SEA Games: S'pore's hopes for track golds

SEA Games: S'pore's hopes for track golds
Team Singapore chef de mission for the SEA Games Annabel Pennefather receiving the national flag from Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin.

Throwers have traditionally done the heavy lifting for Singapore athletics at the SEA Games.

But, for the first time in 30 years, runners could also have a share of the gold medals.

This is their strongest challenge in years, with distance runner Mok Ying Ren in pole position for a title in the marathon next month, and the men's 4x100m relay team quietly confident of their chances.

Perhaps even the Singapore National Olympic Council's choice in appointing hurdler Dipna Lim-Prasad as flag-bearer - the first track athlete chosen for this role since at least 1997 - is an indication of the high hopes placed on the track and field team for next month's Games.

Said Singapore Athletic Association president Tang Weng Fei: "Both the track and the field athletes look good this time round. Hopefully, we will have no injuries in the final lead-up."

Former athletics queen K. Jayamani was Singapore's last champion in a non-field event, winning the marathon when Singapore hosted the 1983 Games.

Sprinter Calvin Kang, part of the men's 4x100 team, said Monday: "This year, we feel fitter and stronger. We are ready."

He was one of almost 400 athletes at the ITE College Central Monday where a combined flag presentation ceremony for those competing at the SEA Games, ASEAN Para Games and Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games was held.

The event was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin and Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong.

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