SEA Games: Glory and defeat in one moment

SEA Games: Glory and defeat in one moment
Malaysia's Surizan attempt to score the goal against Singapore in the second half at the SEA Games Women Hockey Preliminaries. Singapore lost 0-7 to Malaysia at Sengkang Hockey Stadium

As a volunteer photographer for the SEA Games in Singapore earlier this month, Daniel Chua, 18, was at Sengkang Hockey Stadium shooting the women's hockey final between Malaysia and Thailand.

When the Malaysian team stepped up to take a penalty, Daniel focused his camera on the goal area.

With "a touch of luck", he caught this moment of celebration and anguish in a single frame.

"The emotion is there. You can see the goalkeeper (on) the ground. It's easy to identify who scored and the emotions are high," said Daniel, who is waiting to enlist for national service.

It was also his first time photographing a hockey match, he said.

The display of emotions in the picture prompted him to send it in for last week's Big Picture contest. The theme, Ready, Set, Go!, called for photos shot at the SEA Games.

Daniel's photo won him the $500 weekly prize for this year-long competition organised by The New Paper and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth to encourage Singaporeans to document everyday life in the city. It was picked by two of last week's three judges as their winning photo.


For judge Edwin Koo, Daniel's entry encapsulated what a sports photograph should be.

"A sports photograph with this theme should go beyond the action, and show the trials and tribulations of sports," he said. "This photo summarises the victory and loss, the glory and defeat in one perfect moment."

Mr Chong Jun Liang was similarly impressed by how the picture captured the necessary elements to tell the complete story.

"The jubilation of the triumphant Malaysian player contrasts perfectly with the dejected Thai goalkeeper who has sunk to her knees.

"The body language of the Thai player in the background and another looking at the ball on all fours in the foreground adds depth to the photo and completes the story," he said.

Last week's third judge, Mr Alphonsus Chern, picked a photo by Mr Terry Tan as his winner, instead.

The picture, which was taken during the second heat of the men's 110m hurdles, best expressed last week's theme for him.

"This photograph captures exactly the theme Ready, Set, Go! with a row of sprinters leaping over their hurdles, displaying the burst of energy and expression that describes perfectly the highly charged atmosphere of the games, and of this sport in particular," he said.

To see all of last week's other finalists, visit The Big Picture's website at

This article was first published on June 30, 2015.
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