Jujitsu association calls off trials, but submits nomination list
In a twist, JJAS abruptly calls off tomorrow's trial but submits nomination list to SNOC
The selection trial for its athletes was scheduled for tomorrow, but the Jujitsu Association of Singapore (JJAS) has already submitted its nomination list for August's Asian Games.
The JJAS had called off the trial abruptly earlier in the week, dashing the hopes of a host of athletes who have been training for it.
One of them is Kenneth Tan, a purple-belt practitioner who had been training for close to two months since the trial date was announced.
Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, the 23-year-old said: "Because of the trial, some of us have tried to train more in the morning since we knew the trial was going to be held at around 9am.
"I was actually quite confident that I would do well because I'm familiar with the other triallists."
On Tuesday, Tan received an e-mail from JJAS stating that the trial had been called off and it also contained the list of nominees for the Games. He was not on the list.
"I was disappointed and shocked because after so much preparation, they just called it off.
"I saw the list of names and they probably chose those athletes based on their CV. Mine is probably not as good as theirs.
"I didn't participate in some competitions that others have been to, and it's disappointing knowing that I can't prove that I can perform better."
Brazilian jujitsu will feature for the first time at this year's Asian Games in Indonesia, from Aug 18 to Sept 2.
While the JJAS has sent its list of athletes to the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) hoping for the green light, they still might not fly the flag in Indonesia because JJAS is not officially a national sports association (NSA) here.
JJAS is currently working with Sport Singapore (SportSG) to become an NSA.
JJAS president, Dr Henry Kothagoda, hopes that a special arrangement can be worked out for Singapore's jujitsu athletes to take their place in the contingent.
"We're not an NSA, so it's not our call on how many athletes are eligible for the Games," he told The New Paper.
"But we have applied and we're going through the application process."
This is the third time JJAS has sent its nomination list to SNOC, which decides who will represent Singapore at all major Games. There are 14 names on the latest list, and Dr Kothagoda hopes to get a positive response this time.
"We've already submitted the list twice... Both times, they (SNOC) sent it back to us saying that it was not acceptable or not good enough," he said.
"Unfortunately for us, because it's a new sport, very few have competed at an Asian level to even be considered by them (SNOC)."
One familiar name on the list is MMA rising star May Ooi.
Ooi, a former swimmer who won gold for Singapore at the South-east Asia (SEA) Games, won gold in the blue-belt master (born before 1987) Under-64kg category at the Asian IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship last September, making her a possible contender for a medal in Indonesia.
The 41-year-old, who turned down a One Championship fight in Jakarta last Saturday to focus on tomorrow's trial, said: "It's surprising that the trial was called off.
"It's like preparing your body and getting ready for a fight, and then suddenly, there's no fight."
She's delighted her name's on the list, though, even if she faces an anxious wait to hear what the final decision will be.
"I'm grateful that the JJAS recognised my talent, potential, competition experience, and believe in me enough to nominate me and put me in the list for final selections by SNOC."