Singapore sports round-up (15-21 April): Marc Brian Louis wins at S'pore Open, StarHub Football Festival at OTH

World No.1 shuttlers to play in Singapore Open, ex-national sailor Tan Wearn Haw to lead Singapore's Paris Olympics contingent

Singapore sprinter Marc Brian Louis is jubilant after setting a national record of 10.27sec in the men's 100m semi-finals at the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games. (PHOTO: SNOC/Kong Chong Yew)
Singapore sprinter Marc Brian Louis is jubilant after setting a national record of 10.27sec in the men's 100m semi-finals at the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games. (FILE PHOTO: SNOC/Kong Chong Yew)
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SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (15 to 21 April):

Marc Brian Louis eases to Singapore Open men's 100m win

Marc Brian Louis cemented his position as Singapore's fastest male sprinter when he won the men's 100m race at the Singapore Open Track and Field Championships at the National Stadium on Thursday (18 April), and put himself in prime position earn a wild-card entry into the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The 21-year-old full-time national serviceman, who set the men's 100m national record of 10.27sec at the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games, clocked 10.36sec to finish ahead of Chinese Taipei’s Wei Tai-sheng (10.62sec) and Singapore’s Praharsh Subash Soman (10.74sec).

With sprinter Shanti Pereira meeting the women’s 200m entry standard for Paris 2024, Singapore is allowed to enter its best-ranked male athlete in either the 100m, 800m or marathon through the universality quota if none of them has qualified outright.

Meanwhile, 26-year-old Vanessa Lee broke the women's 3,000m steeplechase national record at the Singapore Open, clocking 11min 9.16sec to break Cheryl Chan’s mark of 11min 14.70sec set in 2020.

Former Singapore international striker Aleksandar Duric acknowledges the crowd after scoring in the StarHub Football Festival exhibition match against Premier League legends at Our Tampines Hub. (PHOTO: StarHub)
Former Singapore international striker Aleksandar Duric acknowledges the crowd after scoring in the StarHub Football Festival exhibition match against Premier League legends at Our Tampines Hub. (PHOTO: StarHub)

Singapore legends beat Premier League counterparts

The two-day StarHub Football Festival concluded on Sunday (21 April) with the Singapore Legends side defeating the Premier League legends 4-2 in an exhibition match at Our Tampines Hub.

Organised by World Football Legends in collaboration with StarHub, the festival attracted over 5,000 attendees and featured activities aimed at fostering community ties and promoting sportsmanship. Key highlights included coaching clinics for children under the age of 12 and 16, which were met with enthusiastic participation.

Guest-of-Honour Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for Social and Family Development, commented on the festival, “I am very encouraged to see such a talented group of people whose passion for the game, particularly the young participants in the U12 and U16 clinics, are not only learning about football but also about teamwork and community.”

Proceeds from the event are contributing to the ongoing efforts of local charities, including the Free Food For All, Dyslexic Association and HCA Hospice Care, totalling S$20,000.

World No.1 singles shuttlers to play in Singapore Open

Both the men's and women's singles world No.1 shuttlers - Viktor Axelsen and An Se-young - have confirmed their participations for the KFF Singapore Badminton Open, to be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium from 28 May to 2 June.

Axelsen is set to return to Singapore after missing the last two editions. The Dane star, who has never won the Singapore Open, will face stiff competition with defending champion Anthony Sinisuka Ginting and his Indonesian compatriot, All England champion Jonatan Christie, both set to feature in the men's singles competition.

In the women’s singles, all eyes are on An, fresh from her triumphs at this year's Malaysia Open and French Open, as she prepares to defend her title against the likes of China's world No.2 Chen Yufei; retiring Taiwanese star Tai Tzu-ying; and Asian champion Wang Zhiyi of China.

All defending doubles champions - men's doubles pair Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin, women's doubles pair Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan, and mixed doubles pair Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra Bøje - will return to defend their titles.

Singapore's Loh Kean Yew and Yeo Jia Min will be in the mix of contenders, backed by the home crowd, as will mixed doubles pair Terry Hee and Jessica Tan.

Tan Wearn Haw to lead Singapore's Paris Olympics contingent

Former national sailor Tan Wearn Haw has been appointed by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) to lead the Team Singapore contingent at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Tan, 45, was a multi-medallist at the SEA Games and Asian Games, as well as an Asian champion in various junior, youth and Olympic sailing events. He competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and sailed professionally with the Sino-French challenger for the 32nd America's Cup, as well as in professional leagues such as the World Match Racing Tour and Extreme Sailing Series.

Tan was also a former chief executive officer of Singapore Sailing Federation, and a founding director of the National Youth Sports Institute. The civil servant continues to volunteer on various non-profit organisations including Global E-Sport Federation, Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim Scholarship Committee, imPAct@Hong Lim and Singapore Sailing Federation.

The Paris Olympic Games will take place from 26 July to 11 August.

Pool draws made for HSBC SVNS 2024

The pool draws for the Singapore leg of the HSBC SVNS 2024 rugby sevens competition took place at Changi Airport on Thursday (18 April) for the three-day event from 3 to 5 May at National Stadium.

Men’s SVNS standings leaders Argentina have been drawn in a tough Pool A together with New Zealand, Australia and Canada. League title contenders Ireland are in Pool C with Olympic champions Fiji, the United States and Britain. Pool B is led by France, who have reached the podium at the last three rounds, alongside South Africa, Spain and Samoa.

The women’s pool draw sees current leaders New Zealand in Pool A with Canada, Ireland and Spain. Australia are drawn in Pool C together with Fiji, Britain and Brazil. Pool B sees the US - finalists in Hong Kong - alongside France, Japan and South Africa.

Under the new HSBC SVNS model, seven regular-season events take place, resulting in regular season league winners being crowned in Singapore, before a grand final in Madrid - featuring the top eight teams based on cumulative series points - from 31 May to 2 June will determine the HSBC SVNS champions.

New Zealand and Australia are equal on points at the top of the women’s standings, while Argentina’s men hold an eight-point advantage over Ireland in the men's standings.

Paralympic Fiesta at Our Tampines Hub from 4 to 7 May

The inaugural Paralympic Fiesta, organised by the Singapore National Paralympic Council (SNPC), will be held from 4 to 7 May at Our Tampines Hub as a show of support and to bring mass awareness to the para-athletes who are headed to compete at the 2024 Paris Paralympics in August.

This event will preview a series of videos showcasing the Paralympians, with the underpinning theme of “We Are Marching On”, a reflection of the eponymous team song and music video written and performed by disabled artist Sky Shen from ART:DIS.

Other featured activities include a Paralympic exhibition, para-sports try-outs, interactive experiences like a walkathon, para-athletes showcases, Madame Tussaud’s exhibit of five-time Paralympic gold medallist Yip Pin Xiu’s wax figure, virtual challenges, family-friendly activities and performances that celebrate the spirit of Singapore's para-athletes.

In addition to the Fiesta, there will a special send-off for the Paralympians through digital activities from May to August, such as a digital storytelling campaign and interactive social media challenges.

StarHub to screen NBA play-offs exclusively

StarHub has secured exclusive broadcasting rights for the 2023/24 NBA post-season in Singapore. Basketball fans will be able to catch the action with Sports+ access. Following last week's Play-in games, the NBA Playoffs commenced on Saturday (20 April) with the conference semi-finals set for 7 May, and the NBA Finals concluding on 6 June.

With StarHub TV+, fans will be able to catch the games on multiple devices, access on-demand highlights, and rewind to watch key moments again at their convenience. Available to all Sports+ pass customers from S$25.46/month, or S$45.83/month without a contract, customers can catch all the NBA Play-off games on Hub Sports 2 (Ch202).

Two new Sports bundles are also available for customers to complete their sports viewing experience on StarHub TV+ from just S$45/month. These bundles come with premium sports content such as the Premier League, complete Sports+ pass, as well as a complimentary TV+ PRO box with Bang & Olufsen speakers, mirroring a front-row seat experience for all sports fans.

Tickets for SPL Community Shield match on sale

Tickets for the 2024/25 Singapore Premier League (SPL) Community Shield match between Albirex Niigata (Singapore) and Lion City Sailors at Jalan Besar Stadium on 4 May are on sale, and fans can purchase their tickets via the Football Association of Singapore and Ticketek ticketing platforms.

Prices are at S$15 for adults and S$10 for concessions (applicable to individuals aged three to 12, and those above 60), with an additional S$1 booking fee per transaction. Each transaction will be limited to a maximum purchase of 10 tickets.

Fans can enjoy a variety of pre-match activities at the SPL Fanzone and Carnival, including gaming stalls and club merchandise booths. A curtain-raiser event will precede the Community Shield match, featuring the Under-17 teams from Albirex and Sailors in a Singapore Youth League game.

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