Focus shifts to SEA Games

The medal haul at last December's South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Myanmar was just eight, with two golds in the women's shot put and men's marathon.

But hopes are high that Singapore could attain one of its best athletics performances at next year's SEA Games, after three national records were broken earlier this month.

Tang Weng Fei, who was re-elected as Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) president for another two years yesterday, is hopeful of a good performance from his charges.

He said: "We have a couple of middle-distance runners who are strong medal contenders, not forgetting Mok Ying Ren (who won the marathon gold in Myanmar).

"Moving ahead... we have to make sure the athletes have a say in training and selection."

Tang added that the newly-elected SAA exco will have to work together to best prepare the athletes.

Vice-president (competitions) Loh Chan Pew said: "All along, I have said that we must focus on the SEA Games; there are only 11 months to go."

Singapore's best track and field haul - six golds - came when the Republic hosted the Games in 1973.

While he does not think the current crop can emulate the performance of 1973, C Kunalan believes that the young sprint stars can pull off a surprise.

The new VP (training and selection) said: "People like Shanti (Pereira) and Zubin are not there yet, but... with the right support, they can get there. First, we must ensure that they are well looked after in training."