Athletics: Tang re-elected SAA president

Athletics: Tang re-elected SAA president
Singapore Athletic Association president Tang Weng Fei (left) with vice-president (competitions organising) Loh Chan Pew. Relations between the two had soured over the past few months, but both are willing to bury the hatchet after last night’s SAA election of office bearers.

This is in contrast to the Singapore Swimming Association's election on June 13, when Lee Kok Choy bagged the top post and the affiliates subsequently voted in every member of his team.

Last night, by the time the last vote was cast, Tang's team filled nine of the 14 contested positions.

Crucially, Loh Chan Pew, whom Tang had suspended in February for undermining the authority of the executive committee, was re-elected vice-president (competitions organising).

Loh was one of the SAA's two vice-presidents - the other being Steven Lee - who was suspended and then reinstated.

Loh, who had supported Tang when he was running for the SAA presidency in 2010, then pledged his support for Tang's challenger, former national runner Sng Sze Hiang, along with Ho Mun Cheong, Tang's former vice-president who resigned in 2011.

However, Tang, 60, remains confident that he can take the SAA forward in the next two years, despite the mixed results.

He said: "I want to thank the affiliates for giving me a clean mandate for another two years."

The oil trader said he would consult local sports' governing body Sport Singapore to help with some of these problems.

He added: "In-fighting should not be there. I understand the problems with the previous secretariat.

"I hope (Loh) can be more rational. It's water under the bridge and we should all move forward for the sake of track and field."

Sng left soon after all the votes were cast, and declined to speak to the press.

Loh said: "We are all friends. I have nothing against Tang, and we must start work quickly with 11 months to go to next year's Singapore SEA Games.

"I just want everything to be done correctly, by the book."

Indeed, with less than a year to go to the June 5-16 Games, national sprinter Gary Yeo, 27, believes there is no time to waste.

He said: "With so little time left, the management committee must put aside their differences in order to serve the athletes.

"Both teams are very determined to serve the track and field scene, and I believe the new team will be more objective."

This article was first published on JUNE 24, 2014.
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