Newsflash: Jasmine Yeong-Nathan is Sportswoman of the Year

National bowler Jasmine Yeong-Nathan has been named Singapore’s Sportswoman of the Year.

The 20-year-old, who created history last year when she became the first Singaporean ever to win the AMF World Cup, was voted the winner by a Sports Awards judging panel.

The other contenders for the award were paddler Li Jiawei, who finished fourth in the women’s singles at the Beijing Olympics and swimmer Tao Li, who became the first Singaporea swimmer to qualify for an Olympic final and also broke the Asian 100m butterfly mark en route to her fifth-placed finish in the final.

According to a report on Newsradio 93.8FM, Yeong-Nathan won the award by seven votes to four.

The Singapore Polytechnic student was in devastating form at the 44th QubicAMF World Cup in Mexico. She not only racked up a perfect game there but also destroyed defending champion Ann-Maree Putney of Australia 263-222, 298-215 in the final.

Prior to Yeong-Nathan’s World Cup win, Singapore’s best finish in the tournament were Henry Tan and Remy Ong’s silvers in the men’s finals in 1970 and 2002 respectively.

But the Sports Awards also had several twists this year.

The panel decided there were no worthy winners this year for the Sportsman and Coach of the Year Awards.

This is the first time in the 42-year history of the Awards that there is no winner for the Sportsman Award. Bowler Remy ONg was one of the nominees. It is not known who were the other nominees.

Two known nominees for the Coach of the Year Award were national bowling Mervyn Foo, who is one of Jasmine Yeong-Nathan’s coaches, and Australian swimming coach Peter Churchill, who coaches Tao Li. 

In another twist, Singapore National Olympic Council president Teo Chee Hean told Channel News Asia that table-tennis coach Liu Guodong would have easily won the Coach of the Year Award if the Singapore Table Tennis Association had nominated him.

Liu led the women’s national team to a silver at the Olympics but the achievement was subsequently clouded by shocking revelations that he had neglected the men’s squad’s preparations for the Olympics.

In fact, the men were often used as sparring partners for the women, said male paddler Gao Ning in subsequent media interviews. Nor did they not enjoy the same resources or priviliges as the women in the run-up to and during the Games.

Liu was chastised publicly by new STTA president Lee Bee Wah who hinted that his sevices might not be retained.

He eventually resigned from the STTA after expressing disgust at a new contract that he was offered, saying the terms were an insult to him.

But when contacted yesterday, Lee stood her ground and defended her association’s decision not to nominate Liu. “Coach of the Year must be naturally well-respected by all the players of the team,” she said.  

 Bowler Jazreel Tan won the Sportsgirl of the Year Award while the Sportsboy Award went to wushu exponent Yong Yixiang.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan  

Related links:

15 November 2008 – Newsflash: Jasmine is Singapore’s first AMF World Cup champion

20 March 2009 – Right move by the STTA not to nominate Liu for Coach of the Year Award

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5 thoughts on “Newsflash: Jasmine Yeong-Nathan is Sportswoman of the Year

  1. ice says:

    With all due respect to Jasmine, who had a great year, she did not outshine Tao Li or LI Jia Wei or Feng Tian Wei. AMF is the Asian Games equivalent. It’s not even the Olympics of bowling.

    And Jazreel Tan. I’m sorry, but I dont remember any feat of hers to be crowned 2 years in a row for Sportsgirl. What about the 2 young 16 year old swimmers, Quah Ting Wen and Lynette Lim, who both made the Olympics and must have combined to break some 10 National Records the last 12 months? Isnt the cutoff for Sportsgirl 18 years old? Why is Jazreel 19 and still winning it?

    • Vera says:

      i dunno bout the age factor, but i still think jazreel outshine both Lynette and Ting wen. anyhow ting wen’s achievements were only local, not on a national scale… time? this coming SEA games in Laos! hopefully swimming puts us on top again:)
      sportswoman well, we did hv YEARS of Li Jia wei and 2 yrs of Tao Li. AMF world cup was special and Jasmine had the nerves to win it!!!! BOWLERS TURN TO SHINE(but poor Remy and coach Foo has no part in it:( )

      • ice says:

        I was referring to Ting Wen’s results last year, not her record breaking feat in March. She and Lynette both broke records on the biggest sporting stage, the Olympics. In fact, upon a further check, Lynette broke a whopping 9 national records last year.

        And I disagree with the argument of Li and Tao having won it before. Previous winning should not be a consideration. The best athlete in every year should win it. It doesnt mean that because they’ve won it before, they should be excluded. If that is the case, it will not reflect “Best”

        Jasmine had a fantastic AMF, kudos to her. She’d have been a deserving winner any other years. And I would not have disagreed. But it was simply that 2008 was such an amazing year, with amazing performances that there were performances that were better than her, imo.

        I must emphasize I’m not trying to discredit the bowlers’ efforts. Well done. I’ve always appreciated SBF’s efforts to field a fully local national squad. Just thinking there were just that 1 or 2 more people better.

  2. leftathome says:

    It’s a sad state of affairs that Singapore has its best year in sport, ever, and cannot recognise nominees whom have met nomination criteria in the male athlete and coach of the year categories. These people have done their best for Singapore, and in some cases risen above and beyond that which people have said they might achieve, and yet it still isn’t good enough? What a way to go and inspire confidence in the sporting fraternity: get silver medal? hmmm, sorry, but no. Make Olympic final when people had decided not to back you in the first place? – sorry, but not good enough. World Champion? Awww, too bad. How about some positive, intelligent, gutsy and encouraging leadership instead of blaming others, putting down deserving nominees (else why would they have been nominated?) and phaffing around to give out feel good awards to recipients whom haven’t achieved anything higher than a SEA Games or Asian Games equivalent?

  3. […] 5 May 2009 – Newsflash: Jasmine Yeong-Nathan is Sportswoman of the Year […]

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