools Track and Field Championships earlier this month – gave a glimpse of that possibility yesterday when she clocked a stunning 15.51sec to win the Girls U-14 100m hurdles final at the 11th Thailand Sports School Games in Khon Kaen.

Although the time is 0.16sec slower than Noreen Herman’s yet-to-be-ratified national  U-17 record 15.35sec (which was set at the 49th National Schools Track and Field Championships), the fact remains that Weining is two years younger than her 16-year-old Sports School schoolmate.

Weining’s new personal best also sets up a healthy and potentially exciting triple-threat jostle for the ownership of the national U-17 girls mark next year. This is because St Nicholas Girls student Inez Leong, 16, is also another potential record-breaker.

Of course, such a mouth-watering clash of the titans can only take place if Noreen and Inez are still competing in the U-17 category when the next edition of the Singapore Juniors rolls around next year.  

(Note: Inez is the current national U-17 record holder until the Singapore Athletics Association ratifies Noreen’s time. She had set the current mark of 15.74sec at the 34th Singapore Junior Athletics Championships last month. She also finished second to Noreen in the National Schools Girls B Division 100m hurdles final in 15.47sec)  

Weining’s gold was one of two track titles that the Sports School won on the first day of the athletics competition at the Thailand Sports School Games. The other was won by new sprint sensation T. Piriyah in the Girls U-16 400m.

What is interesting about Piriyah’s time of 58.29sec is that even though it is more than a second off her sensational personal best of 57.11sec (which she set at the National Schools Championships and which is pending ratification as a new national U-17 mark), it is still the second fastest 400m time clocked by a Singapore runner this year.

The Sports School also won silvers in the Boys U-16 400m (Jamie Coates in 50.08sec), Boys U-16 4x100m relay (Dennis Lim, Jamie Coates, Jared Lim and Anuar Shahrir, 42.70sec) and Boys U-14 4x100m relay (Luqman Zamrot, Vivekanand, Seamus Shi and Nicholas Tang, 45.15sec).

Meanwhile, national triple jump record holder Mariam Shazana could only manage a bronze in the Girls U-17 final after she leapt 11.30m. The distance is 0.29m off her national mark of 11.57m. Sports School’s other bronze came from the quartet of Nurul Sakinah, Lim Ying Jia, Valerie Loo and Habibah Najihahbi.

You can find a report on the Sports School at the 11th Thailand Sports School Games here.

Yours in sport,

Singapore Sports Fan

Related links:

11 July – Newsflash: 11 new records in one day at National Schools C’ships

18 July: Breaking the national women’s 4x400m relay record – it’s now or never, SAA

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Epilogue: Singapore Selection 0 Brazil 3

The report:

Got this from the Channel News Asia website (www.channelnewsasia.com):

Football: Brazil wins Pre-Olympics exhibition match in Singapore

SINGAPORE: Led by AC Milan star Ronaldinho, Brazil’s pre-Olympics preparations were off to a smooth start as the samba kings defeated a stubborn Singapore Selection side 3-0 in an exhibition match on Monday.

The Brazilians dominated possession for most of the first half of the match but failed to find the net as they missed several clear chances inside the penalty box area and faced stiff resistance from the Singapore side.

Werder Bremen midfielder Diego broke the deadlock in the 20th minute with a goal from just outside the penalty box, while newly-signed AC Milan star Ronaldinho made his mark with a close range effort in the 27th minute to lift the score to 2-0.

Left-footed Brazilian forward Jo, who recently inked a four-year deal with English Premier League club Manchester City, found the net in the second-half with a close range effort to take his side up 3-0.

Brazil head next to Hanoi where they will play a friendly against Vietnam’s national side on August 1.

The South American giant won the World Cup a record five times but have came up short at the Olympics, finishing with a silver medal in the 1984 and 1988 Games, and bronze in 1996.

The Olympic tournament begins August 6, with the final on August 23. – AFP/de

My thoughts:

Oh my, I actually predicted the score correctly in my previous post. And if I’d plonked down $100 on a 3-0 scoreline at Singapore Pools, I would have won $600. According to newspaper reports, the odds for a 0-3 scoreline was $6.00 (in other words, every $1 wins you $6).

Except that that would never have happened. I don’t know about you and I won’t judge either, but although I do enjoy the occasional flutter on a fotball bet, I’m not the sort to ever place a bet against Singapore. Not even if it is a Singapore Select side, lke tonight.

I don’t know – I’ve seen friends laughing their way to the bank before because of the easy money there is to make when Singapore takes on a sueprior team. And I’ve had to put up with the “Come on, surely yu must be joking” jibes and ribbing when I tell them I’ll pass on making such a bet.

It’s just that the act comes across as a form of betrayal to me and I don’t think I can ever live with myself if I were to do so.

In the same way, I’d rather that my prediction wasn’t spot on and that the Singapore Selection side made me eat humble pie by holding Brazil to a draw or pinning them down to just a goal.

I’d be a lot happier. Honestly.

Well, at least the AFP/CNA report described the Singapore Selection side as “stubborn”.

I also found highlights of the three goals on Youtube. There was a longer, 9-minute clip but I think this three-minute one should suffice.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

Related links:

28 July: Point to ponder: Why a Singapore Selection team, and not a full Lions side, against Brazil? 

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Point to ponder: why a Singapore Selection team, and not a full Lions side, against Brazil?

The reports:

There has been a flood of reports in the newspapers on the Brazil Olympic team in Singapore and their match against a Singapore Selection side at the National Stadium tonight (you can click here and here for some reports).

The Brazilian team arriving at Changi Airport (Picture taken from www.cctv.com)

The Brazilian team arriving at Changi Airport (Picture taken from http://www.cctv.com)

Understandably so.

After all, this is the most exciting team to play in Singapore since Manchester United and Liverpool came a-visiting back in 2001.

And football fans will not only be getting a glimpse of future World Cup players in action, they will also be getting the rare chance to see established stars like Ronaldinho, Pato, Lucas Leiva, Diego and Anderson in the flesh. 

However, there was also an interesting letter which reader Chong Wee Jin sent to TODAY last week week (see here) which brought up a very pertinent point.

Wee Jin wrote to TODAY to express his disappointment that it will be a Singapore Selection and not the Lions that will be taking on the Brazil Olympic team.

“…the team spirit and understanding that have been forged by coach Radjoko Avramovic over the years make them a strong unit than any other (S-League selection) squad,” he argued.

My thoughts: 

I must say that I’m in two minds about this argument.

On the one hand, I feel that Wee Jin is right – why shouldn’t it be the Lions taking on Brazil? 

Since international friendlies are so hard to come by, why didn’t national coach Raddy Avramovic use this opportunity to give his Lions another competitive match to further gel his squad or to test out some new players or combinations?

Why the decision to go for an S-League Selection side now? After all, we did field a fully Singapore side against Manchester United and Liverpool back in 2001. 

Was it a condition forced upon him by the match organisers or the FAS? If the latter, then was it to give the S-League some publicity by displaying some of its better foreign talents?

Or was it Avramovic’s own decision to pick Home United’s Japanese defender Kenji Arai, his Cameroonian teammate Valery Hiek and Geylang United’s Slovakian midfielder Miroslav Latiak?

Maybe he felt that they were needed to strengthen the areas weakened by injuries (Precious Emuerajaye, Noh Rahman and Shi Jiayi are injured), so that Singapore can be more of a match for the Brazilians?

I felt it was a pity that our newspapers didn’t pick up on this point when the Singapore squad was announced. For all you know, there could be a very simple reason for this. I just wish we didn’t have to second-guess what it was.

The good news though for Singapore fans is that the Singapore Selection is still a predominantly Lions side as 18 of the 21-strong squad were Lions who played in Singapore’s recent World Cup qualifying campaign.

And if fielding a Singapore Selection side was indeed a condition laid down by the organisers or the FAS, then, as a fan, I would have much preferred it that the three Brazilians playing in the S-League – Geylang United forwards Luiz Mechado and Rivaldo Costa and Home United midfielder Peres de Oliveira – had been selected instead.  

It would have been a nice gesture and show of solidarity with the Brazil Olympic team for the three S-League Brazilians to be fielded against their own countrymen. Similarly, I think the trio would also have been really fired up for the occasion.

And I think it would have been particularly meaningful for the 34-year-old de Oliveira who has been one of the most exciting players to ply his trade in the S-League since he first came to Singapore as a Home United player in 2002.

Peres de Oliveira in action for Home United (picture taken from www.sleague.com)

Peres de Oliveira in action for Home United (picture taken from http://www.sleague.com)

In the past six years, de Oliveira – who played for Home from 2002 – 2005 and Tampines Rovers from 2005-2007 before rejoining Home this year – has won two S-League titles, four Singapore Cups and an Asean Football Federation Cup.

He was also named the S-League’s Player of The Year in 2003 and also snared the Top Scorer award that season with his 37 goals.

Selecting him for this game and allowing him to play the full 90 minutes would have made for a nice tribute to a player who has been a wonderful model of consistency and excellence in the S-League. By the way, here’s a piece of S-League trivia: de Oliveira is currently fifth in this season’s top-scorers list with his eight goals.

All I can deduce from Avramovic’s selection choices, without knowing why it is a Singapore Selection side and not a full Lions team, is that he has little time for sentimental or romantic gestures.

Instead, his choices leave me to conclude that he is really taking this game seriously – by plugging holes and strengthening areas in the Singapore side which he feels could be exploited by the Brazilians if left unattended.

Well, whatever the case, I hope the Singapore Selection side acquits itself well against the Brazilians. I hope there won’t be a thrashing (I have a feeling Brazil will win 3-0 though) and I also hope that there will be louder cheers for the Singapore team than for Brazil throughout the game.  

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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