73-year-old and medal contender
Ong set to compete in three more events at this year's National Games
"When there is a will, there is a way".
This is the mantra that 73-year-old Ong Beng Gee has adopted all his life and it is why he will be competing in this year's Singapore National Games, from Saturday to Aug 7.
The Games are part of GetActive! Singapore, a week-long sporting festival leading up to the Republic's 51st birthday. A total of 488 events across 21 sports will take place at 15 locations islandwide.
Ong, who works as a senior consultant and writer at Pet's Station, will be taking part in swimming - the men's 50m breaststroke and 100m breaststroke - and athletics - the men's Masters 100m, 3,000m race walk and long jump.
Ong had taken part in the 2014 Games, where he participated only in the 50m (sixth) and 100m (silver) breaststroke events in the men's 45 and over category.
When he started, he did not expect to swim competitively. He took up the sport only to stay healthy and keep himself occupied during his free time.
"I took up swimming when I hurt my left heel when doing the long jump some time back," he told The New Paper yesterday.
"I told myself that I had to keep fit even if I couldn't run, so I took up swimming.
"Then, I got a call from the Canberra Community Club who said they needed a senior citizen to complete their team for the 2013 Singapore Community Games.
"Initially, I was very reluctant because I was not a very good swimmer but I joined anyway and was coached by a 16-year-old boy how to swim well in the breaststroke.
"That was a blessing because it is very rare for a younger person to coach someone as old as me.
"I was praying just not to finish last in the 50m breaststroke and shockingly, I finished sixth.
"I also managed to finish second in the 100m breaststroke and that spurred me on to take part in the National Games, where I won silver in the 100m breaststroke, which I did not expect at all."
After that performance, Ong pushed himself further for this year's Games and signed up for three more Masters events in track and field.
"I told myself this time around, I'm not going to miss out on the running and jumping events," he said.
"These are things that I have enjoyed since young and I want to know where I stand on a competitive front and how fit I really am for my age.
"A competition like this provides measurements which can tell me where I stand and what I can improve on.
"Otherwise, I will be running and jumping aimlessly."
One can be forgiven for wondering how Ong is able to take part in such activities considering his age and, more importantly, what he stands to gain from it.
"If we keep ourselves busy at all times, we will keep our minds on the right track and we can delay ourselves from falling into depression or dementia. We give less trouble to our loved ones as well," he said.
"To keep fit and stay active at an old age, you have to be doing it consistently without stopping and you have to set your mind to it.
"You may not have the time but just a bit is enough.
"For myself, I spend at least an hour every day after work going for walks or jogging at the park near my house, lifting dumbbells and going for swims.
"Ultimately, I just want to prove to everyone that if I can do it, so can you."
Jia Min a champion
Much work for Sundram after 3-0 loss to Albirex
ALBIREX NIIGATA 3
(Go Hayama 3, Hiroshi Ibusuki 12, Kalil 15)
He reiterated the point that results were not the ultimate objective of the team's overseas training camp and, if national football coach V Sundramoorthy wanted to find out which areas needed work on after the trip to Japan, he now knows.
The Lions are building towards the Suzuki Cup in November and the defence is of immediate concern, after Singapore lost 3-0 to J1.League club Albirex Niigata on Sunday (July 24).
The visitors conceded three goals in the first 15 minutes and, while they did well to recover and not concede again in the friendly, the leakiness of the defence would have irked a coach known for being a stickler for organisation and defensive stability.
It was the second time in three games over five days that the Lions have conceded three goals and succumbed to defeat.
It has to be said that Sundram was missing five overseas-based players, including defensive lynchpins Baihakki Khaizan, Hariss Harun and Safuwan Baharudin for the week-long training tour of Japan, which followed a one-week centralised training camp in Singapore from July 11 to 17.
The 50-year-old coach was happy to have faced higher quality opposition and said: "It is beneficial that my team got to test themselves against an opponent in the J1 League, one of the top leagues in Asia, where footballing standards are high, with fast, fit and technically adept players.
"The past three matches have allowed me to try different formations and test varying tactics, and the players have also had valuable match-time together."
Last Wednesday, the Lions fell to a surprise 3-2 loss to the Niigata University of Health and Welfare, but they were much-improved in the following game, a 2-0 win over Japan Soccer College.
Yesterday, at the Denka Big Swan Stadium, Singapore were outclassed by an Albirex side featuring mostly second-stringers - the first team had just won a league match 2-1 at Omiya Ardija the day before.
Go Hayama, a 23-year-old midfielder who has already played and scored in the Japanese top flight, opened the scoring after just three minutes with a long-range effort.
Less than 10 minutes later, Albirex extended their lead via a header by 1.97m striker Hiroshi Ibusuki, a 25-year-old who had played in the top four divisions of Spanish football, including a sole appearance in La Liga with Sevilla in 2012.
Brazilian youngster Kalil, 20, made it three after 15 minutes after a well-worked team effort, before the Lions got their act together to prevent an avalanche of goals.
Singapore winger Gabriel Quak said: "This has been a good trip to gel and get ready for the Suzuki Cup. We trained and played in a conducive environment with good facilities and no distractions and we worked on our understanding, as well as tactics."
Sundram and his 25-man squad will fly to Phnom Penh tonight and they will conclude their national team training camp with an A international friendly against Cambodia at the National Olympic Stadium on Thursday.
Defender Madhu Mohana is looking forward to a better display.
"Every A international can contribute to a better Fifa ranking, so we need to get a result against Cambodia," he said.
"We have trained hard, trained well and stayed as a team. Now we have to use what we learnt here in Japan, put in a good performance and come back with a positive result to round up this training camp."
- SINGAPORE STARTING XI: Izwan Mahbud, Faritz Abdul Hameed, Madhu Mohana, Abdil Qaiyyim, Shakir Hamzah, Anumanthan Mohan Kumar, Amy Recha, Yasir Hanapi, Zulfahmi Arifin, Gabriel Quak, Fazrul Nawaz
'The time is right'
England boss Allardyce says he is ready to build a team that fans will want to get behind
Ranieri: Riyad could go from star to sub
Leicester boss warns star man about move away
Leicester must not sell Riyad Mahrez
Algerian's departure would make the champions one-season wonders, like Blackburn
Riyad Mahrez needed six seconds to underline his priceless value.
The ball found him in too much space on the right. Five touches took him into the box. A double step-over left a marker skidding in his slipstream.
Another pair of touches carved out the opening, allowing him to thread the needle, curling a strike into the top corner.
Eight touches, six seconds and a peach of a goal showed why Leicester City finished top of the tree last season.
If the Foxes sell Mahrez, they would be committing self-harm, ending their title defence before it began.
N'Golo Kante's departure had an air of inevitability, the unassuming automaton unable to resist the allure of playing for Antonio Conte, a kindred spirit of kinetic energy.
But Mahrez and Leicester stand at a crossroads, with each party revving through the gears, hopeful of a green light but unsure whether to stay or go.
The Algerian's sumptuous goal was all that mattered in the otherwise meaningless 1-1 draw with Celtic in the International Champions Cup tie yesterday morning (Singapore time.)
Statisticians will record that the Foxes prevailed 6-5 on penalties, but Claudio Ranieri is not prepared to accept that Leicester should pay a penalty for gluttony.
With a smile and a wink, the Italian encouraged journalists to raise Mahrez's reported transfer fee further in their post-match reports.
Eighty million pounds, £90m, £100m - set the asking price higher and add to the absurdity and create a chasm between cost price and value for money.
Throughout last season, Ranieri proved he was as crazy as a fox, deflecting attention away from his team by playing the adorable, slightly confused Italian uncle.
He's at it again. Making up funny numbers and urging reporters to make up their own transfer fees for Mahrez.
But he can't be clowning behind closed doors.
Even allowing for Leicester's rustiness - this was only their second game of pre-season - Mahrez was a dazzling, creative force in a side light on invention.
Celtic were slightly fitter than their English opponents for obvious reasons - they face a Champions League qualifier on Wednesday - and Brendan Rodgers' men were never overwhelmed.
The English Premier League champions stuck with their trusty 4-4-2, but lacked the counter-attacking thrust and urgency that allowed the antiquated system to prevail against superior opponents last season.
Jamie Vardy's absence was obvious. For the most part, Leicester were a livery stable filled with reliable workhorses, but clearly missing their galloping thoroughbred.
Without Vardy and Kante, the Foxes risk tiptoeing towards old perceptions of Leicester, a provincial club of honest triers and tenacious toilers.
All that stands between the Foxes and the one-season wonders of Blackburn Rovers is Mahrez.
He roamed where he pleased against Celtic.
Eoghan O'Connell did his utmost to track the 25-year-old. Occasionally, he even got close, rather like a kid chasing a runaway balloon.
In the 46th minute, Mahrez was left unmarked on the right flank.
Six seconds later, he punished Celtic for their negligence.
Ranieri insisted the goal and Mahrez's performance represented a settled, happy player ready to lead Leicester as they take their first, historic steps into the Champions League.
For everyone else watching on TV, the screen looked like a shop window - and the Algerian had passed another audition for interested parties.
And Arsenal are interested. Of course they are.
Arsene Wenger hasn't bought a diminutive, incisive wide man with a fast football brain since he bought the last three footballers who did pretty much the same thing.
The Gunners needed Kante's calf-crushing qualities more than another creative virtuoso, but that probably won't stop Wenger from trying.
At 25, Mahrez is four years younger than fellow maverick Dimitri Payet and offers a more attractive proposition to the vultures circling the King Power Stadium.
Wenger already has strength in depth.
The plodding draw against Celtic proved that Ranieri doesn't.
Last season, he was blessed with a largely injury-free run to the title, which benefited enormously from a lack of cup distractions and the absence of expectation until the very end.
Now he'll have both. But he won't have Kante.
The Frenchman's departure was the result of an offer the ambitious midfielder couldn't refuse. Mahrez's exit, on the other hand, would feel like an exodus.
Ranieri knows his midfielder's value cannot be measured in pounds and pence.
A transfer leaves a gaping, creative hole the manager cannot possibly fill.
The Italian joked about a £100-million price tag.
To Leicester, Mahrez is worth so much more.
TNP GRAPHIC: TEOH YI CHIE
Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez picks up the ball on the right flank before driving at the Celtic defence. He evades the attentions of defenders Eoghan O'Connell and Emilio Izaguirre before curling the ball into the top left corner of Craig Gordon's goal.
Winger Riyad Mahrez scored 17 goals and assisted 10 more for Premier League champions Leicester City last season. He was involved in 27 of the Foxes’ 68 league goals.
Fright night for Jose
● Half of United's squad make forced flight landing due to violent storm ● Mourinho holds hasty press conference in the open after late change in venue
Shake it off
Guardiola, Mourinho play down rivalry ahead of first Manchester Derby outside UK
Brie Larson to play Marvel's Carol Danvers
Brie Larson has officially been cast as Captain Marvel.
The Oscar-winning US indie actress of the 2015 drama Room has been chosen by Marvel Studios to bring Carol Danvers and her alter ego to the big screen for the first time.
It will be the first superhero movie from Marvel with a female lead.
The news was announced at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday and Larson, 26, also tweeted a picture of herself wearing a Marvel Studios cap.
The standalone Captain Marvel film is being planned for the third phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is set to debut in 2019.
Beyoncé says she didn't rip off short film
Beyoncé has hit back at accusations that her visual album Lemonade copied an independent film-maker's short film.
The 34-year-old US singer was sued last month by Matthew Fulks over claims that Lemonade was similar to his film Palinoia in its tone, setting and pacing.
Last Friday, Beyoncé's legal team filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that Palinoia did not explore Lemonade's central theme of infidelity.
Celebrity news website TMZ said the motion read: "Palinoia is about a 'tumultuous relationship' that is over, the demise of the relationship is oblique and not tied to infidelity."
Here Comes The Sun not for Ivanka Trump
US presidential hopeful Donald Trump's daughter has been criticised by the estate of late Beatles guitarist George Harrison for walking on stage to a song by the English band.
Here Comes The Sun was playing while Ivanka Trump, 34, went on stage at the Republican National Convention (RNC) last Thursday and introduced her father, the Republican Party's nominee.
Harrison's estate tweeted: "The unauthorised use of Here Comes The Sun at the RNC is offensive and against the wishes of the George Harrison estate.
"If it had been (Harrison's song) Beware Of Darkness, then we may have approved it!"
Rihanna is Bates Motel's Marion Crane
Rihanna will be playing the victim in a small-screen adaptation of one of the most iconic murder scenes in film.
The 28-year-old Barbadian singer will portray Marion Crane, a woman murdered in the shower, in the fifth and final season of TV horror series Bates Motel, a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.
Rihanna announced the news in a video during Bates Motel's panel at this year's San Diego Comic-Con International.
She said in the clip: "I'm about to check into the Bates Motel very soon. And guess what else? Guess who's playing Marion?"