Team Singapore

Singapore sports' peaks and troughs of 2015

LIM SAY HENG and DAVID LEE highlight the peaks and troughs of Singapore sports for 2015

SOUTH-EAST ASIA GAMES

Singapore's first hosting of the biennial Games since 1993 started and ended with a bang.

Many sports - such as netball and synchronised swimming - won their first-ever SEA Games golds on home ground, as the hosts won a historic medal haul of 84 golds, 73 silvers and 102 bronzes to finish just behind Thailand (95/83/69) in the medal table.

The swimmers also brought in their best SEA Games haul of 23 golds, 
12 silvers and seven bronzes to top the sport's medal tally.

APPOINTMENT OF GRACE FU AS MCCY MINISTER

Ms Grace Fu was appointed to lead the Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth after the General Election in September.

It is the first time a female minister has been tasked to helm a ministry in Singapore, although Lim Hwee Hua has the honour of being the Republic's first female minister, when she was made a minister in the Prime Minister's office in 2009.

ASEAN PARA GAMES

There were concerns that Singapore's first staging of the biennial multi-sport Games for the disabled would be overshadowed by June's SEA Games.

But these worries were largely unfounded, as the performances and heroics of para-athletes such as Theresa Goh and Yip Pin Xiu (swimming), Jason Chee (table tennis) and Khairul Anwar (cerebral palsy football) were embraced by many Singaporeans, who either saw them live in action, or through viral videos online.

They were celebrated, because they were truly extraordinary.

WTA FINALS SINGAPORE

The grand finale of professional women's tennis had been won by powerful players such as the Williams - Serena and Venus - sisters, Maria Sharapova and Amelie Mauresmo for almost 15 years, until Agnieszka Radwanska's (left) victory at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in end-October.

The 26-year-old Pole relies on intelligent court craft, rather than powerful volleys, and her win is one for the romantics in women's tennis, which is increasingly dominated by power, rather than technique.

NEW HOMES FOR SPORTS

Singapore Athletics (SA) and the Singapore Bowling Federation (SBF) ended 2015 with new bases of operation, after seeing their athletes shuttle to various training locations.

SA launched its new Home of Athletics at the Kallang Practice Track in March, while SBF opened the doors of its new 38-lane facility at the new Temasek Club, situated at Rifle Range Road, in September.

Also, five Centres of Expertise in disability sports - starting next year with one each in Toa Payoh and Jurong West - will be set up at ActiveSG centres.

RUGBY

The Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) scored a coup when it beat 25 other cities to win the bid to host a leg of the 10-stop World Rugby Sevens Series for four years, starting from 2016.

The Singapore Sports Hub's 55,000-seater National Stadium will host rugby heavyweights such as New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and England in a two-day affair in April next year, ahead of the Rio Olympics in August, when the sevens version of the sport will make its Olympic debut.

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