Sports

Make selection criteria better

While Singapore's chef de mission Jessie Phua praised the collective performance of Team Singapore in Incheon, she also highlighted the need to improve the selection criteria for athletes for future Games.

Team Singapore sent 223 athletes to the Asian Games and the contingent returned with two Asian Games records, three national marks and 13 personal bests.

But there were also performances which were far off the mark.

The men's hockey team finished ninth out of 10 teams, after targeting at least seventh spot, while the women's 7s rugby side were on the wrong end of 60-0 and 43-0 drubbings at the hands of Japan and China, respectively.

Though Phua declined to say if the Singapore National Olympic Council will be more stringent with its selection policy in the future, she said lessons must be learnt.

"Moving forward, we can do better, including our selection criteria," she said.

"For some sports, the lack of competition prior to a major Games makes it difficult for them to achieve, or even set, a fifth- or sixth-placed target.

"Some sports have to arrange friendlies in order to meet requirements - that's how football made the cut.

"It's important we also consider athletes who are on a fast track, though not in the top six of their sport.

"Some of these athletes should still be given the opportunity to compete on the world stage, then we can see if they are motivated to do better."