Tough fight, easy winner

He took time off work just to take pictures at the recent SEA Games.

For two weeks, Mr Liew Tong Leng put his full-time job as a regulator at the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore on hold to serve as a media photographer at the Games.

The 46-year-old was photographing the netball final between Singapore and Malaysia on June 7 when he got a shot of two local players jostling with a Malaysian for the ball.

He submitted it for last week's Big Picture contest theme, Ready, Set, Go! that asked for photos from the 28th SEA Games Singapore 2015.

Mr Liew said: "The match was the talk of the town because Singapore was the favourite to win the gold medal.

"I submitted this shot because it represents the whole mood of the match. It was a tough fight."

His photograph emerged the winner of last week's Big Picture, a 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.


While the three judges each picked different photos as their winners, this was the highest-ranked entry and the only one shortlisted by all.

Judge Kevin Lee described it as a "well-framed and timed" photo of a "climactic moment".

The shot also impressed judges Deanna Ng and Chua Chin Hon, who both picked it as their runner-up.

Ms Ng praised Mr Liew's composition of the intense moment: "You can almost feel the netballers' fight to get to the ball and the energy of the game."

The photo was also good enough for the sports pages of newspapers, said Mr Chua. However, his pick was Mr Muhammad Yusuf Yacob's "nice, clean action shot" of two sepak takraw players in mid-air.

"While we are familiar with the acrobatic moves of sepak takraw players, the photographer still managed to capture a surprising, almost surreal, moment," he said.

Ms Ng had picked another photograph of sepak takraw players in action as her winner: Mr Jose Viven Balsomo's shot of the Singapore men's regu team during its winning match against the Philippines, for which the Republic bagged its first silver medal in over two decades.

"Great capture. Everything was in place. We can see the athletes in motion," she said of the shot. "The photographer captured the beauty of the game perfectly."

To see last week's other finalists, go to The Big Picture's website at

This article was first published on June 23, 2015.
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