Team Singapore

Another 63 athletes get nod for SEA Games

They will be among the 647 representing S'pore in the Philippines

Flyweight (52kg) boxer Mohamed Hanurdeen Hamid will lead a four-man team in the hunt for Singapore's first gold medal at the SEA Games since 1985, after the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) Games Appeal Committee gave the athletes the green light for the Nov 30-Dec 11 Games in the Philippines.

Singapore Amateur Boxing Association (Saba) president Syed Abdul Kadir said that the nomination for the four athletes was not discussed at the SNOC selection committee meeting on Aug 1, as they were then still awaiting results from tournaments in Indonesia and Thailand.

The boxers heading to Manila are Hanurdeen, Tay Jia Wei (light welterweight), Danisha Mathialagan (women's light flyweight) and Leona Hui (women's flyweight).

Hanurdeen, who won a bronze and silver at the SEA Games in 2017 and 2015 respectively, will be the best bet for Singapore to end their 34-year gold medal drought.

Team Singapore's last title at the Games was in 1985 in Bangkok where Mohamed Mukhlis claimed gold in the men's under-67kg.

At the last edition in Kuala Lumpur, the Singaporeans won three bronze medals in the men's flyweight, light welterweight and light heavyweight.

Kadir said: "Hanurdeen was very unlucky both times at the SEA Games and hopefully he will be third time lucky.

"He's had to finance his own training, he's always there training and competing and I hope he can do it."

While he was coy on medal targets for the team, Kadir added: "It's not just about the experience as they must go there to win. Boxing is the most difficult of all the sports and I'm happy that we have boxers competing at the SEA Games."

Chaired by Ng Ser Miang, Singapore's International Olympic Committee member, the SNOC Games Appeals Committee gave the nod to 63 athletes for the year-end Games.

There was also good news for Singapore Athletics, which has been embroiled in a selection controversy with two-time SEA Games marathon champion Soh Rui Yong, as 13 athletes made the appeals list, including the women's and mixed 4x100m relay teams.

The mixed 4x100m and 4x400m relay events will be making a debut at the SEA Games athletics' competition in the Philippines, with Clara Goh, Khairyll Amri Tumadi, Tan Zong Yang and Ariff Januri among the team of six earning the nod yesterday for the 4x100m mixed relay.

With Soh out of the SEA Games, high jumper Michelle Sng is the only defending gold medallist among the athletics squad, who took home eight medals at the last Games.

But SA executive director Syed Abdul Malik Aljunied is looking to the mixed relay team to add to their medal haul this time.

He said: "They're a really young team and they fight very hard and broke the national record three times. I'm confident that they've got what it takes to win a medal."

Aside from athletics, the women's water polo team - who won a silver at the 2017 SEA Games - men's 3,000m short track skating relay team and men's baseball team were also given the green light by the committee.

Altogether, 647 athletes will represent Singapore in 48 sports, out of the 56 offered in the Philippines. The Republic will not compete in arnis, equestrian, karate, kickboxing, obstacle sports, rowing, soft tennis and weightlifting.

Singapore achieved their best performance at an away Games in the 2017 edition, winning a haul of 58 golds, 59 silvers and 71 bronzes.

Team Singapore