Sports

Crowded schedule for National Stadium

The Singapore Under-23 side's quest for the Republic's first gold medal at the South-east Asia (SEA) Games next June will kick off at either the Choa Chu Kang Stadium or Bishan Stadium.

The opening group stage of the tournament will not be held at the new 55,000-capacity National Stadium, due to the schedule of the opening ceremony and the rugby and track and field programme.

Speaking on the sidelines of the one-year countdown ceremony to the 28th SEA Games, Lim Teck Yin, chairman of the executive committee of the Singapore South-east Asia Games Organising Committee (Singsoc), said: "We are definitely holding the opening and closing ceremonies of the SEA Games at the National Stadium, along with football and track and field, and we are also hoping to get rugby to be played there as well.

"But the issue is the scheduling, because we need also consider holding rehearsals for the closing ceremony, and scheduling the sports together."

DISAPPOINTED

Football fans will be disappointed that the U-23s will not play all their matches at the home of the Lions.

Only the final will be held at the National Stadium, and organisers will try to also hold the semi-finals at the venue.

Currently, the preliminary round for rugby will also be held at Bishan Stadium.

While the Singapore Sports Hub will host major events like swimming and track and field, other events will be scattered around the island.

Shooting will be held at Yishun Safra and the National Shooting Centre, bowling at the Orchid Country Club and hockey at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium.

Golf will be held at Sentosa Golf Club and sailing at the National Sailing Centre at the East Coast.

The venues are also separated into clusters, with the Marina cluster hosting canoeing, sailing and traditional boat race events.

Said Lim: "The venues are clustered around the island to minimise travelling time from one venue to the other, so that the supporters can come out in full force to support our athletes and cheer them on."

- REDZWAN KAMARUDIN